So the Esri UC Q&A seemed to show that you could not only direct connect to just about any spatial RDBMS, but edit as well. In that spirit, we started to think tools such as zigGIS were no longer needed. Well Bill Dollins asks Esri for some clarification on the matter because the scuttlebutt is that you may still need SDE for editing of spatial databases.

Look, there are times when organizations need SDE. But there are times when SDE is a middle man that has no purpose other than to drive revenues for a company. Let’s not screw this up Esri, let ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS for Server 10.1 edit spatial RDBMSs directly. The proletariat is restless, you don’t need a revolution on your hands.

Andrew Turner "Leading the People"