# JavaScript Client

# Installation

The openEO JavaScript Client can be used in all modern browsers (excludes Internet Explorer) and all maintained Node.js versions (>= 10.x). It can also been used for mobile app development with the Ionic Framework (opens new window), for example.

The easiest way to try out the client is using one of the examples (opens new window). Alternatively, you can create an HTML file and include the client with the following HTML script tags:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/axios@0.21/dist/axios.min.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/@openeo/js-client@2/openeo.min.js"></script>

This gives you a minified version for production environments. If you'd like a better development experience, use the following code:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/axios@0.21/dist/axios.js"></script>
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/@openeo/js-client@2/openeo.js"></script>

If you are working on a Node.js application or you are using a Node.js-based build tool for web development (e.g. Webpack), you can install the client via npm (opens new window) by using the following command:

npm install @openeo/js-client

Afterwards you can load the library. Depending on whether you are directly working in Node.js or are just using a Node.js build tool, the import can be different. Please inform yourself which import is suited for your project.

This is usually used directly in Node.js:

const { OpenEO } = require('@openeo/js-client');

This may be used in build tools such as Webpack:

import { OpenEO } from '@openeo/js-client';

Now that the installation was successfully finished, we can now connect to openEO compliant back-ends. In the following chapters we quickly walk through the main features of the JavaScript client.

If you have trouble installing the client, feel free to contact us or leave an issue at the GitHub project (opens new window).

# Exploring a back-end

If you do not know an openEO back-end that you want to connect to yet, you can have a look at the openEO Hub (opens new window), to find all known back-ends with information on their capabilities.

For this tutorial we will use the openEO instance of Google Earth Engine, which is available at https://earthengine.openeo.org. Note that the code snippets in this guide works the same way for the other back-ends listed in the openEO Hub. Just the collection identifier and band names might differ.

First we need to establish a connection to the back-end.

var con = await OpenEO.connect("https://earthengine.openeo.org");


The JavaScript client uses Promises (async/await) (opens new window). So there are two ways to express the code above:


OpenEO.connect("https://earthengine.openeo.org").then(function(con) {
  // Success
}).catch(function(error) {
  // Error


try {
  var con = await OpenEO.connect("https://earthengine.openeo.org");
  // Success
} catch (error) {
  // Error

To simplify the code here, we use async/await in all examples and don't catch errors. So we assume you run the code in an async function and also in a try/catch block.

After establishing the connection to the back-end, it can be explored using the Connection object (opens new window) returned. The basic service's metadata (capabilities) can be accessed via

var info = con.capabilities();

This allows to request a couple of different information (opens new window), like API version, description, related links or the billing plans. You can print some of these information to the console as follows:

console.log("API Version: ", info.apiVersion());
console.log("Description: ", info.description());

console.log("Billing plans:");
info.listPlans().forEach(plan => {
  console.log(`${plan.name}: ${plan.url}`);

console.log("Related links:");
info.links().forEach(link => {
  console.log(`${link.title}: ${link.href}`);

# Collections

Collections represent the basic data the back-end provides (e.g. Sentinel 2 collection). Collections are used as input data for job executions (more info on collections). With the following code snippet you can print all 400+ available collection names and their summary.

console.log("Available Collections:");
var response = await con.listCollections();
response.collections.forEach(collection => {
  console.log(`${collection.id}: ${collection.summary}`);

To get detailed information about a single collection, you can pass any of the collection IDs requested earlier to describeCollection and get a full object of STAC compliant Collection metadata (opens new window) back. In this example we request information about the Sentinel-2 Level 1C data from Google:

console.log(await con.describeCollection("COPERNICUS/S2"));

The collections descriptions returned by listCollections are usually not complete. To get the full set of metadata you should always use describeCollection.

# Processes

Processes in openEO are small tasks that can be applied on (EO) data. The input of a process might be the output of another process, so that several connected processes form a new (user-defined) process itself. Therefore, a process resembles the smallest unit of task descriptions in openEO (more details on processes). With the following code snippet you can print all available process IDs and their summaries.

console.log("Available Collections:");
var response = await con.listProcesses();
response.processes.forEach(process => {
  console.log(`${process.id}: ${process.summary}`);

In contrast to the collections, the process descriptions returned by listProcesses are complete. There's no need to call describeProcess to get the full set of metadata. describeProcess is just a convenience function to get a single process from listProcesses. In this example we request the process specification for the apply process:

console.log(await con.describeProcess("apply"));

For a graphical overview of the openEO processes, there is an online documentation for general process descriptions and the openEO Hub (opens new window) for back-end specific process descriptions.

