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Consume USPS OData Feeds in SAP Lumira

Use the API Server to create data visualizations on USPS feeds that reflect any changes in SAP Lumira.

You can use the CData API Server and the ADO.NET Provider for USPS (or any of 160+ other ADO.NET Providers) to create data visualizations based on USPS data in SAP Lumira. The connector enables connectivity to live data: dashboards and reports can be refreshed on demand. This article shows how to create a chart that is always up to date.

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 -> Connection 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.

When you configure the connection, 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.

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; by default, only connections to the local machine are allowed. You can authenticate as well as encrypt connections with SSL.

Connect to USPS from SAP Lumira

Follow the steps below to retrieve USPS data into SAP Lumira. You can execute an SQL query or use the UI.

  1. In SAP Lumira, click File -> New -> Query with SQL. The Add New Dataset dialog is displayed.
  2. Expand the Generic section and click the Generic OData 2.0 Connector option.
  3. In the Service Root URI box, enter the OData endpoint of the API Server. This URL will resemble the following: https://your-server:8032/api.rsc
  4. In the User Name and Password boxes, enter the username and authtoken of an API user. These credentials will be used in HTTP Basic authentication.
  5. Select entities in the tree or enter an SQL query. This article imports USPS Senders entities.

  6. When you click Connect, SAP Lumira will generate the corresponding OData request and load the results into memory. You can then use any of the data processing tools available in SAP Lumira, such as filters, aggregates, and summary functions.

Create Data Visualizations

After you have imported the data, you can create data visualizations in the Visualize room. Follow the steps below to create a basic chart.

  1. In the Measures and Dimensions pane, drag measures and dimensions onto the x-axis and y-axis fields in the Visualization Tools pane. SAP Lumira automatically detects dimensions and measures from the metadata service of the API Server.

    By default, the SUM function is applied to all measures. Click the gear icon next to a measure to change the default summary.

  2. In the Visualization Tools pane, select the chart type.
  3. In the Chart Canvas pane, apply filters, sort by measures, add rankings, and update the chart with the current USPS data.