Access USPS Data in Anypoint Using SQL

Create a simple Mule Application that uses HTTP and SQL with the CData Mule Connector for USPS to create a JSON endpoint for USPS data.

The CData Mule Connector for USPS connects USPS data to Mule applications enabling read, write, update, and delete functionality with familiar SQL queries. The Connector allows users to easily create Mule Applications to backup, transform, report, and analyze USPS data.

This article demonstrates how to use the CData Mule Connector for USPS inside of a Mule project to create a Web interface for USPS data. The application created allows you to request USPS data using an HTTP request and have the results returned as JSON. The exact same procedure outlined below can be used with any CData Mule Connector to create a Web interface for the 160+ available data sources.

  1. Create a new Mule Project in Anypoint Studio.
  2. Add an HTTP Connector to the Message Flow.
  3. Configure the address for the HTTP Connector.
  4. Add a CData USPS Connector to the same flow, after the HTTP Connector.
  5. Create a new Connection (or edit an existing one) and configure the properties to connect to USPS (see below). Once the connection is configured, click Test Connection to ensure the connectivity to USPS.

    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.

  6. Configure the CData USPS Connector.
    1. Set the Operation to 'Select with Streaming'.
    2. Set the Query type to Dynamic.
    3. Set the SQL query to SELECT * FROM #[message.inboundProperties.'http.query.params'.get('table')] to parse the URL parameter table and use it as the target of the SELECT query. You can customize the query further by referencing other potential URL parameters.
  7. Add a Transform Message Component to the flow.
    1. Map the Payload from the input to the Map in the output.
    2. Set the Output script to the following to convert the payload to JSON:
      %dw 1.0
      %output application/json
      ---
      payload
              
  8. To view your USPS data, navigate to the address you configured for the HTTP Connector (localhost:8081 by default) and pass a table name as the table URL parameter: http://localhost:8081?table=Senders
    The Senders data is available as JSON in your Web browser and any other tools capable of consuming JSON endpoints.

At this point, you have a simple Web interface for working with USPS data (as JSON data) in custom apps and a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools. Download a free, 30 day trial of the Mule Connector for USPS and see the CData difference in your Mule Applications today.