Exposing ArcGIS Server functionality with 52°North WPS

Walkthrough - Short version

Editors: Matthias Müller, TU Dresden; Bastian Schäffer, 52°North

Note: A more recent tutorial can be found here.


  1. Setup an ArcGIS Server 9.3 or later (please refer to the ESRI documentation for this step)
  2. Download and install Apache Tomcat (5.5 or later), preferably on the ArcGIS Server machine
  3. Download the latest version of the 52°North WPS from here
  4. Rename the downloaded .war file from to wps.war and put it into the /webapps folder in the Tomcat installation (which was installed under 2).
  5. Start Tomcat. You will notice, that tomcat creates a new folder named: /webapps/wps
  6. Stop Tomcat.

Install Processes

  1. Create a folder (you are free to choose your own path) e.g.: C:\localWPSFiles\wsBase as a folder or network share that can be accessed by the ArcGIS Server machine as well as the WPS instance.
    Please choose the user rights of this folder carefully - if there are any access issues, the WPS will crash without warning during execution. The safest way for a first time deployment is to set up ArcGIS Server and WPS Server on the same machine and use a local folder instead of a shared network folder.
  2. Create a second folder (you are free to choose your own path) e.g.: C:\localWPSFiles\xmlDescriptions as the place to store the DescribeProcess XML for the Geoprocessing operators that you wish to offer.
    These files will be returned by the WPS on a DescribeProcess request and are also used for the internal parameter mapping from the WPS process interface to the ESRI geoprocessor interface.
  3. Copy all files from ../webapps/wps/examples/localWPSFiles/XMLDescriptions
    The WPS process will expose each ArcGIS Server Function that is represented by a ProcessDescription in this folder as a WPS process. Future version will provide a more convenient way of doing this.
  4. Open the wps_config.xml file located under ..\webapps\wps\config
  5. If not already there, you have to add (or uncomment) the following XML structure to your wps_config.xml file as a child of the <AlgorithmRepositoryList> element:
<Repository name="AGSRepository" className="org.n52.wps.ags.AGSProcessRepository" active="true">
        <Property name="IP" active="true">vsoknos.geoinformatik.geo.uni-muenster.de</Property>
        <Property name="DOMAIN" active="true">vsoknos.geoinformatik.geo.uni-muenster.de</Property>
        <Property name="USER" active="true">wpsuser</Property>
        <Property name="PASS" active="true">password</Property>
        <Property name="WORKSPACEBASE" active="true">C:\localWPSFiles\wsBase</Property>
        <Property name="ARCOBJECTSJAR" active="true">C:\Programme\ArcGIS\java\lib\arcobjects.jar</Property>
        <Property name="DESCRIBE_PROCESS_DIR" active="true">C:\localWPSFiles\xmlDescriptions</Property>
  1. The <Property> elements are used to configure your local WPS and AGS installation. The following table provides an overview:
IP IP or hostname of your machine
DOMAIN Domain of your machine
USER AGS User, please see AGS installation
PASS AGS User, please see AGS installation
WORKSPACEBASE Folder created under 7)
ARCOBJECTSJAR The path to the arcobjects.jar of your ArcGIS Server installation. This file is usually located in %ARCGISHOME% ArcGIS java lib arcobjects.jar.
DESCRIBE_PROCESS_DIR Folder created under 8)

Please modify the values of the <Property> elements according to your needs.
  1. In addition, configure the following structure the hostname of your machine and the port where tomcat is running.
<Server hostname="localhost" hostport="8080" [...]


  1. Save the wps_config.xml file.
  2. Start Tomcat.
  3. Open the following URL in a browser: http://<hostname>:<hostport>/wps/WebProcessingService?Request=GetCapabilities&Service=WPS and replace first <hostname> and <hostport> with the corresponding values. You will see the Metadata of the deployed service including all configured ArcGIS Server functions exposed as WPS processes.
Topic revision: r1 - 24 Mar 2013, DanielNuest
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