# Authentication

In the code snippets above, authentication is usually not necessary, since we only fetch general information about the back-end. To run your own jobs at the back-end or to access job results, you need to authenticate at the back-end.

Depending on the back-end, there might be two different approaches to authenticate. You need to inform yourself at your back-end provider of choice, which authentication approach you have to carry out. You can also have a look at the openEO Hub (opens new window) to see the available authentication types of the back-ends.


The Google Earth Engine implementation for openEO only supports Basic authentication, but generally the preferred authentication method is OpenID Connect due to better security mechanisms implemented in the OpenID Connect protocol.

# Basic Authentication

The Basic authentication method is a common way of authenticate HTTP requests given username and password.

The following code snippet shows how to log in via Basic authentication:

await con.authenticateBasic("username", "password");

After successfully calling the authenticateBasic method, you are logged into the back-end with your account. This means, that every call that comes after that via the con variable is executed by your user account.

# OpenID Connect Authentication


For Google Earth Engine, only Basic Authentication is supported at the moment.

The OIDC (OpenID Connect (opens new window)) authentication can be used to authenticate via an external service given a client ID.


If you have included the library using HTML script tags, then you need to include the following OIDC client before the openEO client:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/oidc-client@1/lib/oidc-client.min.js"></script>

No further action is required, if you have installed the client via npm.

As OpenID Connect authentication is a bit more complex and depends on the environment your are using it in, please refer to the JavaScript client documentation (opens new window) for more information.

# Creating a (user-defined) process

Now that we know how to discover the back-end and how to authenticate, lets continue by creating a new batch job to process some data. First we need to create a user-defined process and for that a process builder is the easiest method.

var builder = await con.buildProcess();

With the builder, a datacube can be initialized by selecting a collection from the back-end with the process load_collection:

var datacube = builder.load_collection(
  {west: 16.06, south: 48.06, east: 16.65, north: 48.35},
  ["2017-03-01", "2017-04-01"],
  ["VV", "VH"]

This results in a datacube containing the "COPERNICUS/S1_GRD" data restricted to the given spatial extent, the given temporal extend and the given bands .


You can also filter the datacube at a later stage by using the following filter methods:

datacube = builder.filter_bbox(datacube, {west: 16.06, south: 48.06, east: 16.65, north: 48.35});
datacube = builder.filter_temporal(datacube, ["2017-03-01", "2017-04-01"]);
datacube = builder.filter_bands(datacube, ["VV", "VH"]);

Still, it is recommended to always use the filters in load_collection to avoid loading too much data upfront.

Having the input data ready, we want to apply a process on the datacube, which returns a datacube with the process applied:

var min = function(data) { return this.min(data); };
datacube = builder.reduce_dimension(datacube, min, "t");

The datacube is now reduced by the time dimension named t, by taking the minimum value of the timeseries values. Now the datacube has no time dimension left. Other so called "reducer" processes exist, e.g. for computing maximum and mean values.


Everything applied to the datacube at this point is neither executed locally on your machine nor executed on the back-end. It just defines the input data and process chain the back-end needs to apply when it sends the datacube to the back-end and executes it there. How this can be done is the topic of the next chapter.

After applying all processes you want to execute, we need to tell the back-end to export the datacube, for example as GeoTiff:

var result = builder.save_result(datacube, "GTiff");

# Batch Job Management

After you finished working on your (user-defined) process, we can now send it to the back-end and start the execution. In openEO, an execution of a (user-defined) process (here defined using the process builder) is called a (batch) job. Therefore, we need to create a job at the back-end using our datacube, giving it the title Example Title.

var job = await con.createJob(result, "Example Title");

The createJob method sends all necessary information to the back-end and creates a new job, which gets returned. After this, the job is just created, but has not started the execution at the back-end yet. It needs to be queued for processing explicitly:

await job.startJob();

Now the execution of the job can be monitored by requesting the job status and the log files every once in a while (30 seconds in this example):

let stopFn = job.monitorJob((job, logs) => {
  logs.forEach(log => console.log(`${log.level}: ${log.message}`));
}, 30);

The monitoring stops automatically once the job has finished, was canceled or errored out. But with the return value of the monitorJob function, you can also stop monitoring the job manually:


