Tuesday, March 1, 2016

XML is all around us

The Past

In 2014 I wrote about how to get all of the Dutch SDI (PDOK) services into FME by creating a custom reader.

With the new XML abilities in FME 2016, I was wondering if a better job can be done.

I set about creating a second custom reader that not only returns constantly updated results (services url's) but provides them in such a way that can be directly used futher down the transformation.

The Present

The new XML abilities in FME 2016 makes life so much easier. It's still early in the year but I am already sure that the new ability to scan the input XML is one of my top 3 of FME 2016.

Couple that with the setting to limit the maximum schema features to scan, and you get a very powerful tool that makes the days of wrestling with large XML files history.

The PDOK URL Reader

As with the previous custom reader, all of the services provided by PDOK are returned by the reader.
During the development I actually got a verification that the reader works properly since 2 new services were automatically added to the reader's results.

As mentioned before, I wanted to improve the previous reader, this time an attribute (ServiceFeatureType) containing the WFS feature types is provided.
This attribute, along with the url attribute, can be directly used in the FeatureReader transformer to access the WFS service.

Why only the WFS services? the short answer is that FME is all about data transformation and there is no point in making the feature types of the other services types (WMS, WCS and WMTS) available, because you cannot do much with them anyway.

The Future

The future is already here! (well if you were a kid in the 80's)
Anyway what I mean to say is that nowadays is it much easier to share.

The FME Hub is a new feature that makes sharing and publishing much easier. I wonder if it is the future of the FME Store, but that can only be verified by somebody from Safe.

The FME hub is where you can also find my PDOKURLReader among other amazing stuff.
This reader is self-updating and lets you for example access all of the PDOK WFS features of a specific area.

The following workspace shows how you could go about achieving that.
Example FME workspace

The results look like this.

BAG and AAN WFS features
Have fun and let me know what you think of it.

"FME" is a registered trademark of Safe Software Inc.

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