It is important to mention that the WCS by ECMWF is setup to study and demonstrate the potential of WCS / WCPS web services and is not an operational service offered by ECMWF. It can happen for some periods that the test server will not be accessible or degraded.
The current OGC WCS server for Climate Data is not meant to be integrated into any operational applications.
If a data provider (e.g. ECMWF) offers on-demand data access and processing with the help of a WC(P)S protocol, the data can be used in multiple ways:
The Web Coverage Service (WCS) is defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) as:
'The OGC WCS supports electronic retrieval of geospatial data as 'coverages' - that is, digital geospatial information representing space/time varying phenomena'.
Therefore, a WCS is a standard data-access protocol that defines and enables the web-based retrieval of mulit-dimensional geospatial datasets. Unlike a Web Mapping Service (WMS), another widely used OGC standard, which returns spatial data as an image, WCS returns data in its raw form, with its original semantics. This allows for further web-based data processing and analysis or the building of web applications.
A Web Coverage Processing Service(WCPS) is an extension supported by the WCS 2.0 core specification and allows crafting queries to be run on the data using a text based query language, similar to SQL.