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FAQ: Why does the OnlineResource URL in the WMS capabilities use a different ArcGIS Web instance?

Question

Why does the OnlineResource URL in the WMS capabilities use a different ArcGIS Web instance?

Answer

As a server administrator, it is possible to enable the WMS (Web Mapping Service) capability for an ArcGIS Server map service. Once done, users can request the capabilities of the WMS service, which provides them an XML list of details about the service. The capabilities data include an OnlineResource, which points to the location of the service as a URL. When multiple ArcGIS Server Web instances (.NET) are installed on the same Server Object Manager (SOM), the OnlineResource URL may not use the URL of the current ArcGIS Server Web instance. Users might also encounter this incorrect URL when they click the WMS service's link in the Services Directory.

For example, a user might request the capabilities of a WMS service using the URL:

http://myserver/ArcGIS/services/MyService/MapServer/WMSServer?request=GetCapabilities&service=WMS

The response capabilities XML data, in the OnlineResource elements, might use a different URL link:

http://myserver/ArcGIS2/services/MyService/MapServer/WMSServer


This behavior may occur when multiple ArcGIS Server Web instances share the same SOM (a less-common deployment configuration used in some security scenarios). It could also occur after reinstalling ArcGIS Server, if a different Web instance name is used.

The cause of the behavior is that the properties of the WMS service are stored in the SOM. The WMS capabilities are generated once for the service when it is created or edited, and are shared by all Web instances. The SOM's service properties files may also be reused if the ArcGIS installation directory is not deleted before reinstallation.

As a server administrator, it is possible to change the OnlineResource URL if desired, but the URL is still shared by all Web instances. Follow the steps below to set the OnlineResource URL with ArcGIS Server Manager:

1) In Manager, open the Services panel and navigate to the service.
2) Click the Edit button in the line for the service.
3) In the editing panels, click the Capabilities tab.
4) In the Capabilities panel, click on the WMS item (be careful not to uncheck the WMS box).
5) In the properties on the right side, edit the OnlineResource property so that it displays the desired URL for clients to use. If an external capabilities file is used, edit that file instead.
6) Click Save and Restart to save the properties.

Follow the steps below to instead use ArcCatalog to set the OnlineResource URL:

1) In ArcCatalog, use the GIS Servers tree to connect to the ArcGIS Server with an administrative ('Manage GIS Services') connection.
2) Expand the services tree to find the service to edit.
3) Right-click on the service and click Stop.
4) Right-click on the service and click Service Properties (not Properties).
5) In the Properties dialog box that opens, click the Capabilities tab.
6) Highlight the WMS item in the capabilities list, and edit the OnlineResource property so that it displays the desired URL for clients to use. If an external capabilities file is used, edit that file instead.
7) Click OK to save the properties.
8) Right-click on the service and click Start.