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I am looking at implementing a GIS solution using GeoServer.

If I implement a GeoServer solution is possible using ArcView via WFS to select and query data? From the research I have done it looks like there is a client plugin cost of around $1500 (Data Interoperability extension).

As most of our clients use ArcView it is not practical to ask each of them to purchase this extension.

Thanks folks!

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kudos on the GeoServer solution. Now all you have to do is ditch ArcView for QGIS. – CaptDragon Mar 1 '12 at 15:14
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You don't actually have to purchase the Data Interoperability Extension to integrate basic WFS functionality into ArcGIS. The installer is on your ArcGIS DVD / .iso. The extension is an ESRI-wrapped basic version of FME and can read GML into ArcView without a license.

By default it starts by downloading all features in the WFS layer you connect it to and caches them for 24 hours. Once the features are cached a WFS-sourced layer functions just like any other layer which includes querying, attribute-based symbology etc.

If your layer has a unique numeric identifier field you can also use the WFS 'live' with no caching and requests going to GeoServer everytime the ArcGIS user moves the map, does an identify etc - this means you don't have to wait 24 hours for the cache to expire so you can see updated data but obviously slows things down (as far as I'm aware there is no easy way to manually dump the cache to force ArcView to rebuild it, but this may be possible through ArcObjects).

There is a bug / deficiency in the integration between GeoServer and ArcGIS around XML namespacing. I asked about it on the ESRI forum here and the brief response suggests that the problem could be fixed or worked-around more easily in 10.1

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If you are using the GeoSciML profile of GML on your WFS then this open-source plug-in looks like it could be useful. However, I suspect that you are more likely to be using the Simple Features profile and that the Data Interoperability extension may be your easiest but cost incurring option. There is also an existing ArcGIS Idea that you might be interested in voting for.

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Maybe a workaround is using the OGR output format plugin. You can provide them a user interface (you have to develop it inside ArcView or using a Open Layers, for example) to clip data to download it as a ZIP of shapefiles, DXF, whatever.

It's not perfect but better than nothing. I'm amazed about ESRI still making their users to pay to use an OGC (mature) standard.

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