Important notes when upgrading to MS4W 5 from MS4W 4


  • always first follow the instructions in the file /ms4w/REQUIREMENTS.txt to install the updated "Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable" on your server


SWIG MapScript


  • test PHP MapScript at the commandline by executing:
    php -dextension=C:/ms4w/Apache/php/ext/php_mapscript.dll -r "echo msGetVersion();"
  • as of MS4W 5.0, there is no external file to include in your PHP scripts (the constants and functions are wrapped inside the MapScript PHP extension instead)
  • see the updated example scripts here on the Wiki, such as:
    • query example: MS4W 5.x
    • new layer example (create WMS layer & setting metadata, create polygon layer + opacity, create point layer): MS4W 5.x
    • WMS wrapper example: MS4W 5.x
    • setOpacity() example: MS4W 5.x
  • quickmap.php has also been updated (see locally at /ms4w/Apache/htdocs/quickmap.php)
  • be aware that with the MapServer 8 release, many deprecated things have been removed and will now throw an error. For example, there is no longer a setMetaData() function for a Layer (or a getMetaData() function), in SWIG MapScript. Instead we must access the 'metadata' hashTableObj keys and values directly, here is a working example:
      //set metadata using the new 'metadata' hashTableObj keys and value directly
      $oWMSLayer->metadata->set("wms_name", "popplace");
      $oWMSLayer->metadata->set("wms_title", "Cities");
      $oWMSLayer->metadata->set("wms_srs", "EPSG:3978");
      $oWMSLayer->metadata->set("wms_server_version", "1.1.1");
      $oWMSLayer->metadata->set("wms_format", "image/png");
      //set the PROCESSING directive on the layer (not beneficial for WMS layers, but useful for database layers, so set here only as an example)
      $oDBLayer->setProcessingKey("CLOSE_CONNECTION", "DEFER");
      //get LAYER metadata using the new 'metadata' hashTableObj keys directly
      echo $oWMSLayer->metadata->get("wms_title");
      //get WEB object metadata
      echo $oMap->web->metadata->get("wms_title");


  • test Python MapScript at the commandline by executing:
    python -c "import mapscript; print (mapscript.msGetVersion())"
  • has been included in /ms4w/msplugins/mapscript/python/ (follow the instructions at top of file)
  • the GDAL Python utilities can be called at the commandline such as:
      gdal_merge --help
      gdal2tiles --help
  • test the GDAL Python module at the commandline by executing:
      python -c "from osgeo import gdal;print(gdal.__version__)"
  • upgrade pip
      python -m pip install --upgrade pip


  • Apache's conf & setenv.bat now set the environment variable PROJ_LIB to PROJ's new location:
    If your mapfiles set a PROJ_LIB (which is not recommended, as MS4W's Apache does this for you) you will have to update your PROJ_LIB value
  • MS4W 5.0 includes PROJ 8.2, which contains many changes:
    • allowing to dynamically pull in various grids, to improve accuracy
      • see settings in /ms4w/share/proj/proj.ini
      • since we are involved in displaying maps over the internet, we should likely have these grids locally on the server
        • execute the following to install the grids (into /ms4w/share/proj/)
    • all EPSG codes are stored in proj.db, an SQLite database, stored in /ms4w/share/proj/, instead of the former epsg text file

Removed Mapfile Parameters

The following (formerly deprecated) popular mapfile parameters will now cause errors in your MS4W 5.x mapfile, so you MUST REMOVE them:


Instead, you can configure querying of your layer by using METADATA instead, such as:

    "wms_title"         "Populated Places"
    "wms_include_items" "all"
    "gml_include_items" "all"
    "gml_featureid"     "ogc_fid"	
  END #metadata
END #layer
  1. OPACITY at the LAYER-level

Instead it must be inside a COMPOSITE object:

    OPACITY 40
  END #composite
END #layer
  1. COLOR at the CLASS-level

Instead it must be inside the class' STYLE object:

      COLOR 120 120 120
    END #style
  END #class
END #layer

see the full list of removed parameters


The former shp2img commandline utility has been renamed to map2img.

Last modified 10 months ago Last modified on 2023-09-26T14:34:57-03:00
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