Build USPS-Connected Dashboards in Redash

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect Cloud to create a virtual MySQL Database for USPS data and build visualizations and dashbaords from USPS data in Redash.

Redash lets you connect and query your data sources, build dashboards to visualize data and share them with your company. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to USPS data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for USPS and build visualizations from USPS data in Redash.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for USPS, allowing you to easily build visualizations from USPS data in Redash. As you build visualizations, Redash generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, CData Connect Cloud 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 Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud 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 build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Visualize USPS Data in Tableau Online

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Redash based on the virtual USPS database in Connect Cloud and building a simple visualization from the data.

Create a New Data Source

  1. Log into Redash, click on your profile and click "Data Sources"
  2. Click the " New Data Source" button
  3. Select "MySQL (Amazon RDS)" as the Data Source Type (CData Connect uses SSL, which the standard MySQL connection in Redash does not support)
  4. On the configuration tab, set the following properties:
    • Name: Name the data source (e.g. USPS (CData Connect))
    • Host: The full URL to your CData Connect instance (e.g. https://myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port: The port of the CData Connect MySQL endpoint (e.g. 3306)
    • User: A CData Connect user
    • Password: The password for the above user
    • Database name: The name of the virtual database for USPS (e.g. USPS1)
    • Click the checkbox to Use SSQL
  5. Click Create
  6. Click the "Test Connection" button to ensure you have configured the connection properly

With the new Data Source created, we are ready to visualize our USPS data.

Create a USPS Data Visualization

  1. Click Create -> New Query
  2. Select the newly created Data Source (you can explore the data structure in the New Query wizard)
  3. Write a SQL statement to retrieve the data, for example:
    SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'
  4. Click the "Execute" button to load USPS data into Redash via CData Connect
  5. Use the Visualization Editor to create and analyze graphs from USPS data
  6. You can schedule the query to refresh and update the visualization periodically

SQL Access to USPS Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to USPS data from Redash. You can create new visualizations, build dashboards, and more. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Redash, refer to our Connect Cloud page.