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Use the CData JDBC Driver for USPS in MicroStrategy Desktop

Connect to USPS data in MicroStrategy Desktop using the CData JDBC Driver for USPS.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy with the CData JDBC Driver for USPS, you gain database-like access to live USPS data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through adding USPS as a data source in MicroStrategy Desktop and creating a simple visualization of USPS data.

The CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live USPS data in MicroStrategy due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from MicroStrategy to USPS, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to USPS and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can use native MicroStrategy data types to visualize and analyze USPS data.

Connect to and Visualize USPS Data using MicroStrategy Desktop

In addition to connecting to USPS in MicroStrategy enterprise products, you can connect to USPS in MicroStrategy Desktop. Follow the steps below to add USPS data as a dataset using JDBC and create visualizations and reports of USPS data.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Desktop and create a new dossier.
  2. In the datasets panel, click New Data, select Databases, and choose Select a Table as the Import Option.
  3. Add a new data source and choose the DSN-less data sources option.
  4. Choose Generic in the Database menu and Generic DBMS in the Version menu.
  5. Click the link to show the connection string and opt to edit the connection string. In the Driver menu, select MicroStrategy Cassandra ODBC Driver. (MicroStrategy requires a certified driver to interface through JDBC; the actual driver will not be used.)
  6. Set the connection string as follows and click OK:
    • Add the JDBC keyword to the connection string.
    • Set MSTR_JDBC_JAR_FOLDER to the path of the JAR file for the JDBC driver. (C:\Program Files\CData JDBC Driver for USPS\lib\ on Windows.)
    • Set DRIVER to cdata.jdbc.usps.USPSDriver, the driver class.
    • Set URL to the JDBC URL for the USPS driver, setting the necessary 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 connection string follows:

    JDBC;MSTR_JDBC_JAR_FOLDER=PATH\TO\JAR\;DRIVER=cdata.jdbc.usps.USPSDriver;URL={jdbc:usps:PostageProvider=ENDICIA; RequestId=12345; Password='abcdefghijklmnopqr'; AccountNumber='12A3B4C'};
  7. Right-click on the new data source, and choose Edit catalog options.
  8. Edit the SQL Statement to SELECT * FROM SYS_SCHEMAS to read the metadata from the JDBC Driver.
  9. Select the new data source to view the available tables. You may need to manually click the search icon in the Available Tables section to see the tables.
  10. Drag tables into the pane to import them. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  11. Click Finish and choose the option to connect Live. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to the high-performance data processing native to CData JDBC Drivers.
  12. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display, and apply any filters to create a new visualization of USPS data. Data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to USPS, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.
  13. Once you are finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData JDBC Driver for USPS in MicroStrategy Desktop, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on USPS data. Read our other articles for connecting to USPS data in MicroStrategy Developer and connecting to USPS data in MicroStrategy Web for more examples.