Ready to get started?

Learn more about the CData ODBC Driver for USPS or download a free trial:

Download Now

DataBind Controls to USPS Data in C++Builder

DataBind to USPS data in C++Builder with standard components and controls.

The CData ODBC Driver for USPS makes it easy to integrate connectivity to live USPS data with standard data access components in C++Builder. This article shows how to create a simple visual component library (VCL) application in C++Builder that connects to USPS data, executes queries, and displays the results in a grid. An additional section shows how to use FireDAC components to execute commands from code.

Create a FireDAC Connection to USPS Data

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

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 follow the steps below to use the Data Explorer to create a FireDAC connection to USPS.

  1. In a new VCL Forms application, expand the FireDAC node in the Data Explorer.
  2. Right-click the ODBC Data Source node in the Data Explorer.
  3. Click Add New Connection.
  4. Enter a name for the connection.
  5. In the FireDAC Connection Editor that appears, set the DataSource property to the name of the ODBC DSN for USPS.

Create VCL Applications with Connectivity to USPS Data

Follow the procedure below to start querying USPS data from a simple VCL application that displays the results of a query in a grid.

  1. Drop a TFDConnection component onto the form and set the following properties:

    • ConnectionDefName: Select the FireDAC connection to USPS.
    • Connected: Select True from the menu and, in the dialog that appears, enter your credentials.
  2. Drop a TFDQuery component onto the form and set the properties below:

    • Connection: Set this property to the TFDConnection component, if this component is not already specified.
    • SQL: Click the button in the SQL property and enter a query. For example:

      SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'
    • Active: Set this property to true.
  3. Drop a TDataSource component onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSet: In the menu for this property, select the name of the TFDQuery component.
  4. Drop a TDBGrid control onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSource: Select the name of the TDataSource.
  5. Drop a TFDGUIxWaitCursor onto the form — this is required to avoid a run-time error.

Execute Commands to USPS with FireDAC Components

You can use the TFDConnection and TFQuery components to execute queries to USPS data. This section provides USPS-specific examples of executing queries with the TFQuery component.

Connect to USPS Data

To connect to the data source, set the Connected property of the TFDConnection component to true. You can set the same properties from code:

FDConnection1->ConnectionDefName = "CData USPS ODBC Source"; FDConnection1->Connected = true;

To connect the TFDQuery component to USPS data, set the Connection property of the component. When a TFDQuery component is added at design time, its Connection property is automatically set to point to a TFDConnection on the form, as in the application above.

Create Parameterized Queries

To create a parameterized query, use the following syntax below:

FDQuery1->SQL->Text = "select * from Senders where senderid = :SenderID"; FDQuery1->ParamByName("senderid")->AsString = "25"; query->Open();

The example above binds a string-type input parameter by name and then opens the dataset that results.

Prepare the Statement

Preparing statements is costly in system resources and time. The connection must be active and open while a statement is prepared. By default, FireDAC prepares the query to avoid recompiling the same query over and over. To disable statement preparation, set ResourceOptions.DirectExecute to True; for example, when you need to execute a query only once.

Execute a Query

To execute a query that returns a result set, such as a select query, use the Open method. The Open method executes the query, returns the result set, and opens it. The Open method will return an error if the query does not produce a result set.

FDQuery1->SQL->Text := "select * from Senders where senderid = :SenderID"; FDQuery1.ParamByName("senderid")->AsString = "25"; FDQuery1->Open();

To execute a query that does not return a result set, use the ExecSQL method. The ExecSQL method will return an error if the query returns a result set. To retrieve the count of affected rows use the TFD.RowsAffected property.

FDQ.SQL.Text := "delete from Senders where Id = :Id"; FDQuery1->Params->Items[0]->AsString = "x12345"; FDQuery1->ExecSQL(); AnsiString i = FDQuery1->RowsAffected;