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A PostgreSQL Interface for USPS Data

Use the Remoting features of the USPS JDBC Driver to create a PostgreSQL entry-point for data access.

There are a vast number of PostgreSQL clients available on the Internet. From standard Drivers to BI and Analytics tools, PostgreSQL is a popular interface for data access. Using our JDBC Drivers, you can now create PostgreSQL entry-points that you can connect to from any standard client.

To access USPS data as a PostgreSQL database, use the CData JDBC Driver for USPS and a JDBC foreign data wrapper (FDW). In this article, we compile the FDW, install it, and query USPS data from PostgreSQL Server.

Connect to USPS Data as a JDBC Data Source

To connect to USPS as a JDBC data source, you will need the following:

  • Driver JAR path: The JAR is located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory.
  • Driver class: cdata.jdbc.usps.USPSDriver

  • JDBC URL: The URL must start with "jdbc:usps:" and can include any of the connection properties in name-value pairs separated with semicolons.

    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.

    A typical JDBC URL is below:

    jdbc:usps:PostageProvider=ENDICIA; RequestId=12345; Password='abcdefghijklmnopqr'; AccountNumber='12A3B4C'

Build the JDBC Foreign Data Wrapper

The Foreign Data Wrapper can be installed as an extension to PostgreSQL, without recompiling PostgreSQL. The jdbc2_fdw extension is used as an example.

  1. Add a symlink from the shared object for your version of the JRE to /usr/lib/libjvm.so. For example: ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/amd64/server/libjvm.so /usr/lib/libjvm.so
  2. Start the build: make install USE_PGXS=1

Query USPS Data as a PostgreSQL Database

After you have installed the extension, follow the steps below to start executing queries to USPS data:

  1. Log into your database.
  2. Load the extension for the database: CREATE EXTENSION jdbc2_fdw;
  3. Create a server object for USPS: CREATE SERVER USPS FOREIGN DATA WRAPPER jdbc2_fdw OPTIONS ( drivername 'cdata.jdbc.usps.USPSDriver', url 'jdbc:usps:PostageProvider=ENDICIA; RequestId=12345; Password='abcdefghijklmnopqr'; AccountNumber='12A3B4C'', querytimeout '15', jarfile '/home/MyUser/CData/CData\ JDBC\ Driver\ for\ Salesforce MyDriverEdition/lib/cdata.jdbc.usps.jar');
  4. Create a user mapping for the username and password of a user known to the MySQL daemon. CREATE USER MAPPING for postgres SERVER USPS OPTIONS ( username 'admin', password 'test');
  5. Create a foreign table in your local database: postgres=# CREATE FOREIGN TABLE senders ( senders_id text, senders_FirstName text, senders_Phone numeric) SERVER USPS OPTIONS ( table_name 'senders');
You can now execute read/write commands to USPS: postgres=# SELECT * FROM senders;