Connect to USPS Data as a Federated Tables in MySQL

Use the SQL Gateway and the ODBC Driver to set up federated tables for USPS data in MySQL .

You can use the SQL Gateway to configure a MySQL remoting service and set up federated tables for USPS data. The service is a daemon process that provides a MySQL interface to the CData ODBC Driver for USPS: After you have started the service, you can create a server and tables using the FEDERATED Storage Engine in MySQL. You can then work with USPS data just as you would local MySQL tables.

Connect to USPS Data

If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can use the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to configure the DSN. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

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.

Configure the SQL Gateway

See the SQL Gateway Overview to set up connectivity to USPS data as a virtual MySQL database. You will configure a MySQL remoting service that listens for MySQL requests from clients. The service can be configured in the SQL Gateway UI.

Create a FEDERATED Server and Tables for USPS Data

After you have configured and started the service, create a FEDERATED server to simplify the process of creating FEDERATED tables:

Create a FEDERATED Server

The following statement will create a FEDERATED server based on the ODBC Driver for USPS. Note that the username and password of the FEDERATED server must match a user account you defined on the Users tab of the SQL Gateway.

CREATE SERVER fedUSPS
FOREIGN DATA WRAPPER mysql
OPTIONS (USER 'sql_gateway_user', PASSWORD 'sql_gateway_passwd', HOST 'sql_gateway_host', PORT ####, DATABASE 'CData USPS Sys');

Create a FEDERATED Table

To create a FEDERATED table using our newly created server, use the CONNECTION keyword and pass the name of the FEDERATED server and the remote table (Senders). Refer to the following template for the statement to create a FEDERATED table:

CREATE TABLE fed_senders (
  ...,
  firstname  TYPE(LEN),
  phone  TYPE(LEN),
  ...,
)
ENGINE=FEDERATED
DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1
CONNECTION='fedUSPS/senders';

NOTE: The table schema for the FEDERATED table must match the remote table schema exactly. You can always connect directly to the MySQL remoting service using any MySQL client and run a SHOW CREATE TABLE query to get the table schema.

Execute Queries

You can now execute queries to the USPS FEDERATED tables from any tool that can connect to MySQL, which is particularly useful if you need to JOIN data from a local table with data from USPS. Refer to the following example:

SELECT 
  fed_senders.firstname, 
  local_table.custom_field 
FROM 
  local_table 
JOIN 
  fed_senders 
ON 
  local_table.foreign_firstname = fed_senders.firstname;