HowTo: Subscribe to a GeoEvent Server Stream Service

09-07-2018 05:43 PM
Esri Regular Contributor
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The GeoEvent Server team maintains sample servers which expose both simulated and live data via stream services. For this write-up I will use publicly available services from the following ArcGIS REST Services Directory:

This write-up assumes you have set up a base ArcGIS Enterprise and have included ArcGIS GeoEvent Server as an additional server role in your solution architecture. I will use a deployment which has the base ArcGIS Enterprise and GeoEvent Server installed on a single machine.

Your goal is to receive feature records, formatted as Esri Feature JSON, from an ArcGIS Server stream service. You could, of course, simply add the stream service to an ArcGIS Enterprise portal web map as a stream layer. For this write-up, however, we will look at the steps a custom client must perform to discover the WebSocket associated with a stream service and subscribe to begin receiving data broadcast by the service.

Stream Service Discovery

It is important to recognize that the GIS server hosting a stream service may be on a different server machine than GeoEvent Server. A stream service is discoverable via the ArcGIS Server REST Services Directory, but the WebSocket used to broadcast feature records is run from within the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) used to run GeoEvent Server. If your ArcGIS Enterprise portal and GeoEvent Server have been deployed on separate machines client applications will need to be able to access both servers to discover the stream service and subscribe to the stream service's WebSocket.

If you browse to the ArcGIS REST Services Directory mentioned above you should see a list of available services highlighted below:

GeoEvent Sample Server - stream services

Let’s examine how a client application might subscribe to the LABus stream service. First, the client will need to acquire a token which it will append to its request to subscribe to the stream service’s WebSocket. The WebSocket’s base endpoint is shown on the stream service’s properties page. The token you need is included in the stream service’s JSON specification.

  • Click the LABus stream service to open the service's properties page.
  • In the upper-left corner of  the LABus properties page, click the JSON link
    to open the stream service's JSON specification.

Stream service properties page

  • Scroll to the bottom of the LABus stream service’s JSON specification page and locate
    the stream service’s subscription token.

Stream service JSON specification

Client applications will need to construct a subscription request which includes both the WebSocket URL and the stream service’s subscription token as a query parameter. The format of the request is illustrated below; make sure to include subscribe in the request:



Client Subscription Examples

The website offers a connection test you can use to verify the subscription request you expect your client application will need to construct. Browse to and select DEMOS > Echo Test from the menu. Paste the subscription request with the stream service’s WebSocket URL and token into the Location field and click ConnectThe client should be able to reach the GeoEvent Server sample server and successfully subscribe to the service’s WebSocket. Esri feature records will be displayed for the Los Angeles Metro buses in the Log window. homepage Echo Test Echo Test


You can also configure an input connector in GeoEvent Server to subscribe to the LABus stream service.

  • Log in to GeoEvent Manager.
  • Add a new Subscribe to an External WebSocket for JSON input.
  • Enter a name for the input.
  • Paste the constructed subscription request to the Remote server WebSocket URI property.
  • Allow the input to create a GeoEvent Definition for you.

Subscribe to an External WebSocket for JSON

Do not configure the input to use event attribute values to build a geometry. The records being broadcast by the stream service are Esri feature records, formatted as Esri Feature JSON, which include attributes and geometry as separate values in an event record hierarchy.

Save the new input and navigate to the Monitor page in GeoEvent Manager – you should see your input’s event count increase as event records are received.

You can now incorporate the input into a GeoEvent Service and use filters and/or processors to apply real-time analytics on the event records being ingested. You might, for example, create a GeoEvent Definition with a simpler structure, tag the id field as the TRACK_ID, and use a Field Mapper Processor to flatten the hierarchical structure of each event record received so that you can send them to a TCP/Text output for display using GeoEvent Logger.

Hopefully the examples and illustrations in this write-up are helpful in guiding you through the discovery of stream services, their properties, and how you can use external clients – or configure GeoEvent Server inputs – to receive the feature records that are being broadcast.

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