When the job is finished, calling listResults gets you the URLs to the results.

var urls = await job.listResults();


This only works if the job execution has finished. We recommend to use listResults in combination with monitorJob, for example as follows:

let stopFn = job.monitorJob(async (job, logs) => {
  if (job.status === "finished") {
    var urls = await job.listResults();
    urls.forEach(url => console.log(`Download result from: ${url.href}`));


There's also the method downloadResults to download the results directly. Unfortunately, you can only download files from a Node.js environment where file access to your local drive is possible. In a Browser environment, it is also an option to download the STAC Item or Collection for the results using the getResultsAsStac method and point a STAC client (opens new window) to it for downloading.

Now you know the general workflow of job executions.

# Full Example

In this chapter we will show a full example of an earth observation use case using the JavaScript client in a Node.js environment and the Google Earth Engine back-end. Instead of batch job processing, we compute the image synchronously. Synchronous processing means the result is directly returned in the response, which usually works only for smaller amounts of data.

Use Case

We want to produce a monthly RGB composite of Sentinel 1 backscatter data over the area of Vienna, Austria for three months in 2017. This can be used for classification and crop monitoring.

In the following code example, we use inline code comments to describe what we are doing.


The username and password in the example above work at the time of writing, but may be invalid at the time you read this. Please contact us for credentials.

// Make the client available to the Node.js script
// Also include the Formula library for simple math expressions
const { OpenEO, Formula } = require('@openeo/js-client');

async function example() {
  // Connect to the back-end
  var con = await OpenEO.connect("https://earthengine.openeo.org");
  // Authenticate ourselves via Basic authentication
  await con.authenticateBasic("group11", "test123");
  // Create a process builder
  var builder = await con.buildProcess();
  // We are now loading the Sentinel-1 data over the Area of Interest
  var datacube = builder.load_collection(
    {west: 16.06, south: 48.06, east: 16.65, north: 48.35},
    ["2017-03-01", "2017-06-01"],

  // Since we are creating a monthly RGB composite, we need three separated time ranges (March aas R, April as G and May as G).
  // Therefore, we split the datacube into three datacubes using a temporal filter.
  var march = builder.filter_temporal(datacube, ["2017-03-01", "2017-04-01"]);
  var april = builder.filter_temporal(datacube, ["2017-04-01", "2017-05-01"]);
  var may = builder.filter_temporal(datacube, ["2017-05-01", "2017-06-01"]);

  // We aggregate the timeseries values into a single image by reducing the time dimension using a mean reducer.
  var mean = function(data) {
    return this.mean(data);
  march = builder.reduce_dimension(march, mean, "t");
  april = builder.reduce_dimension(april, mean, "t");
  may = builder.reduce_dimension(may, mean, "t");

  // Now the three images will be combined into the temporal composite.
  // We rename the bands to R, G and B as otherwise the bands are overlapping and the merge process would fail.
  march = builder.rename_labels(march, "bands", ["R"], ["VV"]);
  april = builder.rename_labels(april, "bands", ["G"], ["VV"]);
  may = builder.rename_labels(may, "bands", ["B"], ["VV"]);

  datacube = builder.merge_cubes(march, april);
  datacube = builder.merge_cubes(datacube, may);

  // To make the values match the RGB values from 0 to 255 in a PNG file, we need to scale them.
  // We can simplify expressing math formulas using the openEO Formula parser.
  datacube = builder.apply(datacube, new Formula("linear_scale_range(x, -20, -5, 0, 255)"));

  // Finally, save the result as PNG file.
  // In the options we specify which band should be used for "red", "green" and "blue" color.
  datacube = builder.save_result(datacube, "PNG", {
    red: "R",
    green: "G",
    blue: "B"

  // Now send the processing instructions to the back-end for (synchronous) execution and save the file as result.png
  await con.downloadResult(datacube, "result.png");

// Run the example, write errors to the console.
example().catch(error => console.error(error));

Now the resulting PNG file of the RGB backscatter composite is stored as result.png in the node.JS working directory and should look as follows:

RGB composite

# User Defined Functions

If your use case can not be accomplished with the default processes of openEO, you can define a user defined function. Unfortunately, you can only create Python and R functions at the moment. Therefore, this guide doesn't get into detail. For more information check out the Python or R tutorials on UDFs.

# Additional Information