News > Product Update

We are currently rolling out the latest feature release of hale»connect. This version has already been deployed to most public cloud and private cloud setups and is now also available for on premise setups.

We have increased the number of data sources that you can use, improved performance of INSPIRE view services (as shown in the chart below), and extended metadata support.

Quartile comparison for GetMap response times
Quartile comparison for updated GetMap response times

For Users

New Features

  • For transformed data sets, there is now a link to the source data set on the overview page.
  • An uploaded SLD file can now also be downloaded again in the theme configuration.
  • New functions have been added to improve the performance of web map services (see section for system administrators).
  • In the metadata configuration, several “default” values can now be configured for fields with possible multiple occurrences (via a JSON array).
  • It is now possible to use NetCDF files as data sources.

Changes

  • When uploading a shape file as a schema that contains unsupported special characters in the file name, an error message is now displayed instead of just failing.
  • A task has been added that regularly checks whether there are any unnecessary attachments and deletes them.
  • The limit for uploading SLDs has been increased and now also allows very large SLD files (up to 2 MB).

Fixes

  • For dataset series, the button for deactivating / activating services is no longer incorrectly displayed.
  • An error in the sorting of the organization filter for the data records related to the case has been corrected.
  • If records are deleted in a series, no more raster-related resources remain.
  • When INSPIRE metadata is generated, no invalid “spatial scope” is generated if no value has been specified.
  • The support for multi-step transformation chains has been improved.
  • Errors in the calculation of capacity points for data record series have been corrected.

Information for system administrators

Introduction of a Hybrid Rendering Mode for View Services

So far, hale»connect uses what is known as blob mode to store complex GML objects. This means that instead of generating a fully-fledged normalized database schema, the GML is stored as a single big blob. While this works well for WFS and has additional advantages, it limits WMS performance in several critical places.

We have now introduced a new hybrid mode that stores the data as before as a blob in the database, but also uses the SLD to create a relational database structure that is used for rendering in the WMS.

This relational structure only contains the information that is relevant for rendering, i.e. the geometry and any properties referenced in the SLD. In many cases, this enables us to achieve much better rendering performance, as the data for rendering can be fetched more efficiently from the database.

Limitation 1: Hybrid mode is currently not supported for data set series.

Limitation 2: Whether the hybrid mode can be used for a publication depends on the structure of the data and the SLD. Certain constructs may not (yet) be supported. This includes, for example, if information from associated features is required in the SLD (example: visualization of MappedFeature depending on GeologicUnit).

Introduction of automated generalisation in the hybrid mode

In the new hybrid mode, generalized geometries can be generated in order to optimize the rendering in the WMS for different scales. This means that the rendering performance is significantly less affected by detailed geometries, but the complete details are still available via the WFS and on a large scale in the WMS.

Users can only choose to activate or deactivate generalization at this time. If activated, a standard configuration provided by us is applied, which creates four generalization steps for scales around 1: 5,000, 1: 15,000, 1: 150,000 and 1: 1,000,000.

Note that the generalization option is only available if the hybrid mode can be used for a data set.

Limiting the number of features to render per tile

The performance when rendering WMS requests suffers greatly when large sets of objects are to be rendered. In extreme cases, a single request can encompass several million objects to render, e.g. if an entire data record is to be displayed on a small scale at once. Often this results in response times that are beyond any timeouts, and which are also beyond the INSPIRE Quality of Service requirements.

In hale»connect there is now the possibility to limit the maximum number of features rendered for a given tile. This limitation already applies to the database in hybrid mode and for SLDs without filters, even in blob mode. Larger objects are preferred over smaller objects to be more likely to select objects that are also visible or that span several tiles.

For this functionality there are no user-visible fine-tuning options – it can only be turned on or off. When activated for a dataset, no more than 10,000 features are rendered for a single 256x256 tile.

Erroneous Feature Type associations

An error has led to inconsistent feature type assignment in the database. This could lead to problems when inserting data.

This problem has been resolved by reading and using the assignment stored in the database. To do this, however, the data in the database must be corrected so that it uses the correct mapping.

This happens automatically with this version when the WMS/WFS service is started, but the data is no longer compatible with previous versions after the process has been completed.

The logs should contain messages such as “Starting attempt to fix blob mappings in feature store” and “Completed fixing blob mappings in feature store” with additional details at the first start for each feature store / publication.

