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Access USPS Data in PHP through the Cloud Hub

Connect to USPS through the standard MySQL libraries in PHP.

You can use the CData Cloud Hub to access USPS data from MySQL clients, without needing to perform an ETL or cache data. Follow the steps below to create a virtual MySQL database for USPS and connect to USPS data in real time through PHP's standard MySQL interfaces, mysqli and PDO_MySQL.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for USPS, allowing you to easily query live USPS data in PHP — without replicating the data to a natively supported database. As you query data in PHP, the CData Cloud Hub pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to USPS, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return USPS data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for USPS Data

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "USPS" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to USPS.

    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.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to connect to USPS data from any MySQL client.

Connect in PHP

The following examples show how to use object-oriented interfaces to connect and execute queries. Initialize the connection object with the following parameters to connect to the virtual MySQL database:

  • Host: Specify the remote host location where the service is running. In this case "myinstance.cdatacloud.net" is used for the remote host setting since the service is running on the local machine.
  • Username: Specify the username for a user you authorized in the Cloud Hub.
  • Password: Specify the password for the authorized user account.
  • Database Name: Specify the name of the virtual database you created for USPS.
  • Port: Specify the port the service is running on, port 3306 in this example.

mysqli

<?php
$mysqli = mysqli_init();

$mysqli->ssl_set("C:/certs/cloudclient.key",
                 "C:/certs/cloudclient.pem",
                 "C:/certs/myCA.pem",
                 NULL,NULL);

$mysqli->real_connect("mysintance.cdatacloud.net", "admin", "mypassword", "uspsdb",3306,NULL,MYSQLI_CLIENT_SSL_DONT_VERIFY_SERVER_CERT);
?>

PDO

<?php
$pdo = new PDO('mysql:host=myinstance.cdatacloud.net;dbname=uspsdb;port=3306;','admin', 'mypassword', array(
    PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_KEY                => 'C:/certs/cloudclient.key',
    PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CERT               => 'C:/certs/cloudclient.pem',
    PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA                 => 'C:/certs/myCA.pem',
    PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_VERIFY_SERVER_CERT => false
    )
);
?>

Query in PHP

With the connection established, you can then access tables. The following steps walk through the example:

  1. Query the table; for example, Senders. The results will be stored as an associative array in the $result object.
  2. Iterate over each row and column, printing the values to display in the PHP page.
  3. Close the connection.

mysqli

$result = $mysqli->query("SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'");
while($row = $result->fetch_assoc()) {
  foreach ($row as $k=>$v) {
    echo "$k : $v";
    echo "<br />"; 
  }
}
$mysqli->close();

PDO

$result = $pdo->query("SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'");
while($row = $result->fetch(PDO::FETCH_ASSOC)) {
  foreach ($row as $k=>$v) {
    echo "$k : $v";
    echo "<br />"; 
  }
}
$result = null;
$pdo = null;