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L-05: Introduction to FDO and the FDO API

Feature Data Objects (FDO) is a feature based API that is designed to allow applications to access and manipulate geospatial data from a number of sources and formats, including files and databases. Using examples and tutorials, the workshop will introduce FDO and describe what it is and how and why you might use it in your application.

The workshop will explain how FDO provides an extensive object data model based on feature classes, properties and associations and will describe how it exposes interfaces to define, query, manipulate, lock and version geospatial information.

You will be introduced to the FDO command pattern and how it is used. You will hear how an application can dynamically discover which capabilities and commands are supported by a provider and use these to tailor your application to expose a dynamic set of FDO functionality. Through this process you will learn how an FDO Provider supplies an implementation of the FDO API for a particular data store, such as vector and raster data files, databases, and OGC web services.

Specifically, the workshop will introduce and discus the following topics:

  • Where and how to download FDO
  • How to build it
  • Fundamental concepts including
  • data stores
  • connections
  • commands
  • schemas and feature classes
  • Geometry and coordinate systems
  • Discovering provider capabilities
  • Filters and Expressions
  • Logical/Physical schema mappings
  • Handling vector and raster data
  • Using SQL with RDBMS data stores
  • The FDO provider registry
  • Error handing

In conclusion, the workshop will discuss how applications such as MapGuide Open Source are using FDO and how third-party developers are working towards implementing new data providers that expose additional formats for use with MapGuide. The workshop will conclude with a general discussion on the future of FDO and the ideas that are being discussed on how to continue to move the API forward in conjunction with the Open Source community.

User Level



Greg Boone is a Senior Systems Software Developer with Autodesk. Greg has been involved with the FDO open source project since its inception in 2006 and currently is a member of the FDO Project Steering committee. Greg has been strong supporter of the FDO Open Source community and has been a driving influence in moving the API and its providers forward in conjunction with MapGuide. Greg has personally been involved in developing the FDO API as well as the WMS and WFS providers, and continues to be active in defining the direction in which the API evolves.