Notes from the ESRI CA/HI/NV/Guam Regional users group
So today I gave a 45 minute talk at the RUG group meeting. I will try to upload my PPT about building tools for habitat conservation plan monitoring later. I had fun giving the talk and it was a good crowd.
Here are the interesting notes from Clint Brown and ESRI staff’s opening talk:
1. There is an API forthcoming for the file geodatabase. Until that comes out I will only use the file-gdb for ArcObject only projects and maybe not even then. I like being able to see the data without being locked into using an ESRI product all the time. They did not commit to a timeline but said they wanted to take their time and get it right. To me that seems like a 10.x release.
2. 9.3 should be released as a beta at the UC in June and it is basically only minor features with more bug fixes and stability improvements. Yeehaaa is what I have to say to that.3.
3. Postgresql for SDE will come out with 9.3 – bring it on! Less money on SQLServer more money on ESRI products.
4. There was some discussion of bringing ArcPad to a native .NET application rather than it’s current form. To me this is a great idea since ArcPad is windows only right now and by making it .NET will allow developers a much nicer customization experince.
5. Next year will be the release of ArcGIS 10.x. He claimed 64-bit, multi-threaded, more Java support, more linux support, native graphics support. The only way I see this happening is for a major re-write of ArcObjects off of COM. This was the most exciting news to me. This will be good for both .NET and Java developers.
I realized why the CAD plugin blog post was pulled – because ESRI is releasing it as a part of a 9.3 product launch.
ArcIMS is still around but I don’t really think there is much path forward (my interpreation not explicitly spoken). They talked about migrating to ArcGIS Server when “you are ready”. All their talks are about ArcGIS server and none on ArcIMS.
I take all of these dates with a grain-o-salt but it was still pretty interesting news. I will be interested to hear what comes out of the UC in June.
I am also starting to see a coherent ArcGIS product marketing picture. Desktop is for the serious GIS professional and then there is Server GIS for storing large datasets and then sharing it and pushing some of the GIS analysis out to end users. So Server is an integral part of the ESRI picture moving forward – if you didn’t believe it before, believe it now. They are going to keep on building Server to be an integral part of the ESRI stack. I wonder how they are going to manage this with the price points. There were several smaller municipalities or small consulting firms talking about inability to afford ArcEditor licenses let alone Server.
There is also ArcGISOnline in the picture and I am not sure how that is going to play out. I think they are trying to provide some basic GIS layers publically available for GIS professionals to build on top of.
Other feedback I got from other GIS pros in attendance:
GP still needs stability and error reporting work. There are quite a few hard core users who still do not use GP because of frequent failures and crashes.
Should be fun to be at the Dev Summit to talk about these things with other developers and see the updates to the ESRI message.