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DataBind Controls to JSON Services in C++Builder

DataBind to JSON services in C++Builder with standard components and controls.

The CData ODBC Driver for JSON makes it easy to integrate connectivity to live JSON services with standard data access components in C++Builder. This article shows how to create a simple visual component library (VCL) application in C++Builder that connects to JSON services, executes queries, and displays the results in a grid. An additional section shows how to use FireDAC components to execute commands from code.

Create a FireDAC Connection to JSON Services

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models JSON APIs as bidirectional database tables and JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your JSON data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling JSON Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

You can then follow the steps below to use the Data Explorer to create a FireDAC connection to JSON.

  1. In a new VCL Forms application, expand the FireDAC node in the Data Explorer.
  2. Right-click the ODBC Data Source node in the Data Explorer.
  3. Click Add New Connection.
  4. Enter a name for the connection.
  5. In the FireDAC Connection Editor that appears, set the DataSource property to the name of the ODBC DSN for JSON.

Create VCL Applications with Connectivity to JSON Services

Follow the procedure below to start querying JSON services from a simple VCL application that displays the results of a query in a grid.

  1. Drop a TFDConnection component onto the form and set the following properties:

    • ConnectionDefName: Select the FireDAC connection to JSON.
    • Connected: Select True from the menu and, in the dialog that appears, enter your credentials.
  2. Drop a TFDQuery component onto the form and set the properties below:

    • Connection: Set this property to the TFDConnection component, if this component is not already specified.
    • SQL: Click the button in the SQL property and enter a query. For example:

      SELECT [people].[personal.age] AS age, [people].[personal.gender] AS gender, [people].[personal.name.first] AS first_name, [people].[personal.name.last] AS last_name, [vehicles].[model], FROM [people] JOIN [vehicles] ON [people].[_id] = [vehicles].[people_id]
    • Active: Set this property to true.
  3. Drop a TDataSource component onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSet: In the menu for this property, select the name of the TFDQuery component.
  4. Drop a TDBGrid control onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSource: Select the name of the TDataSource.
  5. Drop a TFDGUIxWaitCursor onto the form — this is required to avoid a run-time error.

Execute Commands to JSON with FireDAC Components

You can use the TFDConnection and TFQuery components to execute queries to JSON services. This section provides JSON-specific examples of executing queries with the TFQuery component.

Connect to JSON Services

To connect to the data source, set the Connected property of the TFDConnection component to true. You can set the same properties from code:

FDConnection1->ConnectionDefName = "CData JSON ODBC Source"; FDConnection1->Connected = true;

To connect the TFDQuery component to JSON services, set the Connection property of the component. When a TFDQuery component is added at design time, its Connection property is automatically set to point to a TFDConnection on the form, as in the application above.

Create Parameterized Queries

To create a parameterized query, use the following syntax below:

FDQuery1->SQL->Text = "select * from people where [ personal.name.last ] = :[ personal.name.last ]"; FDQuery1->ParamByName("[ personal.name.last ]")->AsString = "Roberts"; query->Open();

The example above binds a string-type input parameter by name and then opens the dataset that results.

Prepare the Statement

Preparing statements is costly in system resources and time. The connection must be active and open while a statement is prepared. By default, FireDAC prepares the query to avoid recompiling the same query over and over. To disable statement preparation, set ResourceOptions.DirectExecute to True; for example, when you need to execute a query only once.

Execute a Query

To execute a query that returns a result set, such as a select query, use the Open method. The Open method executes the query, returns the result set, and opens it. The Open method will return an error if the query does not produce a result set.

FDQuery1->SQL->Text := "select * from people where [ personal.name.last ] = :[ personal.name.last ]"; FDQuery1.ParamByName("[ personal.name.last ]")->AsString = "Roberts"; FDQuery1->Open();

To execute a query that does not return a result set, use the ExecSQL method. The ExecSQL method will return an error if the query returns a result set. To retrieve the count of affected rows use the TFD.RowsAffected property.

FDQ.SQL.Text := "delete from people where Id = :Id"; FDQuery1->Params->Items[0]->AsString = "x12345"; FDQuery1->ExecSQL(); AnsiString i = FDQuery1->RowsAffected;