In order to avoid the possible caching of incorrect tiles by Mapproxy, it is recommended to switch off the bsp-mapproxy service for the duration of the process (e.g. by setting the configuration key override_replicas.bsp-mapproxy to 0 before the deployment).

Interested in learning more about how hale»connect can make INSPIRE easy for you? Click here.

We are currently rolling out the latest feature release of hale»connect. This version has already been deployed to most public cloud and private cloud setups and is now also available for on premise setups.

We have increased the number of data sources that you can use, improved performance of INSPIRE view services (as shown in the chart below), and extended metadata support.

Quartile comparison for GetMap response times
Quartile comparison for updated GetMap response times

For Users

New Features

  • For transformed data sets, there is now a link to the source data set on the overview page.
  • An uploaded SLD file can now also be downloaded again in the theme configuration.
  • New functions have been added to improve the performance of web map services (see section for system administrators).
  • In the metadata configuration, several “default” values can now be configured for fields with possible multiple occurrences (via a JSON array).
  • It is now possible to use NetCDF files as data sources.

Changes

  • When uploading a shape file as a schema that contains unsupported special characters in the file name, an error message is now displayed instead of just failing.
  • A task has been added that regularly checks whether there are any unnecessary attachments and deletes them.
  • The limit for uploading SLDs has been increased and now also allows very large SLD files (up to 2 MB).

Fixes

  • For dataset series, the button for deactivating / activating services is no longer incorrectly displayed.
  • An error in the sorting of the organization filter for the data records related to the case has been corrected.
  • If records are deleted in a series, no more raster-related resources remain.
  • When INSPIRE metadata is generated, no invalid “spatial scope” is generated if no value has been specified.
  • The support for multi-step transformation chains has been improved.
  • Errors in the calculation of capacity points for data record series have been corrected.

Information for system administrators

Introduction of a Hybrid Rendering Mode for View Services

So far, hale»connect uses what is known as blob mode to store complex GML objects. This means that instead of generating a fully-fledged normalized database schema, the GML is stored as a single big blob. While this works well for WFS and has additional advantages, it limits WMS performance in several critical places.

We have now introduced a new hybrid mode that stores the data as before as a blob in the database, but also uses the SLD to create a relational database structure that is used for rendering in the WMS.

This relational structure only contains the information that is relevant for rendering, i.e. the geometry and any properties referenced in the SLD. In many cases, this enables us to achieve much better rendering performance, as the data for rendering can be fetched more efficiently from the database.

Limitation 1: Hybrid mode is currently not supported for data set series.

Limitation 2: Whether the hybrid mode can be used for a publication depends on the structure of the data and the SLD. Certain constructs may not (yet) be supported. This includes, for example, if information from associated features is required in the SLD (example: visualization of MappedFeature depending on GeologicUnit).

Introduction of automated generalisation in the hybrid mode

In the new hybrid mode, generalized geometries can be generated in order to optimize the rendering in the WMS for different scales. This means that the rendering performance is significantly less affected by detailed geometries, but the complete details are still available via the WFS and on a large scale in the WMS.

Users can only choose to activate or deactivate generalization at this time. If activated, a standard configuration provided by us is applied, which creates four generalization steps for scales around 1: 5,000, 1: 15,000, 1: 150,000 and 1: 1,000,000.

Note that the generalization option is only available if the hybrid mode can be used for a data set.

Limiting the number of features to render per tile

The performance when rendering WMS requests suffers greatly when large sets of objects are to be rendered. In extreme cases, a single request can encompass several million objects to render, e.g. if an entire data record is to be displayed on a small scale at once. Often this results in response times that are beyond any timeouts, and which are also beyond the INSPIRE Quality of Service requirements.

In hale»connect there is now the possibility to limit the maximum number of features rendered for a given tile. This limitation already applies to the database in hybrid mode and for SLDs without filters, even in blob mode. Larger objects are preferred over smaller objects to be more likely to select objects that are also visible or that span several tiles.

For this functionality there are no user-visible fine-tuning options – it can only be turned on or off. When activated for a dataset, no more than 10,000 features are rendered for a single 256x256 tile.

Erroneous Feature Type associations

An error has led to inconsistent feature type assignment in the database. This could lead to problems when inserting data.

This problem has been resolved by reading and using the assignment stored in the database. To do this, however, the data in the database must be corrected so that it uses the correct mapping.

