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Design BIRT Reports on USPS Data

Provide current USPS data to your embedded analytics.

The CData JDBC Driver for USPS integrates connectivity to USPS APIs into your data-driven Java applications. You can use the CData JDBC Driver for USPS with the BIRT (Business Intelligence Reporting Tools) platform to create BIRT reports that reflect changes to your data in real time.

  1. If you have not already done so, install the BIRT Framework plugin and the Database Development plugin for Eclipse.
  2. Click File -> New -> Report. The Report Design perspective is opened.
  3. In the Data Explorer, right-click Data Sources and click New Data Source.
  4. Select the Create from a Data Source Type in the Following List option and select JDBC Data Source.
  5. Click Manage Drivers and add the driver JAR, located in the lib subfolder of the installation folder.
  6. In the Database URL box, enter the JDBC URL containing the connection string.

    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.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the USPS JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.usps.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    When you configure the JDBC URL, 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.

    A typical JDBC URL is below:

    jdbc:usps:PostageProvider=ENDICIA; RequestId=12345; Password='abcdefghijklmnopqr'; AccountNumber='12A3B4C'
  7. Right-click the Data Sets folder and select the JDBC data source for USPS.
  8. In the resulting dialog, build the SELECT query to be used to retrieve the data for the report. This article uses the following query: SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'
  9. In the Palette, drag a Chart onto the editor. The chart wizard is displayed.
  10. After selecting the chart type, drag columns onto the chart fields on the Select Data tab.
  11. Click Run -> View Report -> In Web Viewer to view the report.

Your BIRT reports can now pick up any updates to USPS data.

To publish the report to your application server, add the driver JAR to the BIRT Viewer's classpath. For more information, see the CData KB for guides to deploying the JDBC Driver on Java application servers.