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Enable the USPS JDBC Driver in KNIME

Use standard data access components in KNIME to create charts and reports with USPS data.

One of the strengths of the CData JDBC Driver for USPS is its cross-platform support, enabling integration with major BI tools. Follow the procedure below to access USPS data in KNIME and to create a chart from USPS data using the report designer.

Define a New JDBC Connection to USPS Data

  1. Install the Report Designer extension: Click File -> Install KNIME Extensions, and filter on "Report".
  2. In a new workflow, click File -> Preferences and expand the KNIME -> Databases node to add cdata.jdbc.usps.jar. The driver JAR is located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory.
  3. In the Node Repository view, expand the Database -> Read/Write node and drag a Database Reader onto the workflow editor.
  4. Double-click the Database Reader and set the following properties:

    • Database Driver: In the menu, select the driver name, cdata.jdbc.usps.USPSDriver
    • Database URL: Enter the connection properties. The JDBC URL begins with jdbc:usps: and is followed by a semicolon-separated list of connection properties.

      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'
    • User Name: The username used to authenticate.
    • Password: The password used to authenticate.
    • SQL Statement: Enter an SQL query in the SQL Statement box or double-click a table. This article uses the query below to create a chart: SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'
  5. Test the connection by clicking Fetch Metadata.

  6. Connect the Database Reader to a Data to Report node to supply the dataset to a range of data visualization controls. Click Execute and then click Edit Report at the top of the workflow to open the report designer perspective.
  7. You can now generate reports based on live data. To create a chart, drag the chart control from the palette to the report designer. In the resulting wizard, you can use the filtering and aggregation controls available in KNIME.

Troubleshooting

The following list shows how to resolve common errors:

  • Encountered duplicate row Id "Row1": To resolve this error, add the following to the knime.ini file located in your KNIME installation directory:-Dknime.database.fetchsize=0