This happens automatically with this version when the WMS/WFS service is started, but the data is no longer compatible with previous versions after the process has been completed.

The logs should contain messages such as “Starting attempt to fix blob mappings in feature store” and “Completed fixing blob mappings in feature store” with additional details at the first start for each feature store / publication.

In order to avoid the possible caching of incorrect tiles by Mapproxy, it is recommended to switch off the bsp-mapproxy service for the duration of the process (e.g. by setting the configuration key override_replicas.bsp-mapproxy to 0 before the deployment).

Interested in learning more about how hale»connect can make INSPIRE easy for you? Click here.

(more)

Here’s what’s new in hale»connect this month:

New Resource List

The latest update to hale»connect features a new dataset resource list. Simply log-in to hale»connect and visit the Data tab to view the new resource list, which features improved search, sort and filtering tools like the Global/Organisation button, column sorting and badges. Resources now display with distinct hierarchical styling for root and child dataset rows.

The new status column provides an overview of the system status and validation state of a hale»connect resource. Click on any of the icons to navigate directly to the resource overview page, the metadata, the download services, or the view services. The status column includes progress spinners to indicate processes that are currently running.

The column widget at the top right enables users to configure the column layout of the resource list.

Organisation Added to User Listing

The organisations that a user belongs to have been added to the users section found in Settings. An ellipsis appears in the column for users who belong to more than one organisation. Hover over the ellipsis icon for a list of all of the user’s organisations.

Priority Dataset and Spatial Scope Keywords Added to Metadata Generation

hale»connect now enables users to tag their metadata with Priority dataset and Spatial Scope keywords from the INSPIRE Registry. New dataset creation on hale»connect allows users to select the keywords required in the metadata editor. Priority dataset keywords enable datasets to be searched in the INSPIRE Thematic Viewer and are mandatory for priority datasets.

Subscribe to the Events of an Organisation

Organisation profile pages now offer the option to subscribe to an organisation’s events. Subscription to the new toggle switch “Events” ensures that users receive email notification for failed automated workflows, such as online transformation configurations.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more changes! If you have any questions, feel free to write to us at info@wetransform.to.

Here’s what’s new in hale»connect this month:

New Resource List

The latest update to hale»connect features a new dataset resource list. Simply log-in to hale»connect and visit the Data tab to view the new resource list, which features improved search, sort and filtering tools like the Global/Organisation button, column sorting and badges. Resources now display with distinct hierarchical styling for root and child dataset rows.

The new status column provides an overview of the system status and validation state of a hale»connect resource. Click on any of the icons to navigate directly to the resource overview page, the metadata, the download services, or the view services. The status column includes progress spinners to indicate processes that are currently running.

The column widget at the top right enables users to configure the column layout of the resource list.

Organisation Added to User Listing

The organisations that a user belongs to have been added to the users section found in Settings. An ellipsis appears in the column for users who belong to more than one organisation. Hover over the ellipsis icon for a list of all of the user’s organisations.

Priority Dataset and Spatial Scope Keywords Added to Metadata Generation

hale»connect now enables users to tag their metadata with Priority dataset and Spatial Scope keywords from the INSPIRE Registry. New dataset creation on hale»connect allows users to select the keywords required in the metadata editor. Priority dataset keywords enable datasets to be searched in the INSPIRE Thematic Viewer and are mandatory for priority datasets.

Subscribe to the Events of an Organisation

Organisation profile pages now offer the option to subscribe to an organisation’s events. Subscription to the new toggle switch “Events” ensures that users receive email notification for failed automated workflows, such as online transformation configurations.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more changes! If you have any questions, feel free to write to us at info@wetransform.to.

(more)

Here’s what’s new in hale»connect this month:

Choose an organisation for dataset creation

hale»connect now enables Theme Managers and Superusers to create datasets for organizations that they are not currently logged into. The first step of the dataset creation workflow now includes a dropdown menu of organisations. The organization dropdown menu contains all the organisations for which the currently logged in user can create datasets for. The new menu will not appear if one does not belong to more than one organization.

Specify custom data upload instructions for a theme

hale»connect themes can be configured to include custom data upload instructions. Navigate to the overview section of a theme to view the new editable text field. Users with permission to edit a theme can enter their own, custom data upload instructions. The instructions will appear in a message dialog in the data upload workflow step of dataset creation.

