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Publish FedEx-Connected Dashboards in Tableau Server

Use the CData Tableau Connector for FedEx and Tableau Server to visualize live FedEx data.

Tableau Server is a visual analytics platform transforming the way businesses use data to solve problems. When paired with the CData Tableau Connector for FedEx, you get access to live FedEx data within Tableau Server. This article shows how to connect to FedEx in Tableau Desktop, publish a Data Source to Tableau Server, and build a simple chart on that data.

The CData Tableau Connectors enable high-speed access to live FedEx data in Tableau Server. Once you install the connector, you simply authenticate with FedEx and you can immediately start building responsive, dynamic visualizations and dashboards. By surfacing FedEx data using native Tableau data types and handling complex filters, aggregations, & other operations automatically, CData Tableau Connectors grant seamless access to FedEx data.

NOTE: The CData Tableau Connectors require Tableau 2020.3 or higher. If you are using an older version of Tableau, you will need to use the CData JDBC Driver for FedEx. If you wish to connect to FedEx data in Tableau Online, you will need to use CData CloudHub.

Enable Connectivity to FedEx in Tableau Server

Start by installing the CData Tableau Connector on the machine hosting Tableau Server and on a machine with Tableau Desktop.

  1. On the server machine, copy cdata.fedex.taco and cdata.tableau.fedex.lic (typically found in C:\Program Files\CData\CData Tableau Connector for FedEx\lib\
  2. Place the copies in the Tableau Server Connectors folder (C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\data absvc\vizqlserver\Connectors)
  3. Restart Tableau Server

Connect to FedEx in Tableau Desktop

Once the connectors are installed on the Server machine, we can configure a connection to FedEx in Tableau Desktop and publish a FedEx-based Data Source to Tableau Server.

  1. Open Tableau Desktop
  2. Click More under Connect -> To a Server
  3. Select "FedEx by CData"
  4. Configure the connection and click "Sign In."

There are five pieces of information needed in order to authenticate its actions with the FedEx service. This information is below.

  • Server: This controls the URL where the requests should be sent. Common testing options for this are: "https://gatewaybeta.fedex.com:443/xml", "https://wsbeta.fedex.com:443/xml", "https://gatewaybeta.fedex.com:443/web-service", and "https://wsbeta.fedex.com:443/web-service"
  • DeveloperKey: This is the identifier part of the authentication key for the sender's identity. This value will be provided to you by FedEx after registration.
  • Password: This is the secret part of the authentication key for the sender's identity. This value will be provided to you by FedEx after registration.
  • AccountNumber: This valid 9-digit FedEx account number is used for logging into the FedEx server.
  • MeterNumber: This value is used for submitting requests to FedEx. This value will be provided to you by FedEx after registration.
  • PrintLabelLocation: This property is required if one intends to use the GenerateLabels or GenerateReturnLabels stored procedures. This should be set to the folder location where generated labels should be stored.

The Cache Database

Many of the useful tasks available from FedEx require a lot of data. To ensure this data is easy to input and recall later, utilizes a cache database to make these requests. You must set the cache connection properties:

  • CacheProvider: The specific database you are using to cache with. For example, org.sqlite.JDBC.
  • CacheConnection: The connection string to be passed to the cache provider. For example, jdbc:sqlite:C:\users\username\documents\fedexcache.db

Discover Schemas and Query Data

Once you establish the connection to FedEx data, you can configure which entities to visualize.

  1. Select CData from the Database pull-down menu.
  2. Select FedEx from the Schema pull-down menu.
  3. Drag the tables and views you wish to visualize onto the join area. You can include multiple tables.
  4. Select Update Now or Automatically Update. Update Now lets you preview the first 10,000 rows of the data source (or enter the number of rows you want to see in the Rows text box). Automatically Update auto-loads the changes in the preview area.

Publish Data to Tableau Server

After you configure the data you wish to visualize, you can publish the Data Source to a Tableau Server instance. In Tableau Desktop:

  1. Click Server -> Sign In
  2. Enter the URL for your Tableau Server
  3. Authenticate with Tableau Server credentials
  4. Click Server -> Publish Data Source and select your data source
  5. Click Publish
  6. Select the Project, name the Data Source, and optionally add a description
  7. Click Publish

Visualize FedEx Data in Tableau Server

With the Data Source published to Tableau Server, you are ready to visualize FedEx data.

  1. Login to your Tableau Server instance
  2. Select the Project where you published the Data Source
  3. Click the published Data Source
  4. Click New Workbook
  5. In the workbook, FedEx fields are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData Tableau Connector discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  6. Drag a field from the Dimensions or Measures area to Rows or Columns. Tableau creates column or row headers.
  7. Select one of the chart types from the Show Me tab. Tableau displays the chart type that you selected.

Using the CData Tableau Connector for FedEx with Tableau Server, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on FedEx data. Download a free, 30-day trial and get started today.