June 2011
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Map

ESRI software engineering strikes again – Creating WFS services

Pictometry Online (http://pol.pictometry.com) is a very nice resource for viewing oblique imagery. One thing we are investigating is the ability to push a Web Feature Service (WFS) from our ArcGIS Server installations so that our production, live data can be viewed directly on top of this resource. It’s pretty cool.

There is a checkbox in ArcGIS Server for adding a WFS stream from an existing map service. So with Regional Planning, we check it on! And we got a “Cannot start ArcSOC machine …” – so something was going wrong (obviously) – but that was it.

After hours of checking, here is what I finally figured out:

1. You cannot use .msd files to create wfs service. That was one actually easy to figure out – but then why do we use .msd files?

Here is where the real help came from (but not from ArcGIS Server help): Publishing WFS Services Tutorial

  • There are also some limitations associated with WFS map services. Consider the following things when publishing a WFS service from a map document:
  • The map document is just a specification of the layers that will be available in your WFS service. Symbology, query definitions, and field aliases defined at the layer level will not transfer to the WFS service because the purpose of the service is to expose the features in the data. To expose the visual properties of your map through OGC specifications, use a WMS service.
  • Two or more layers in the map cannot reference the same feature class.
  • Two or more layers in the map cannot have the same name.
  • Since WFS only works with features, any raster layers in the map will be excluded from the service.
  • Nonspatial tables are not exposed.
  • If you want the WFS service to support transactions for editing (WFS-T), the source data for all the layers in the map must come from the same workspace, for example, the same ArcSDE geodatabase.

Seriously! That was the problem – The map document had two layers that used definition queries in order to optimize the use of the source data.

It would be nice if the software developers actually did some error checking!!! Couldn’t they test the document ahead of time?

and – I have gotten so frustrated with the granular level of various capabilities. Why are we being pushed to use map service definition files (.msd) if they reduce our capabilities????

Why are standard methods for optimizing the use of production databases (definition queries) allowed to cause problems for publication.

ESRI – please get things together and create a standardized, consistent workflow for publication!

I hate the way this software is organized and programmed. Who is in charge of the software strategy?

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