CSW Clients and Servers we are testing

Following is a list of Web Service client, server, and hybrid applications we are aware of that are supposed to handle the CSW 2.0.2 protocol. Check out OGC's registry of products for more CSW implementations.

Caveat Emptor

  1. We have not yet found one "off-the-shelf" CSW server or client that was stable or ready for production deployment.
  2. Every app appears to have small to large variations in the interpretation of the CSW protocol. It's like the HTML browser wars all over again.


  • deegree http://www.deegree.org/
    Java-based  data and metadata Web Service engine with PostgreSQL/PostGIS or Oracle back end.
    • Pro: open sources; handles WMS, WFS, and WCS too; transparent and highly configurable (XSLT) setup;active and responsive development team
    • Con: no CSW harvest support; may be slow due to the heavy use of XSLT transformations over Java code.
  • eXcat Server http://gdsc.nlr.nl/gdsc/tools/excat
    A Java-based CSW server - not tested yet.


  • GeoNetwork http://geonetwork-opensource.org/
    Java-based all-in-one metadata catalog application
    • Pro: nice data entry client and data import (CSW, ArcSDE, XML, etc.) web forms and tools; widely adopted; active development team
    • Con: no CSW harvest support, can't query other CSW services and must load the data locally first; CSW support is new and still under development (buggy)


  • deegree Generic OGC WebService Client http://www.deegree.org/
    Java-based CSW test client - see demo
    • Pro: simple but great test tool for any CSW transaction requests and responses
    • Con: only good for developers
  • Catalog Connector http://sourceforge.net/projects/catalogconnecto/
    Promising Java based CSW client
    • Pro: submits CSW queries to multiple services and compiles results; supports multiple CSW servers; easy to configure for CSW server idiosyncrasies
    • Con: still in alpha stage
  • eXcat Simple CSW Client http://gdsc.nlr.nl/gdsc/tools/excat
    A PHP and AXAJ based CSW client
    • Pro: only PHP client so far, simple
    • Con: development on it appears to have been stoped, too simple
  • CS-W client for ArcGIS http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/geoportal/clients.html
    A CSW client extension for ESRI's ArcMap and ArcExplorer apps
    • Pro: search CSW records within GIS app; insert found WMS & WFS services into GIS app
    • Con: buggy; limited ESRI support; requires significant modifications to work with deegree. Search for "ArcGIS CSW client" more information.

Other projects we haven't had a chance to study

Buddata ebXML Registry/Repository (or ebRR in short) is an open source implementation of the OASIS ebXML Registry and OGC Catalogue Service. http://code.google.com/p/buddata-ebxml-registry/ . See also http://wiki.services.eoportal.org/tiki-index.php?page=ERGO+EbRIM+Implementation+with+GEONETWORK+and+OMAR

MDWeb (http://www.mdweb-project.org/) MDweb is based on JEE technologies, and implements the OGC CSW 2.0.2 specification using the ISO 19115 application schema. This CSW implementation in the most recent MDweb version draws on the Java language metadata implementation of the Geotoolkit library to support multi-lingual searches while a transactional mode enables the harvesting of remote ISO 19115 Dublin Core, EbRIM compliant catalogs.   Current release 2010 July 27.


MDWeb release

srichardAzgs's picture

New release 2010 July 27.

MDweb is a free tool for cataloging and locating resources (data, documents and services) that are accessible over the web. It is based on current geographic-information metadata (ISO 19115, 19119) and communication (OGC’s CSW-2) standards and conforms to the rules for implementing metadata and the associated discovery services of the INSPIRE directives.

This activity is based in France:


MDweb -- http://www.mdweb-project.org
IRD -- http://www.espace.ird.fr
GEOMATYS -- http://www.geomatys.com

Spatium Cube

srichardAzgs's picture

Project is active, developing CSW client and Server. Current release 2.1.0, on 2010 July 30.


Project based in Spain, University of Zaragoza, associated with CatMDedit

Notes from their web site:

* Easy way of metadata loading. The storage of metadata records is managed directly through the file system.

* The server side of the product supports:

o the compulsory operations GetCapabilities, DescribeRecord, GetRecords and GetRecordById;

o transactional operations to allow users to add, delete and modify the catalog's contents.

* implements ISO19115 and DublinCore output schemas

* Ranked searching. Metadata are indexed based on Lucene search engine http://lucene.apache.org/java/docs/, so best results are returned first.

* Tested compatibility with other catalog tools such as GI-Cat/GI-Go http://zeus.pin.unifi.it/cgi-bin/twiki/view/GIcat/WebHome, Geonetwork http://geonetwork-opensource.org/ or CatalogConnector http://sourceforge.net/projects/catalogconnecto/.

* integrated Web Client application to test catalog services compliant with CSW 2.0.2. This client offers a guided interface to facilitate the definition of CSW requests (including maps and other graphic components for query filter expressions) using both KVP, XML and SOAP protocols. This client interface is multilingual (currently available in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician and the Basque language; it can be customized for other languages) and can be configured to request other catalog services compliant with CSW 2.0.2 developed with different technologies like GI-Cat or GeoNetwork.

SpatiumCube open source initiative announced

wgrunberg's picture

The SpatiumCube open source initiative "offers an integration framework of software technologies than can help users and programmers with the development of Spatial Data Infraestructures (SDIs) and their services." Their first released product is CatalogCube - a CSW 2.0.2 service implementation and CSW test client.

ESSI-Lab offers GI-go GeoBrowser and CI-cat CSW client/server

wgrunberg's picture

ESSI-Lab offers a new release of their graphical GI-go GeoBrowser client to their GI-cat CSW server.  According to their web site, the GI-go client supports:

  • WCS 1.0, 1.1
  • WMS 1.3.0, 1.1.1
  • WFS 1.0.0
  • CSW 2.0.2 Core, AP ISO 1.0, ebRIM/CIM, ebRIM/EO
  • THREDDS 1.0.1, 1.0.2
  • Accessors for GeoNetwork (tested with versions 2.2.0 and 2.4.1) and deegree (tested with version 2.2) catalog services
  • OpenSearch accessor
  • GENESI RDF OpenSearch accessor
  • Download and visualization of XML metadata
  • CDI 1.04, 1.3
  • GI-cat 5.x, 6.x
  • GBIF

The GI-cat server is advertised to support the following profiles:

  • Profilers (CSW ebRIM CIM 2.0.2, CSW ebRIM EO 2.0.2)
  • OGC CSW 2.0.2 AP core
  • OGC CSW 2.0.2 AP ISO 1.0
  • OGC CSW 2.0.2 ebRIM EO
  • OGC CSW 2.0.2 ebRIM CIM
  • OpenSearch
  • GI-cat extended interface