Categories
Thoughts

More About ESRI ArcIMS 9.1

In my previous post, ESRI ArcIMS 9.1, is there a point? I asked why didn’t ESRI spell out the changes in ArcIMS 9.1. Well I just noticed there is now a whitepaper outlining the changes and new features of ArcIMS 9.1. This is exactly the information I was looking for, but it was buried in ESRI’s support site. If there was ever a reason to have RSS feeds for support, this is it. I’m sure there is much that gets posted in the knowlege base that most users of the support site never see unless they perform a search. I’d love to get feeds of the latest posting of all support site software, Arcscripts and knowlege base/whitepaper articles. That would be killer!

Most of the changes are evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary, but that is fine. I’d prefer stability on the server side and ArcIMS 9.1 seems to do this. There is only one concern I have:

The ArcXML Guide is provided only in HTML format.

Why do this? Personally I always work off of printed material rather than help or websites for the AXL reference. It doesn’t look like there are many changes in the AXL since 9.0, but the future scares me. Moving from printed manuals to PDF was difficult enough, but not even providing a way for us to print them out on our own just hurts. Hopefully ESRI will revisit this and make sure that in the future PDF manuals are an option.

Tomorrow we’ll start testing our existing ArcIMS 9.0.x applications with 9.1, but I’m guessing they will work without any modifications. I’m looking forward to see how it works.

Categories
Thoughts

Open Source Vs Proprietary

We’ve loaded up PostgreSQL and PostGIS up on our Linux server to start playing around with it and I’ll post some thoughts I have of things so far.

Getting PostgreSQL installed wasn’t too much trouble, but PostGIS was a pain. It has to be compiled before installing. My database programmer got it working after a couple hours, but after using ArcSDE for so many years it was an eye opener. I’m sure they will get a compiled version up, but for now we had to do it ourselves. My next thought was to see if ArcCatalog could connect to it. We tried an ODBC driver and an OleDb driver but had no luck. Databases are not my strong point and while we were able to get them to connect to PostgreSQL, we couldn’t seem to connect to PostGIS. There must be something in how PostGIS handles the spatial data that these drivers can’t handle. This is somewhat of a big deal for us as most of our data is in either ArcSDE or Personal Geodatabases and Post GIS only allows loading of data via shapefiles. I was hoping to use ArcCatalog to perform the loading, I guess it is export to shapefiles and then use the shp2pgsql command. It appears that the ArcGIS Data Interoperability Extension supports PostGIS, but if you have to spend over two grand on an extension, what is the point of going to PostGIS. I’m sure we can script something, but I would have rather had the ArcCatalog option open to everyone.

So what does this mean to our development? Probably not too much except it is a strike against open source GIS. If PostGIS had a windows driver that allowed ArcCatalog access, things might be different and we could recommend it to our clients, command line isn’t a user friendly proposition. Open source GIS seems to mimic open source in general. Its getting better, but you still need command line experience to truly get value from it. Since ArcGIS 8, ESRI has really pushed the GUI for GIS giving even the most greenhorn GIS specialist commands that 10 years ago where run by very experienced GIS Analysts on UNIX.

It is very easy to criticize ESRI for their products but they have really taken the GUI to places where open source is at least 5 if not 10 years away from being. I still think that open source GIS has a place on the server side, but we need to figure out ways to get data loaded from industry standard programs such as ArcCatalog before it will start to take off.

Categories
Thoughts

Open Source Vs Proprietary

We’ve loaded up PostgreSQL and PostGIS up on our Linux server to start playing around with it and I’ll post some thoughts I have of things so far.

Getting PostgreSQL installed wasn’t too much trouble, but PostGIS was a pain. It has to be compiled before installing. My database programmer got it working after a couple hours, but after using ArcSDE for so many years it was an eye opener. I’m sure they will get a compiled version up, but for now we had to do it ourselves. My next thought was to see if ArcCatalog could connect to it. We tried an ODBC driver and an OleDb driver but had no luck. Databases are not my strong point and while we were able to get them to connect to PostgreSQL, we couldn’t seem to connect to PostGIS. There must be something in how PostGIS handles the spatial data that these drivers can’t handle. This is somewhat of a big deal for us as most of our data is in either ArcSDE or Personal Geodatabases and Post GIS only allows loading of data via shapefiles. I was hoping to use ArcCatalog to perform the loading, I guess it is export to shapefiles and then use the shp2pgsql command. It appears that the ArcGIS Data Interoperability Extension supports PostGIS, but if you have to spend over two grand on an extension, what is the point of going to PostGIS. I’m sure we can script something, but I would have rather had the ArcCatalog option open to everyone.

So what does this mean to our development? Probably not too much except it is a strike against open source GIS. If PostGIS had a windows driver that allowed ArcCatalog access, things might be different and we could recommend it to our clients, command line isn’t a user friendly proposition. Open source GIS seems to mimic open source in general. Its getting better, but you still need command line experience to truly get value from it. Since ArcGIS 8, ESRI has really pushed the GUI for GIS giving even the most greenhorn GIS specialist commands that 10 years ago where run by very experienced GIS Analysts on UNIX.

It is very easy to criticize ESRI for their products but they have really taken the GUI to places where open source is at least 5 if not 10 years away from being. I still think that open source GIS has a place on the server side, but we need to figure out ways to get data loaded from industry standard programs such as ArcCatalog before it will start to take off.

Categories
Thoughts

ESRI ArcGIS 9.1 Installed

That was easy…

Easy button

Categories
Thoughts

ESRI ArcIMS 9.1, is there a point?

Well I’ve had some time to look at our ArcSDE 9.1 and ArcIMS 9.1 and I’m not really sure if either needs to really be upgraded. I think I’ll upgrade ArcSDE because we don’t really do and direct programming with it so I’m sure ArcCatalog can connect fine and I’m sure our existing ArcIMS sites will still work find, but I’m at a loss about what I should do with ArcIMS 9.1. The only really updated part that interests me is support for Tomcat 5. We don’t use ArcIMS on Unix or Linux so its not a big deal that they are at the same level as the Windows support and I don’t really see anthing on ESRI’s site telling me that there is anything new with the .NET or ActiveX connectors. The WMS Connector is something we’ve looked at but its nothing we are currently playing with.

Both my ArcIMS installs are working fine so I figure lets just go with ArcIMS 9.0.x and not play with fire. The what’s new webpages are nice, but I’d love to see something like a changelog or more detailed writeups of what is new.