Create an RPA Flow that Connects to USPS Data in UiPath Studio

Use the USPS ODBC Driver to create workflows that access real-time USPS data without any coding.

UiPath is a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform with rich features and an easy-to-use UI that enables non-developers to create process automation. By using UiPath Studio, you can build an RPA program just like drawing a diagram. With the CData ODBC Driver for USPS, users can embed USPS data in the workflow.

This article walks through using the USPS ODBC Driver in UiPath Studio to create an RPA program that accesses USPS data.

Configure the Connection to USPS

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.

Connect UiPath Studio to USPS Data

Now you are ready to use USPS data ODBC DSN in UiPath Studio with the following steps.

  1. From the Start page, click Blank to create a New Project.
  2. Click Manage Packages then search for and install UiPath.Database.Activities.
  3. Navigate to the Activities and drop a Flowchart (Workflow -> Flowchart -> Flowchart) onto the process.
  4. Drop a database Connect activity (App Integration -> Datbase -> Connect) after the Start activity.
  5. Double-click the Connect activity and configure the Connection.
    1. Click the Connection Wizard
    2. Select "Microsoft ODBC Data Source"
    3. In Connection Properties, select your DSN (CData USPS Source) and click OK
  6. To store Connection info, create a variable and bind to Output in the Properties section. Choose DatabaseConnection in Output.

Create an Execute Query Activity

With the connection configured, we are ready to query USPS data in our RPA.

  1. From the Activities navigation, select Execute Query and drop it on the Flowchart.
  2. Double-click the Execute Query activity and set the properties as follows:
    • ExistingDbConnection: Your Connection variable
    • Sql: SELECT statement like SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = '25'
    • DataTable: Create and use a variable with the Type System.Data.DataTable

Create Write CSV Activity

With the Connection and Execute Query activities configured, we are ready to add a Write CSV activity to the Flowchart to replicate the USPS data.

  1. From the Activities navigation, select Write CSV and drop it after the Execute Query activity.
  2. Double-click the Write CSV activity and set the properties as follows:
    • FilePath: Set to a file (new or existing) on disk (i.e.: C:\UiPath[id]-data.csv
    • DataTable: Set to the DataTable variable you created earlier

Connect the Activities and Run the Flowchart

If they are not already connected, connect each Activity that you created to complete the RPA project for extracting USPS data and exporting it to CSV.

Click Run to extract USPS data and create a CSV file.

In this article, we used the CData ODBC Driver for USPS to create an automation flow that accesses USPS data in UiPath Studio. Download a free, 30-day trial of the ODBC Driver and start working with live USPS data in UiPath Studio today!