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Query USPS Data from Node.js

The API Server exposes Web services that allow connectivity to your data. Use the OData endpoint of the CData API Server to execute CRUD queries to USPS data from Node.js.

The CData API Server, when paired with the ADO.NET Provider for USPS, exposes USPS data (or data from any of 160+ other ADO.NET Providers) as an OData endpoint, which can be queried from Node.js using simple HTTP requests. This article shows how to use the API Server to request JSON-formatted USPS data in Node.js.

Set Up the API Server

Follow the steps below to begin producing secure USPS OData services:

Deploy

The API Server runs on your own server. On Windows, you can deploy using the stand-alone server or IIS. On a Java servlet container, drop in the API Server WAR file. See the help documentation for more information and how-tos.

The API Server is also easy to deploy on Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, and Heroku.

Connect to USPS

After you deploy the API Server and the ADO.NET Provider for USPS, provide authentication values and other connection properties needed to connect to USPS by clicking Settings -> Connections and adding a new connection in the API Server administration console.

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.

You can then choose the USPS entities you want to allow the API Server access to by clicking Settings -> Resources.

Authorize API Server Users

After determining the OData services you want to produce, authorize users by clicking Settings -> Users. The API Server uses authtoken-based authentication and supports the major authentication schemes. Access can also be restricted based on IP address; all IP addresses except the local machine are restricted by default. You can authenticate as well as encrypt connections with SSL.

Consume USPS OData Feeds from Node.js

OData feeds are easy to work with in Node.js. You can use the HTTP client in Node.js to request JSON-formatted data from the API Server's OData endpoint. After making the request, you can construct the body of the response and call the JSON.parse() function to parse it into records.

The code below will make an authenticated request for Senders data. The example URL below applies a simple filter that searches for records with a value of 25 in the SenderID column.

var http = require('http'); http.get({ protocol: "http:", hostname: "MyServer.com", port: MyPort, path: "/api.rsc/Senders?$filter=" + encodeURIComponent("SenderID eq '25'"), auth: 'MyUser:MyAuthtoken' }, function(res) { var body = ''; res.on('data', function(chunk) { body += chunk; }); res.on('end', function() { console.log(body); var jsonData = JSON.parse(body); }); }).on('error', function(e) { console.log("Error: ", e); });