Connect to and Query USPS Data in QlikView over ODBC

Create data visualizations with USPS data in QlikView.

The CData ODBC drivers expand your ability to work with data from more than 160 data sources. QlikView is a business discovery platform that provides self-service BI for all business users in an organization. This article outlines simple steps to connect to USPS data using the CData ODBC driver and create data visualizations in QlikView.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live USPS data in QlikView due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from QlikView to USPS, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to USPS and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze USPS data using native QlikView data types.

Connect to USPS as an ODBC Data Source

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.

When you configure the DSN, 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.

Populate a Chart with USPS Data

The steps below supply the results of an SQL query to a visualization in QlikView. In this article, you will create a bar chart with the query below:

SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'
  1. Click File -> Edit Script (or click the Edit Script button in the Toolbar).
  2. On the Data tab, select ODBC in the Database menu and click Connect.
  3. Select the DSN (CData USPS Sys) in the resulting dialog. A command like the following is generated: ODBC CONNECT TO [CData USPS Sys];
  4. Enter the SQL query directly into the script with the SQL command (or click Select to build the query in the SELECT statement wizard). SQL SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25';

    Where possible, the SQL operations in the query, like filters and aggregations, will be pushed down to USPS, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.

  5. Close the script editor and reload the document to execute the script.
  6. Click Tools -> Quick Chart Wizard. In the wizard, select the chart type. This example uses a bar chart. When building the chart, you have access to the fields from USPS, typed appropriately for QlikView, thanks to built-in dynamic metadata querying.
  7. When defining Dimensions, select FirstName in the First Dimension menu.
  8. When defining Expressions, click the summary function you want and select Phone in the menu.
  9. Finish the wizard to generate the chart. The CData ODBC Driver for USPS connects to live USPS data, so the chart can be refreshed to see real-time changes. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to the high-performance data processing native to CData ODBC Drivers.