Create an SAP BusinessObjects Universe on the CData ODBC Driver for USPS

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USPS ODBC Driver

The USPS ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from USPS, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access USPS data like you would a database - read, write, and update USPS Packages, Shipments, Recipients, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Provide connectivity to USPS data through an SAP BusinessObjects universe.

This article shows how to create and publish an SAP BusinessObjects universe on the CData ODBC Driver for USPS. You will connect to USPS data from the Information Design Tool as well as the Web Intelligence tool.

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.

Create an ODBC Connection to USPS Data

This section shows how to create a connection to the USPS ODBC data source in the Information Design Tool. After you create a connection, you can analyze data or create a BusinessObjects universe.

  1. Right-click your project and click New -> New Relational Connection.

  2. In the wizard that is displayed, enter a name for the connection.
  3. Select Generic -> Generic ODBC datasource -> ODBC Drivers and select the DSN.

  4. Finish the wizard with the default values for connection pooling and custom parameters.

Analyze USPS Data in the Information Design Tool

In the Information Design Tool, you can use both published and local ODBC connections to browse and query data.

  1. In the Local Projects view, double-click the connection (the .cnx file) to open the USPS data source.

  2. On the Show Values tab, you can load table data and enter SQL queries. To view table data, expand the node for the table, right-click the table, and click Show Values. Values will be displayed in the Raw Data tab.

  3. On the Analysis tab, you can drag and drop columns onto the axes of a chart.

Publish the Local Connection

To publish the universe to the CMS, you additionally need to publish the connection.

  1. In the Local Projects view, right-click the connection and click Publish Connection to a Repository.

  2. Enter the host and port of the repository and connection credentials.

  3. Select the folder where the connection will be published.

  4. In the success dialog that results, click Yes to create a connection shortcut.

Create a Universe on the ODBC Driver for USPS

You can follow the steps below to create a universe on the ODBC driver for USPS. The universe in this example will be published to a repository, so it uses the published connection created in the previous step.

  1. In the Information Design Tool, click File->New Universe.

  2. Select your project.

  3. Select the option to create the universe on a relational data source.

  4. Select the shortcut to the published connection.

  5. Enter a name for the Data Foundation.

  6. Import tables and columns that you want to access as objects.

  7. Enter a name for the Business Layer.

Publish the Universe

You can follow the steps below to publish the universe to the CMS.

  1. In the Local Projects view, right-click the business layer and click Publish -> To a Repository.

  2. In the Publish Universe dialog, enter any integrity checks before importing.

  3. Select or create a folder on the repository where the universe will be published.

Query USPS Data in Web Intelligence

You can use the published universe to connect to USPS in Web Intelligence.

  1. Open Web Intelligence from the BusinessObjects launchpad and create a new document.

  2. Select the Universe option for the data source.

  3. Select the USPS universe. This opens a Query Panel. Drag objects to the Result Objects pane to use them in the query.