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Sat Apr 19 22:05:10 2014

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Serving multiple WFS-T with TinyOWS

Our favorite WFS-T server complement of UMN Mapserver is TinyOWS. We like the simplicity of it so much, that we packaged it for Ubuntu and added it to OSGeoLive. Installation is easy:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ubuntugis-unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tinyows

The simplicity is a little bit too much, when it comes to serve multiple WFS-T on the same server. There is only one configuration file, but we want a configuration for each service. There are solutions for that, but I never saw a documentation of the most elegant solution we found. It uses Apache rewrite capabilities to set the TINYOWS_CONFIG_FILE environment variable according to the called URL:

# URL rewriting
RewriteEngine On

# Forbid direct access
RewriteRule ^/cgi-bin/.*$ - [F]

# Rewrite /xxx to /cgi-bin/tinyows with TINYOWS_CONFIG_FILE=/etc/tinyows/xxx.xml
RewriteRule ^/(.+)$ /cgi-bin/tinyows [QSA,PT,L,E=TINYOWS_CONFIG_FILE:/etc/tinyows/$1.xml]

This configuration included in a virtual host declaration (wfs.example.com) serves your WFS-T on wfs.example.com/servicename.

Testing UMN Mapfiles with QGIS

The Sunday night session of the QGIS hackfest resulted in a new release of the Mapfile Tools plugin.

This QGIS plugin allows you to display an UMN Mapserver mapfile in QGIS without running a Mapserver instance. It depends only on Mapscript (apt-get install python-mapscript on Debian/Ubuntu) and allows you to zoom and pan on the mapfile layer.

In release 0.6, an output window has been added, which shows error messages and detailed layer information. This makes it a convenient tool to test your mapfiles.

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