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February 26, 2007 / Steven Pousty

First in a series on 9.2

With over a month of 9.2 under my belt I can start to give some feedback. In re-reading this post I realize it is not very well organized but I just wanted to get some of my ideas out there before I forget some of my initial impressions.
First of all, before you uninstall 9.1 make sure you uninstall ALL plugins first and then uninstall 9.1. Some people in my company have had crashing problems with 9.2 and we think it may be due to junk left over. I uninstalled 9.1, rebooted, deleted the arcgis folders, went through the registry and did manual deletions (not for the faint of heart or if you don’t have a 1/2 hour to spare), rebooted, and then installed. Not for the ESRI install team – please write an uninstaller that actually cleans ALL the junk ArcGIS puts in the registry. Use a regcleaner doesn’t do much good since it usually requires you to use the machine for several days without the application before you run the cleaner. Most of us use ArcGIS day in and day out so we can’t afford to be without it for several days.

9.2 is rock solid for me with much fewer crashes. More of the geoprocessing tools seem to work. The ability to export grids to a bazillion different formats has saved us on one project already. AutoCad was having reading some GeoTiffs from a client so I just exported them as GeoPNGs and we were good to go. I like the keyboard shortcuts though I haven’t really learned that many yet – ctrl-t is my favorite since it opens the table view for a layer.

One note about datum transformations.. I know this document explaining the applicatiablity of the different datum transforms exists on the support site but why is it not included in the help? Seems to me it should even be linked to the project tool dialog since that is when I need the information most.

I think one of the greatest new features is the Personal SDE. Kudos to Craig and the other people on the geodb team for bringing this to fruition. I had never used this before I left so my 9.2 install was my first experience. Let me just say it was smooth smooth smooth. Easy cheesy to connect and get data into it right away. And there is it I have a version of SDE with all of SDE’s features running on my laptop ready for me to explore. The fact that replication can occur between this geodatabase and any other SDE geodatabase is huge. I can already see several scenarios for using this on our tablets. I also love the ability to detach a geodatabase and transfer it to another user.

Unlike the file geodb I can actually open this database with the SQL Server tools or ODBC into it with Access or use the SQL Server JDBC driver. Once they release SDE on postgresql why would I even need a cross platform solutions in a file geodb (I say that with tongue in cheek). I hope the postgresql version of SDE can be run like this as well. That would be the hawesome.

One suggestion for the geodb team is that they should perhaps give some documentation for users who already have SQL Express through a Vis Studio install. MS is really pushing SQL Express pretty hard and so it is likely that .NET developers will already have SQL Express installed or will want to install it after loading personal SDE. I already patched my SQL Express to service pack 2, which basically means re-install SQL Express. I couldn’t remember if I had installed personal SDE on my laptop so I am not sure if you need to re-install personal SDE after upgrading to SP2.

The bind for me is that I installed the default instance for Vis. Studio as MSSQLSERVER and personal SDE as SQLSERVER. Therefore I wasn’t sure how to approach the upgrade since I could see both instances. I suppose I should re-run the install to upgrade the other instance. I am not sure if that is right so if anyone has the correct answer please let me know. Still not as stable as some of the older products but I am happier with this version of ArcGIS. Overall I give 9.2 a thumbs up over 9.1. More comments to follow in the future…



  1. Brian Timoney / Feb 26 2007 5:59 pm


    For those of us on the outside looking in, we’ve heard talk about the new SQL API for SDE (Oracle flavor). Have you played around with it yet or have seen any samples?

    Also, as far as getting data out of the Personal DB, can you read coordinates out as WKT or GML??

    Inquiring minds want to know,


  2. thesteve0 / Feb 26 2007 6:02 pm

    Hey Brian:
    Nope – I do not have an Oracle instance to play with.
    For a personal SDE, there is no option to store the field as a text field so I am assuming it is storing things as WKB in the SQL Server Express DB. I am curious to know why there was no spatial type built for SQL Server.

  3. SQL DOC / Feb 26 2007 6:20 pm

    SAMPLE SQL statements from ESRI:

    In ArcMap, to display a subset of building features that are within 50 meters of water mains, type the following expression in the Layer Properties definition Query:

    objectid in (select b.objectid FROM buildings b, water w where w.watertype = ‘MAIN’ and ST_Overlaps (b.shape, ST_Buffer (w.shape, 50)) = 1)

  4. Jeff / Feb 27 2007 4:03 am

    The new Spatial Type for Oracle does indeed function well.

    The ST_INTERSECTS is really quick.
    It uses the spatial indexes in a very performant manner.

    The other functions do not use the spatial indexes the same way and are therefore a bit slower. But in ArcSDE SP2, this will be updated.

    That’s why you should – for the moment – always use an ST_INTERSECTS in conjunction with another operator to narrow down the search and seed up your query (or even better your VIEW).

    Like this:

    select name
    from counties
    where st_contains(counties.shape,st_point(600000,200000,3))=1;


    select name
    from counties
    where st_contains(counties.shape,st_point(600000,200000,3))=1 and st_envintersects(counties.shape,st_point(600000,200000,3))=1;

    and YES with these functions you can also get WKT and WKB from geometry or set the geometry by WKT:

    and many more:

  5. Paolo Corti / Feb 27 2007 7:14 am

    I am curious about the license mechanism of the SQL Stuff
    Do you need to install a client (ie an ArcEditor or ArcInfo) license from every sql client? Or this is not necessary (and in such a case I would be really surprised…)
    I am still staying with 9.1, and we didn’t go for 9.2 as we couldn’t afford this year the maintainance fee…

  6. thesteve0 / Feb 27 2007 10:53 am

    Hey anonymous:
    Thanks for pointing to the online doc.

    I haven’t tried connecting to a personal SDE with ArcView so I am not sure. Maybe another reader could pipe up and let us know.

  7. Brian Timoney / Feb 27 2007 3:52 pm


    Thanks for the info.

    We’re still looking for a solid, easy (well, you know, relatively easy) way to connect to SDE datastores from the outside using web scripting (PHP or ASP). OGR seems to have some capabilities as well as the FDO connection tools.

    Any thoughts along these lines would be appreciated.



  8. VBAHole22 / Mar 7 2007 7:51 am

    So you like the Oracle SQL functionality Jeff?
    Did you have to upconvert your SDE data to use the ST_GEOMETRY data type? Is there a tool to do this on a mass scale?

  9. Brendan Hemens / Apr 16 2007 9:04 am

    Thanks for the info; that reg cleaning stuff might explain why some of our copies are crashing so frequently. Can you create spatial views with SQL Express? I can’t find confirmation in the documentation.

  10. thesteve0 / Apr 16 2007 10:02 am

    Hey Brendan:
    It is my understanding – so take it with a grain of salt – that there is no functionality difference between SDE on SQLExpress and SDE on SQLServer except for data, memory, and CPU utilization. But in terms of SDE features I think they are treated as the same. Look at the tutorial on using the SQLExpress version of SDE for more information.

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