We’re delighted to share the next Feature release of GeoNetwork and GeoServer Enterprise, named 2020.5. The release was scheduled to arrive in spring 2020. Unfortunately the release has been delayed by various factors, amongst others the Covid crisis. In this announcement we’ll highlight some of the new features, allowing you to prepare for the migration.
With a combined release of the GeoCat Enterprise products, GeoCat aims to provide a smooth migration path. The products are tested in conjunction on common use cases.
An important new feature of the software is the plugin system. In previous iterations we prepared various ‘flavours’ of the software having subsets of available plugins included. In the current version you are invited to deploy any of the available plugins in your installation of the core product. Plugins have their own lifecycle, which allows us to speed up or slow down the release cycle of certain plugins, without any impact on the core product. For you as a customer it provides more flexibility on the plugins installed on various deployments.
Another new aspect is that the documentation of the enterprise products is now directly available at https://geocat.net/docs.
The new version of GeoNetwork has an improved workflow mechanism. At GeoCat we are very delighted that it finally arrives in the core product. We’ve been experimenting with this functionality at various customers for quite some time. The workflow introduces a “draft space” in which modified records live before being approved and replacing the production copy.
Since the end of 2019 the Dutch schema plugins for datasets v1.3 and service v1.2 are officially deprecated to be used by Geonovum. Considering the recommendation from Geonovum “to prevent archived metadata requiring an update to be conformant to the 2.0 profile, metadata needs to be updated to the 2.0 profile only in case new metadata is created or existing metadata is updated”, we recommend to keep the previous schema’s in your implementation. But we also recommend to disable the templates linking to those schema’s. Please note that we also offer a mechanism to migrate records in the catalogue to a 2.0 profile, from the editor of the previous version.
Includes update of OpenLayers
The 2020.5 upgrade includes an update to the latest version of OpenLayers. This is a major change of the code, which we have been thoroughly testing in recent months. Especially the support for ESRI services has been improved and the visualisation on mobile devices.
A nice feature we want to highlight is the improved OWS harvester. The OWS harvester now facilitates the creation of records (based on a configurable template) for each layer in an OWS (WMS/WFS/WCS) service. The records created can be updated via the GeoNetwork editor. In next runs of the harvest, the harvester will only update selected fields in the record, so the manual improvements in the editor are persisted.
A node is a subset of the catalogue records advertised at a dedicated endpoint. The multinode functionality in GeoNetwork has been seriously refactured. Setting up new nodes previously required to create and modify xml files in the config section. In the new version nodes can be created via de admin interface. For each node a custom layout can be configured. Virtual CSW is now a part of multinode.
Other new features on this release are:
- A user feedback mechanism enables users to add questions and comments to any record.
- Metadata history is logged, so you can follow a trail of who has made specific modifications on the record, and even go back to any moment in history.
- A basket is introduced in which users can store their favourite records or search results for later reuse.
- ISO19115-1:2018 is now one of the default schema plugins.
New in the 2020.5 release of GeoServer Enterprise is the introduction of a resource browser plugin. With the resource browser you can remove, update or upload config files to your GeoServer configuration folder. Catering for advanced customisation such as feature info templates, or bug fixing in case of errors. The resource browser is also operational in case you use database persistence for the configuration.
Other new features on this release are:
- Mapbox style is now an official plugin for GeoServer. It means you can style your layers using MapBox Style syntax.
- A new tab to set up specific authorisations is added to every layer, layer group and workspace configuration page.
- A date of last modification is added to each configurable field, including an option to filter on modification data.
This release of Enterprise products does not include a GeoCat Bridge release. The edition for ArcGIS Pro is in full preparation, but it is too early to release it. The edition for QGIS and ArcMap had no release scheduled.
Let us know if you have questions
We hope you will enjoy the 2020 spring release as much as we do. Let us know if you have any questions or notice any challenges around this upgrade. The release (and plugins) are available for download from https://nexus.geocat.net/browse/enterprise. If your organisation does not have a login for this repository yet, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jose Garcia and Jody Garnett
Product Managers of GeoNetwork Enterprise, GeoCat Bridge and GeoServer Enterprise