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Visualize USPS Data in TIBCO Spotfire through ADO.NET

Integrate USPS data into dashboards in TIBCO Spotfire.

This article walks you through using the CData ADO.NET Provider for USPS in TIBCO Spotfire. You will establish a connection and create a simple dashboard.

  1. Add the CData ADO.NET data source by clicking Add Data Tables.
  2. Click Add -> Database.
  3. Select the provider and click Configure.
  4. Define the connection settings. Below is a typical connection string:

    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.

    When you configure the connection, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  5. Select the tables that you want to add to the dashboard. This example uses Senders. You can also specify an SQL query. The driver supports the standard SQL syntax.
  6. If you want to work with the live data, click the Keep Data Table External option. This option enables your dashboards to reflect changes to the data in real time.

    If you want to load the data into memory and process the data locally, click the Import Data Table option. This option is better for offline use or if a slow network connection is making your dashboard less interactive.

  7. After adding tables, the Recommended Visualizations wizard is displayed. When you select a table, Spotfire uses the column data types to detect number, time, and category columns. This example uses Phone in the Numbers section and FirstName in the Categories section.

After adding several visualizations in the Recommended Visualizations wizard, you can make other modifications to the dashboard. For example, you can apply a filter: After clicking the Filter button, the available filters for each query are displayed in the Filters pane.