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USPS Reporting in OBIEE with the USPS JDBC Driver

Deploy the USPS JDBC driver on OBIEE to provide real-time reporting across the enterprise.

The CData JDBC Driver for USPS is a standard database driver that can integrate real-time access to USPS data into your Java-based reporting server. This article shows how to deploy the driver to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) and create reports on USPS data that reflect any changes.

Deploy the JDBC Driver

Follow the steps below to add the JDBC driver to WebLogic's classpath.

For WebLogic 12.2.1, simply place the driver JAR and .lic file into DOMAIN_HOME\lib; for example, ORACLE_HOME\user_projects\domains\MY_DOMAIN\lib. These files will be added to the server classpath at startup.

You can also manually add the driver to the classpath: This is required for earlier versions. Prepend the following to PRE_CLASSPATH in setDomainEnv.cmd (Windows) or setDomainEnv.sh (Unix). This script is located in the bin subfolder of the folder for that domain. For example: ORACLE_HOME\user_projects\domains\MY_DOMAIN\bin.

set PRE_CLASSPATH=your-installation-directory\lib\cdata.jdbc.usps.jar;%PRE_CLASSPATH%

Restart all servers; for example, run the stop and start commands in DOMAIN_HOME\bitools\bin.

Create a JDBC Data Source for USPS

After deploying the JDBC driver, you can create a JDBC data source from BI Publisher.

  1. Log into BI Publisher, at the URL http://localhost:9502/analytics, for example, and click Administration -> Manage BI Publisher.
  2. Click JDBC Connection -> Add Data Source.
  3. Enter the following information:
    • Data Source Name: Enter the name that users will create connections to in their reports.
    • Driver Type: Select Other.
    • Database DriverClass: Enter the driver class, cdata.jdbc.usps.USPSDriver.
    • Connection String: Enter the JDBC URL.

      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'
    • Username: Enter the username.
    • Password: Enter the password.
  4. In the Security section, select the allowed user roles.

Create Real-Time USPS Reports

You can now create reports and analyses based on real-time USPS data. Follow the steps below to use the standard report wizard to create an interactive report that reflects any changes to USPS data.

  1. On the global header, click New -> Data Model.
  2. On the Diagram tab, select SQL query in the menu.
  3. Enter a name for the query and in the Data Source menu select the USPS JDBC data source you created.
  4. Select standard SQL and enter a query like the following: SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'
  5. Click View Data to generate the sample data to be used as you build your report.
  6. Select the number of rows to include in the sample data, click View, and then click Save As Sample Data.
  7. Click Create Report -> Use Data Model.
  8. Select Guide Me and on the Select Layout page select the report objects you want to include. In this example we select Chart and Table.
  9. Drop a numeric column like Phone onto the Drop Value Here box on the y-axis. Drop a dimension column like FirstName onto the Drop Label Here box on the x-axis.
  10. Click Refresh to pick up any changes to the USPS data.