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Build MVC Applications with Connectivity to UPS Data

This article shows how to use only the Entity Framework and the CData ADO.NET provider to access UPS from an ASP.NET MVC application.

This article shows how to use wizards in Visual Studio to drop the CData ADO.NET Provider for UPS into a simple MVC (model, view, controller) project.

Create the Entity Framework Model

Follow the steps below to save connection properties and map tables to entities in the data model.

  1. Create a new MVC project in Visual Studio. In this example, the project name is MvcUPSApp.
  2. If you are using Entity Framework 6, you will need to take the preliminary step of registering the UPS Entity Framework provider for your project. See the "LINQ and Entity Framework" chapter in the help documentation for a guide.

    Note that MVC 3 scaffolding and MVC 4 scaffolding do not support Entity Framework 6. You can use your scaffolding with Entity Framework 6 by upgrading to the latest version of MVC.

  3. To add the .edmx file from the designer, right-click your Models folder and click Add New Item. Select ADO.NET Entity Data Model, name the model, and click Add. In this example, the name of the model is UPSModel.
  4. In the Entity Data Model wizard, select the option 'EF Designer from database'. The Entity Data Model wizard is displayed.
  5. Click New Connection. Select CData UPS Data Source in the dialog that is displayed.
  6. Specify the required connection string properties.

    The driver uses five pieces of information in order to authenticate its actions with the UPS service.

    • Server: This controls the URL where the requests should be sent. Common testing options for this are: https://wwwcie.ups.com/ups.app/xml and https://wwwcie.ups.com/webservices
    • AccessKey: This is an identifier that is required to connect to a UPS Server. This value will be provided to you by UPS after registration.
    • UserId: This value is used for logging into UPS. This value is the one you chose to login with when registering for service with UPS.
    • Password: This value is used for logging into UPS. This value is the one you chose to login with when registering for service with UPS.
    • AccountNumber: This is a valid 6-digit or 10-digit UPS account number.
    • 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.

    A typical connection string is below:

    Server=https://wwwcie.ups.com/ups.app/xml;AccessKey=myAccessKey;Password=myPassword;AccountNumber=myAccountNumber;UserId=myUserIdInitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH
  7. Name the connection and select whether to include sensitive information, such as connection credentials, in the connection string. For simplicity, this example saves sensitive information in Web.config. The connection settings are saved as UPSEntities.

  8. Select the tables and views you need. In this example, Senders is imported. Also, the option to pluralize object names is deselected in this example. Click Finish to create the .edmx file.
  9. Build your project to complete this step.

Scaffold the Controller and Views

After creating the model and building the project, you can use ASP.NET Scaffolding wizards to create the controller and the views.

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the controllers folder and click Add -> Controller. Select MVC 5 Controller with views, using Entity Framework.
  2. In the Add Controller dialog that is then displayed, select the following options:

    • Model class: Select a table you imported; for example, Senders.
    • Data context class: Select your context class.
  3. Leave the default values for the other fields.

You can now access the list of Senders records at http://MySite/Senders. Next to each record are links to edit, delete, and see more information. You can also create new Senders records. With every state change the site picks up any data changes.