Connect to USPS Data in Ruby

Connect to USPS data in Ruby with ruby-dbi, dbd-odbc, and ruby-odbc.

The CData ODBC Driver for USPS makes it easy to integrate connectivity to live USPS data in Ruby. This article shows how to create a simple Ruby app that connects to USPS data, executes a query, and displays the results.

Create an ODBC 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.

Installing Ruby and Necessary Gems

If you do not have Ruby installed, refer to the Ruby installation page. With Ruby installed, you will need to install the ruby-dbi, dbd-odbc, and ruby-odbc gems:

gem install dbi gem install dbd-odbc gem install ruby-odbc

Create a Ruby App with Connectivity to USPS Data

Create a new Ruby file (for example: USPSSelect.rb) and open it in a text editor. Copy the following code into your file:

#connect to the DSN require 'DBI' cnxn = DBI.connect('DBI:ODBC:CData USPS Source','','') #execute a SELECT query and store the result set resultSet = cnxn.execute("SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'") #display the names of the columns resultSet.column_names.each do |name| print name, "\t" end puts #display the results while row = resultSet.fetch do (0..resultSet.column_names.size - 1).each do |n| print row[n], "\t" end puts end resultSet.finish #close the connection cnxn.disconnect if cnxn

With the file completed, you are ready to display your USPS data with Ruby. To do so, simply run your file from the command line:

ruby USPSSelect.rb Writing SQL-92 queries to USPS allows you to quickly and easily incorporate USPS data into your own Ruby applications. Download a free trial today!