[Qgis-user] Best practice, database vs WFS

Paul Wittle paul.wittle at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Wed Jan 6 06:42:48 PST 2021


As I'm sure is clear from the number of posts I've done of late we are currently looking at how we use QGIS within our business. I thought I'd ask a question here to see if others are considering it as I can't find too much chat online about it but I wondered if perhaps there should be some.

We have concluded that in theory the WFS and WFS-T protocols are an OGC standard (https://www.ogc.org/standards/wfs) and that using an OGC compliant server they can be used to front various data source formats; i.e. Postgres, Oracle, SQL Server etc. In theory that means that if you use WFS and WFS-T in QGIS it should mean that user experience becomes more consistent for the people using those layers in QGIS.

That all sounds great, but I can't seem to even get my WFS to load correctly in QGIS at present and it doesn't seem to be something that is recommended online. Given that both WFS and direct database access both return full details (vector geometries and attributes) to QGIS; would you expect performance of WFS to be similar or significantly slower?

Is the use of OGC compliant WFS something that you personally feel is something we should be aspiring to use more widely at the local / network level in QGIS or do you favour just loading directly from databases?

I'm honestly very interested to hear what others think on this as theoretically you would think the creation of an OGC standard would have this sort of aspiration but I'm increasingly concluding that this kind of use of WFS is very limited. It seems to me that the most common use case is just for occasional layers where you need to work with others over the internet.

To ensure we are talking about the same thing; I'm thinking that the access to WFS in this context would be locally within your own network or device as clearly going over the internet will add a significant overhead and potential for delay.

Feel free to message me back directly or message the group if you think it is a worthwhile discussion but as I say I'd love to hear what others think.


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