Ready to get started?

Learn more about the CData ADO.NET Provider for USPS or download a free trial:

Download Now

Provide OData Services of USPS Data from a WCF Application

This article shows how to publish an OData feed of USPS data by creating a WCF Service Application.

The CData ADO.NET Provider for USPS enables you to use the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) framework to rapidly develop service-oriented applications that provide USPS data to OData consumers. This article shows how to create an entity data model to provide the underlying connectivity to the USPS data, as well as how to create a WCF Data Service to expose the OData service. You can then consume the feed with any OData client, for example, Power Pivot or an application that uses the CData ADO.NET Provider for OData.

Create the OData Service

Follow the steps below to create a WCF service application that will provide connectivity to USPS data via OData.

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a new project. Select the WCF Service Application template.
  2. Delete the autogenerated IService.cs and Service1.svc.
  3. Click Project -> Add New Item -> ADO.NET Entity Data Model.
  4. In the Entity Data Model wizard that is displayed, select the 'EF Designer from Database' option.
  5. In the resulting Choose Your Connection dialog, click New Connection.
  6. In the Connection properties dialog, select the CData USPS Data Source and enter the necessary credentials.

    A typical connection string is below:

    PostageProvider=ENDICIA; RequestId=12345; Password='abcdefghijklmnopqr'; AccountNumber='12A3B4C'

    To authenticate with USPS, set the following connection properties.

    • PostageProvider: The postage provider to use to process requests. Available options are ENDICIA and STAMPS. If unspecified, this property will default to ENDICIA.
    • UseSandbox: This controls whether live or test requests are sent to the production or sandbox servers. If set to true, the Password, AccountNumber, and StampsUserId properties are ignored.
    • StampsUserId: This value is used for logging into authentication to the Stamps servers. This value is not applicable for Endicia and is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • Password: This value is used for logging into Endicia and Stamps servers. If the postage provider is Endicia, this will be the pass phrase associated with your postage account. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • AccountNumber: The shipper's account number. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • PrintLabelLocation: This property is required 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 task available from USPS require a lot of data. To ensure this data is easy to input and recall later, utilize a cache database to make requests. Set the cache connection properties in order to use the cache:

    • CacheLocation: The path to the cache location, for which a connection will be configured with the default cache provider. For example, C:\users\username\documents\uspscache

    As an alternative to CacheLocation, set the combination of CacheConnection and CacheProvider to configure a cache connection using a provider separate from the default.

  7. Select USPS tables and views that you want OData clients to access.
  8. Click Project -> Add New Item -> WCF Data Service.
  9. Specify the data source class and configure access to the new WCF Data Service. In the example below, the Access Rule for the entities is set to All. This means that any user will be able to read and modify data.

    using System; using System.Collections.Generic; using System.Data.Services; using System.Data.Services.Common; using System.Linq; using System.ServiceModel.Web; using System.Web; namespace USPSService{ public class USPSDataService : DataService<USPSEntities> { public static void InitializeService(DataServiceConfiguration config) { config.SetEntitySetAccessRule("*", EntitySetRights.All); config.DataServiceBehavior.MaxProtocolVersion = DataServiceProtocolVersion.V3; } } }
  10. Run the project. Applications that support OData can now access the Salesforce data and reflect any changes. You can access the feed in your browser. The feed will resemble the following:

Consume the OData Service from Power Pivot

You can now use the service from any OData client; for example, Excel Power Pivot.

  1. Open Excel and click on the Power Pivot Window button.
  2. A new pop-up will appear. Select the option From Data Feeds.
  3. In the resulting Table Import Wizard, enter the OData URL. For example, http://localhost:12449/USPSDataService.svc/.
  4. After connecting to the OData service, click the Next button at the bottom of the window.
  5. A table listing of the available tables will appear in the next window of the wizard. Select which tables you want to import and click Finish.
  6. Click Close to import the data in Power Pivot.