Avatar upload for organization profile

hale»connect users can now customize organization profile pages to include an avatar. Simply click on the profile image to upload your organization’s logo or custom image.

Profile Modelling Tool Updates

Add tag for manual testing in ETS

The profile modelling tools now enable users to add a reserved tag to conditions and profile type attributes that allow marking their associated tests in an ETS file as requiring manual testing. ETS files exported from hale»connect will display tests with the “Manuelle Prüfung” tag in yellow.

Add property tag for using XML blocks as example

The profile modelling tools have been extended to include the option to add an example-xml tag to feature types and attributes. The new tag allows the use of an XML block as a literal example value for the sample XML file generation.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more changes! If you have any questions, feel free to write to us at info@wetransform.to.

Here’s what’s new in hale»connect this month:

Choose an organisation for dataset creation

hale»connect now enables Theme Managers and Superusers to create datasets for organizations that they are not currently logged into. The first step of the dataset creation workflow now includes a dropdown menu of organisations. The organization dropdown menu contains all the organisations for which the currently logged in user can create datasets for. The new menu will not appear if one does not belong to more than one organization.

Specify custom data upload instructions for a theme

hale»connect themes can be configured to include custom data upload instructions. Navigate to the overview section of a theme to view the new editable text field. Users with permission to edit a theme can enter their own, custom data upload instructions. The instructions will appear in a message dialog in the data upload workflow step of dataset creation.

Avatar upload for organization profile

hale»connect users can now customize organization profile pages to include an avatar. Simply click on the profile image to upload your organization’s logo or custom image.

Profile Modelling Tool Updates

Add tag for manual testing in ETS

The profile modelling tools now enable users to add a reserved tag to conditions and profile type attributes that allow marking their associated tests in an ETS file as requiring manual testing. ETS files exported from hale»connect will display tests with the “Manuelle Prüfung” tag in yellow.

Add property tag for using XML blocks as example

The profile modelling tools have been extended to include the option to add an example-xml tag to feature types and attributes. The new tag allows the use of an XML block as a literal example value for the sample XML file generation.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more changes! If you have any questions, feel free to write to us at info@wetransform.to.

(more)

hale»connect has a new dataset overview page including a status panel which provides users a summary overview of the operational and validation states of datasets and services.

The data overview page displays general properties and settings of the data set.

The ownership panel provides helpful information including the organization of the user who created the data set, the name of the user who created the data set and the date of the last update to the data set.

The status panel provides an overview of the system status of published resources related to the data set:

  • Green checkmarks indicate that the resource is valid and operating normally.
  • Yellow dashes indicate that the resource has validation warnings and is operating with errors.
  • Red X’s indicate that the resource has validation errors and is not operating normally.
  • Grey dashes indicate that the resource is not published.

The toggle switches in the action section indicate the current access and notification settings of the data set. Users can activate the Subscribed toggle switch to receive email notifications when there are service updates, transformations, and new comments or tasks added. Activate the Protect services toggle switch to password protect your view and download services.

The Feature type count graph displays the number of features for each feature type in the dataset’s schema.

Navigate to the “Overview” section of any dataset published on haleconnect.com to view the new overview page. A screenshot of it is displayed below.

As usual, if you have any comments, questions or concerns, reach out to us at info@wetransform.to!

hale»connect has a new dataset overview page including a status panel which provides users a summary overview of the operational and validation states of datasets and services.

The data overview page displays general properties and settings of the data set.

The ownership panel provides helpful information including the organization of the user who created the data set, the name of the user who created the data set and the date of the last update to the data set.

The status panel provides an overview of the system status of published resources related to the data set:

  • Green checkmarks indicate that the resource is valid and operating normally.
  • Yellow dashes indicate that the resource has validation warnings and is operating with errors.
  • Red X’s indicate that the resource has validation errors and is not operating normally.
  • Grey dashes indicate that the resource is not published.

The toggle switches in the action section indicate the current access and notification settings of the data set. Users can activate the Subscribed toggle switch to receive email notifications when there are service updates, transformations, and new comments or tasks added. Activate the Protect services toggle switch to password protect your view and download services.

The Feature type count graph displays the number of features for each feature type in the dataset’s schema.

Navigate to the “Overview” section of any dataset published on haleconnect.com to view the new overview page. A screenshot of it is displayed below.

As usual, if you have any comments, questions or concerns, reach out to us at info@wetransform.to!

(more)