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Integrate Real-Time Access to USPS in SAPUI5 MVC Apps

Use the built-in ODataModel class in SAPUI5 to create Web apps that reflect changes to USPS data in real time.

In this article we show how to use the CData API Server and with the ADO.NET Provider for USPS (or any of 160+ other ADO.NET Providers) to write SAPUI5 apps that leverage the capabilities of the USPS API, without writing to a back-end database. The API Server is a lightweight Web application that runs on your server and produces OData feeds of USPS data. OData is the standard for real-time data access over the Web and has built-in support in SAPUI5 and OpenUI5.

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. This article uses Senders as an example.

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. You can authenticate as well as encrypt connections with SSL. Access can also be restricted by IP address; Access is restricted to only the local machine by default.

Create the View

In this article the user views and interacts with USPS data through an SAPUI5 table control. Table columns will be automatically detected from the metadata retrieved from the API Server's API endpoint. We define the following table in a separate View.view.xml file:


<mvc:View
  controllerName="sap.ui.table.sample.OData2.Controller"
  xmlns="sap.ui.table"
  xmlns:mvc="sap.ui.core.mvc"
  xmlns:u="sap.ui.unified"
  xmlns:c="sap.ui.core"
  xmlns:m="sap.m">
  <m:Page
    showHeader="false"
    enableScrolling="false"
    class="sapUiContentPadding">
    <m:content>
      <Table
        id="table"
        selectionMode="MultiToggle"
        visibleRowCount="10"
        enableSelectAll="false"
        rows="{/Senders}"
        threshold="15"
        enableBusyIndicator="true"
        columns="{
          path: 'meta>/dataServices/schema/[${namespace}===\'CData\']/entityType/[${name}===\'Senders\']/property',
          factory: '.columnFactory'
        }">
        <toolbar>
          <m:Toolbar>
            <m:Title text="USPS Senders"></m:Title>
          </m:Toolbar>
        </toolbar>
        <noData>
          <m:BusyIndicator class="sapUiMediumMargin"/>
        </noData>
      </Table>
    </m:content>
  </m:Page>
</mvc:View>

Create the Model and Controller

In SAPUI5, you do not need to write any OData queries; an ODataModel instance handles the application's data access commands. The API Server then translates the queries into USPS API calls.

The controller processes user input and represents information to the user through a view. Define the controller in a new file, Controller.controller.js. Instantiate the model in the onInit function -- you will need to replace the placeholder values for the URL to the API Server, a user allowed to access the OData endpoint of the API Server, and the authtoken for the user.

sap.ui.define([
  "sap/ui/core/mvc/Controller",
  "sap/ui/model/odata/v2/ODataModel",
  "sap/ui/model/json/JSONModel",
  "sap/ui/table/Column",
  "sap/m/Text",
], function(Controller, ODataModel, JSONModel, Column, Text ) {
  "use strict";
  

  return Controller.extend("sap.ui.table.sample.OData2.Controller", {
    
    onInit : function () {
      
      var oView = this.getView();
      var oDataModel = new ODataModel("http://myserver/api.rsc/",{user: "MyUser", password: "MyAuthToken"});
      
      oDataModel.getMetaModel().loaded().then(function(){
        oView.setModel(oDataModel.getMetaModel(), "meta");
      });
      oView.setModel(oDataModel);
      
      var oTable = oView.byId("table");
      var oBinding = oTable.getBinding("rows");
      var oBusyIndicator = oTable.getNoData();
      oBinding.attachDataRequested(function(){
      oTable.setNoData(oBusyIndicator);
      });
      oBinding.attachDataReceived(function(){
        oTable.setNoData(null); //use default again ("no data" in case no data is available)
      });
    },
    
    onExit : function () {
    },
    
    columnFactory : function(sId, oContext) {
      var oModel = this.getView().getModel();
      var sName = oContext.getProperty("name");
      var sType = oContext.getProperty("type");
      var iLen = oContext.getProperty("maxLength");
      iLen = iLen ? parseInt(iLen, 10) : 10;
      
      return new Column(sId, {
        sortProperty: sName, 
        filterProperty: sName,
        width: (iLen > 9 ? (iLen > 50 ? 15 : 10) : 5) + "rem",
        label: new sap.m.Label({text: "{/#Senders/" + sName + "/@name}"}),
        hAlign: sType && sType.indexOf("Decimal") >= 0 ? "End" : "Begin",
        template: new Text({text: {path: sName}})
      });
    }
    
  });

});

Describe Application Logic

Create a component that contains the resources of your application. Define the following in Component.js:


sap.ui.define([
  'sap/ui/core/UIComponent'
], function(UIComponent) {
  "use strict";

  return UIComponent.extend("sap.ui.table.sample.OData2.Component", {
    metadata : {
      rootView : "sap.ui.table.sample.OData2.View",
      dependencies : {
        libs : [
          "sap.ui.table",
          "sap.ui.unified",
          "sap.m"
        ]
      },

      config : {
        sample : {
          stretch : true,
          files : [
            "View.view.xml",
            "Controller.controller.js"
          ]
        }
      }
    }
  });

});

Bootstrap OpenUI5 and Launch

To complete the MVC application, simply add the bootstrap and initialization code. Add these directly to index.html:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>

<html>
<head>
  <meta http-equiv="x-ua-compatible" content="ie=edge" />
  <meta charset="utf-8"> 
  <title>USPS Senders</title>
  
  <script id="sap-ui-bootstrap"
    src="https://openui5.hana.ondemand.com/resources/sap-ui-core.js"
    data-sap-ui-libs="sap.m"
    data-sap-ui-theme="sap_bluecrystal"
    data-sap-ui-xx-bindingSyntax="complex"
    data-sap-ui-preload="async"
    data-sap-ui-compatVersion="edge" 
    data-sap-ui-resourceroots='{"sap.ui.table.sample.OData2": "./", "sap.ui.demo.mock": "mockdata"}'>
  </script>
  
  <!-- application launch configuration -->
  <script>
  
      sap.ui.getCore().attachInit(function() {
        new sap.m.App ({
          pages: [
                new sap.m.Page({
                    title: "USPS Senders", 
                    enableScrolling : false,
                  content: [ new sap.ui.core.ComponentContainer({
                  height : "100%", name : "sap.ui.table.sample.OData2"
                })]
            })
          ]
      }).placeAt("content");
    });

  </script>
</head> 
  <!-- UI Content -->
<body class="sapUiBody" id="content" role="application">
</body> 
</html>

The resulting SAPUI5 table control reflects any changes to a table in the remote USPS data. You can now browse and search current USPS data.