has revived a rant i had a couple of months ago regarding WFS support.
In a word, its terrible.
As has been discussed elsewhere, the fact ESRI expects its consumers to purchase *another* extension to read open standards that they “openly support” is questionable and laughable at best. Sure the cutdown FME is a great addition if you want to read 50+ formats, but when 8.3 had a free plugin with arguably better WFS support, you really gotta question ESRI’s motive about supporting the standard in the first place.
From where i’m sitting, they rant about their free WFS/WMS server connectors for other products such as ArcIMS but then when they don’t include the same functionality for their client’s to consume, whats the point?
WMS support is dime a dozen in all desktop GIS products nowadays so i couldn’t care less that this is out of the box with v9 … but ESRI has really fallen behind the eight-ball when competitors such as Mapinfo include OGC support out of the box, and Intergraph with two nicely configurable extensions.
In contrast with the ESRI / Interoperability approach, one size definately doesn’t fit all. Last time i looked (and please correct me if i’m wrong), the WFS connector through FME simply attempts to download the *entire* dataset from WFS, indexes it and you’re supposedly ready to go. Thats fine when the dataset is tiny and or relatively simple, but when its a complex cadastral dataset its just not going to work. There isnt any smarts built in to use the filters at all (no, not even bbox), use any intelligent caching or make it even configurable to setup what you would like FME to request. It’s just plain dumb.
Kudos must go out to Cadcorp, Carbontools, UDIG and Mapinfo for some excellent WFS support. Hopefully the big E can take note, although i’m not holding my breath
Uh oh, I’m starting to sound like the GISDirtbag‘s apprentice!