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Use the CData JDBC Driver for USPS in MicroStrategy Web

Connect to USPS data in MicroStrategy Web 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 an external data source in MicroStrategy Web 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 visualize and analyze USPS data using native MicroStrategy data types.

Connect to and Visualize USPS Data using MicroStrategy Web

You can connect to USPS in MicroStrategy Web by adding a data source based on the CData JDBC Driver for USPS.* Before you begin, you will need install the JDBC Driver for USPS on the machine hosting the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server that your instance of MicroStrategy Web is connected to. Once you have created a data source you can build dynamic visualizations of USPS data in MicroStrategy Web.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Web and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and use Select Tables as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new Data Source.
  4. Select Generic in the Database menu and select 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 to the following: JDBC;MSTR_JDBC_JAR_FOLDER=PATH\TO\JAR\;DRIVER=cdata.jdbc.usps.USPSDriver;URL={jdbc:usps:PostageProvider=ENDICIA; RequestId=12345; Password='abcdefghijklmnopqr'; AccountNumber='12A3B4C'};

    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.

  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 to customize our datasets.
  11. Click Finish, choose to the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to 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 have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

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


Note: Connecting using a JDBC Driver requires a 3- or 4-Tier Architecture.