It is somewhat hard to blog about Jack’s talks. I’ll just focus on some big points he made and leave some of the details for the rest of the week. First off Jack reiterated that 9.2 is the biggest release since 8.0 and apologized for problems with their software in the past. He then went directly into ArcGIS server and how it is changing how ESRI operates. While his did say that ArcIMS 9.2 was almost a total rewrite, he did compare it ArcInfo 7 being supported when ArcGIS 8 arrived. If you have ArcSDE maintenance, you’ll get a copy of ArcGIS Server Basic, if you have ArcIMS maintenance, you’ll get ArcGIS Server Standard and if you have an existing ArcGIS Server maintenance you’ll get ArcGIS Server Advanced.
It has been quite a few years since I was really amazed at seeing something demonstrated at the Plenary, but the new cartographic representation tools just blow me a way. Anyone who is using ArcGIS for cartography should be scanning the online training at ESRI for sessions because this is going to revolutionize how we make maps with ArcGIS. Bernie Szukalski demonstrated ArcGIS Explorer including some of the tools ESRI is going to provide to make publishing maps to ArcGIS Explorer very easy (and they will include some impressive maps online to get you started). Visually, the globe is looking more like NASA World Wind than Google Earth, very pretty (but of course it all depends on what you are serving up). Then Jim McKinney showed some of they ways to share ArcGIS data with other applications (GeoMedia, Google Earth) and how one can use SQL to update SDE layers from outside the ArcGIS suite. The KML network link right out of ArcGIS Server was particularly impressive.
Lastly Nick Frunzi showed the new ESRI customer portal. I was pretty harsh on the marketing team for not using ESRI technology, but the support team has really done a great job of giving customers access to their license information, shipping status, tech support calls and bug reports. I’m sure anyone who has tried to manage this stuff on their own will want to give Nick and everyone on the support team a huge hug.
We’ll be getting more into details later this morning so we’ll see more about the new 9.2 stuff an things that I’ve forgotten to mention.