Monday, March 24, 2008

2008 ESRI Developer Summit

Some news for all you GIS nerds out there...

- ArcIMS is dead; there will be no new features or enhancements for it. They are really pushing ArcGIS Server and did not mention ArcIMS once. Support is there but I don't think for to long.

- It looks like ArcReader will be going by the way side and ArcGIS Explorer will take its place. I spoke with one of the developers from the ArcGIS Explorer team and they say they are moving in that direction. They are the same people that work on the ArcReader team so new development will go towards ArcGIS Explorer.

ArcGIS Explorer 9.3
- Explorer will be able to open shapefiles and FileGeodatabases locally but not Personal Geodatabase.

- The interface has changed and it looks like the ribbon in Office 2007.

ArcGIS Server 9.3
- The new REST API is very impressive and I think will be the default way of interacting with ArcGIS Server. They say in 9.4 you will be able to edit data through the REST API also for geometry and attribute data.

- You can use the new REST API to run geoprocessing tasks and return their output to a custom viewer, Google Earth, Google Maps or Virtual Earth. You can even send queries to minimize your return output all using a url sent to ArcGIS Server.

- ArcGIS Server has the ability to serve out data in multiple formats one of them being kml/ kmz format. No need to convert data into kmz anymore.

- New JavaScript API will make things a lot easier on the web front end. There touting it as the new Avenue for ArcGIS Server. The JavaScript API is based on the REST API. Plus the JavaScript and REST API are license free unlike the Web ADF.

- Web ADF has been rearchitected to use Microsoft's AJAX Framework and is also a hybrid system. Some things will happen on the client side and some on the server side, performance has also been increased.

- 9.2 Web ADF applications will need to be converted for 9.3 Web ADF. They do offer a tool to make that conversion. (Of course during the session it bombed and errored out. So let's hope they fix that before release.)

- The architecture needed to support the WebADF hasn't changed though. Still uses com ports to connect to ArcGIS Server. Plus I didn't hear of any license changes either.

- Full support for the open source & free database server PostgreSQL has been added.

- You will be able to query and edit geometry data using TSQL on all database platforms. This will be limited to simple features only. Topology, networks or any advanced features will not be supported.

- They will be retiring the sdebinary format and standardizing on the st_geometry format. There shipping a ArcTool box tool that will make it easy to convert to the new format.

- There will be no further development on SDE command line functions but it will not go away. It will be supported like Workstation.

ArcMap 9.3 & beyond
- Looks like a lot of bugs and performance problems will be fixed in 9.3. They used Coverity specifically for this task and found bugs that have been in there since 8.3…..cross your fingers folks ;-)

- VB6 will not be supported in 9.4. VB6 applications will need to be converted to .NET.

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