This article will discuss the preview services created for your data, and what’s involved in the sign-off process. Once your dataset application has been approved and the data successfully uploaded, a preview service is set up. You need to check that everything you’ve supplied – metadata, the dataset application, attributes, styling, and the data itself – is correct and as you intended.
Important: If your dataset application has been approved, but you haven’t yet uploaded the data successfully or configured scheduled updates to the data, then you should stop at this point and go back through those articles.
How long will this take?
To create the preview service, the team will bring together all the information you’ve provided, confirm your data is loaded correctly and create, style, and publish the data. For the average dataset, this takes about five (5) working days.
You can expect your part – checking the preview services and providing sign-off – to take anything from a further one to five (1 to 5) working days, depending on how comprehensive your testing is and how many applications you test it in.
Why is this important?
This is a key quality assurance step. It is the last opportunity to check that everything is in order before your data is published to the wider data community for the first time. By checking the preview services, you’re confirming that the dataset application has been actioned and interpreted correctly.
If you pick up any issues with the data or you’ve changed your mind about something, this is the best point to make changes. While your data is still in a preview service and hasn’t been published, changes can be quickly made without needing to go through the standard two (2) week change window for a published dataset.
Your preview services
Once your dataset preview service is updated, you will receive an email to let you know it’s ready for review and sign-off. If your organisation has published datasets before then the existing preview service will be reused.
The email will contain key information:
- Links to the preview services for each flavour of web service and API supported by DUT (the ArcGIS REST Services Directory URL for your service, Esri MapSever and FeatureServer APIs, WMS, WFS, etc).
- The SLIP Acceptance and Release This is the document you need to sign to give approval to publish the data.
The preview service will be:
- published to the production environment (slip.wa.gov.au)
- a secured service with access restricted to anyone in your Agency Restricted Group
- be named as “YourOrganisationName_Preview”.
For example, the City of Perth preview service is published to:
The easiest way to see an overview of your preview service will be through the ArcGIS REST Services Directory.
The ArcGIS REST Services Directory contains all the data published by your agency. It is essentially the master record of your published data. As you publish new data, it will be added to your preview service. This is one of the easier ways to look at all the geospatial data published by your organisation, and is a useful resource if you’re planning major changes to your datasets.
Tip: If you can’t see your new dataset in the preview service, you may need to clear the web browser’s cache by performing a ‘hard refresh’ of the ArcGIS REST Services Directory (CTRL+F5 in Windows).
Important: If you’re having issues accessing your preview services and are receiving “Access Denied” messages, it may be because you’re not included in the Agency Restricted Group. Please contact the team for assistance. (Also remember that preview services are published on production severs, not UAT).
Tip: If you need to share the service with other people in your organisation for sign-off, let the team know their email address and access will be set up. They will need to already have created an account. If you’re managing access to your own groups in SailPoint then contact the SailPoint Administrator for your organisation to be added.
Preview service checklist
There are some key items you should check off as part of approving your dataset for release:
- Check you can access the dataset. Make sure you can access the various preview services (Esri REST APIs, WMS) and connect to the dataset in your usual GIS software (e.g. ArcMap, QGIS, et cetera). If you’re going to be using it in a map viewer for internal, or external use, check that it connects from there.
- Check the layer order. (If you’ve indicated how it should be ordered by providing an MXD). The order in the preview service will be carried across to your officially published services.
- Check the styling. Ensure the right colours and labels are displaying in line with the styling requirements provided in the MXD.
- Query the data. Try querying your data through one or more of the preview services to ensure that it’s returning the right attributes.
- Are the views you specified being honoured? Are you seeing the requested attributes exposed? For example, if you’ve limited attributes in a public dataset make sure that that’s being honoured.
Acceptance and Sign off
Once you’re satisfied that everything is in order, authorise sign-off. The SLIP Acceptance and Release document, which was attached to the email sent with your preview services, is used to communicate your approval to proceed with publishing your data.
Info: At this stage you need to print off, physically sign, and scan the document. Integrating the acceptance process into DUT itself, and removing the need for this manual step, is on our roadmap.
Once the document is signed, reply to the email you received, and attach the signed release form. This serves as advice that you’re happy to proceed with the next step – publishing and communicating your dataset.
Time: The work of moving the data from the preview service into your final published services may take some time. Generally, it will take five to ten (5 to 10) working days for the data to be published. After this, a further ten (10) working days to go through the standard change process for the release of a new dataset.
Tip: If you realise you need to make changes to the dataset application after approval has been given, please get in touch straightaway. It may still be possible to make changes if the dataset hasn’t been announced and released.