In recent years, OGC standards have gone from the back rooms of corporate GIS centers to the front lines of new global information infrastructures. Industry and government are now demanding that new systems be fully compliant to any relevant OGC specifications. This insulates them from the weaknesses of single-vendor solutions and guarantees interoperability.
While early standards efforts concentrated on sharing maps, or pictorial representations of data, the second wave of innovation opened up by OGC standards involves the direct sharing and editing of data. The Web Feature Service (WFS) specification was created for this purpose. As the editor of the WFS specification document, CubeWerx is uniquely placed to guide and support this standard as it evolves. As a result, our Web Feature Server is the most performant, robust and secure WFS on the market today.
What is a Web Feature Server?
Simply put, a Web Feature Server allows a user to remotely access and edit geo-spatial data. Unlike a WMS which serves maps, a query to a WFS returns actual data, i.e. a mathematical representation of geographic features, along with their associated attributes.
The simplest analogy to the Web Feature Server is the relational database. Databases allow us to request a catalog of the information available, then perform operations on this information, such as Query, Describe, Update, Delete, etc. A WFS supports a similar set of operations for geo-spatial data.
XML is the transport mechanism for making requests to a WFS and for encoding the results. All WFSs support the GetCapabilities operation, which returns an XML-encoded document describing the data served. Other operations include a schema request (DescribeFeatureType), query (GetFeature), and optionally, a set of editing transactions (Insert, Update, Delete and Lock). CubeWerx WFS supports all this and more.
Many clients exist that support the WFS protocol. Chances are your existing desktop or web-based software can already speak this standard’s language.