ESRI Posts ArcGIS Visual Studio .NET Integration Framework on EDN

Link – ArcGIS Visual Studio .NET Integration Framework

This framework provides a number of commands, wizards and templates which are available through the Visual Studio .NET IDE to help you create solutions, projects and classes for ArcGIS customizations more efficiently.

This is the type of integration that makes any Visual Studio user happy. Anything to simplify workflows gets a gold star from me. Everyone who was involved with this should be proud, I know Art and Brian worked hard to get it up, but I’m sure there are tons more who helped. I’m really looking forward toward the 9.2 release.

Check out some screen shots below in VS.NET 2003.

Wizard1

New ArcGIS Project

 

Wizard2

Add references wizard

 

License checking

License checking wizard

 

NET integrated help

Integrated Help

WMS Connect for ArcGIS 9.1

Link – WMS Connect 1.0.0

So the question comes to mind on why would you need such a tool? The core ArcGIS WMS extension is great for quickly visualizing services within the ArcGIS framework. However, it doesn’t natively allow users to modify the WMS map requests and it does require an existent Internet connection.

The WMS Connect tool allows the user to modify WMS service requests in such a way that the user can select a style other than the default, it allows the user to define the request area, and it allows the definition of the downloaded cell size. The result of this tool is a raster dataset on disk and the user can use it in a disconnected environment and for geoprocessing as well.

I’m going to have to try this when I get back into work on Monday. Better WMS support in ArcGIS has been a hot topic with some of our clients.

Wmsconnect

ArcGIS Server Utility Classes GotDotNet Workspace Project

Link – ArcGIS Server Utility Classes: Workspace Home

One thing I’ve been meaning to do is set up a GotDotNet workspace for ArcGIS Server utility classes. The workspace is up, and I threw up a project containing SOC (Server Object Container) COM utility classes. This is not entirely generic, and it’s currently namespaced as “Sanborn.Utilities.ArcGIS.Server.SOC” (Any ideas on namespaces?? OpenESRI.Blah.Blah?) but it’s a start. It’s also VB.NET if that matters. Without further ado…

Good for someone to step up and actually start up one of these development projects. We’ve been talking about it for months and Dave Bouwman has created one and populated it with some ArcGIS utility classes. I’ll be back in the office on Thursday so you can be sure that I’ll be taking a look at this. Our little shop has been more of an ArcIMS developer than ArcGIS Server, but we’ve been beginning to start programming with ArcGIS Server. As soon as we finish up this little Map Objects project, I really want to get into ArcGIS Server.

ESRI really should be providing this service to us GIS programmers, but it sounds like Brian is on it so hopefully this ArcGIS Server effort can drive the move to a shared development environment to replace ArcScripts. The best way to move this forward is to participate and show ESRI how valuable this can be.

ArcGIS Server Utility Classes GotDotNet Workspace Project

Link – ArcGIS Server Utility Classes: Workspace Home

One thing I’ve been meaning to do is set up a GotDotNet workspace for ArcGIS Server utility classes. The workspace is up, and I threw up a project containing SOC (Server Object Container) COM utility classes. This is not entirely generic, and it’s currently namespaced as “Sanborn.Utilities.ArcGIS.Server.SOC” (Any ideas on namespaces?? OpenESRI.Blah.Blah?) but it’s a start. It’s also VB.NET if that matters. Without further ado…

Good for someone to step up and actually start up one of these development projects. We’ve been talking about it for months and Dave Bouwman has created one and populated it with some ArcGIS utility classes. I’ll be back in the office on Thursday so you can be sure that I’ll be taking a look at this. Our little shop has been more of an ArcIMS developer than ArcGIS Server, but we’ve been beginning to start programming with ArcGIS Server. As soon as we finish up this little Map Objects project, I really want to get into ArcGIS Server.

ESRI really should be providing this service to us GIS programmers, but it sounds like Brian is on it so hopefully this ArcGIS Server effort can drive the move to a shared development environment to replace ArcScripts. The best way to move this forward is to participate and show ESRI how valuable this can be.

Art Haddad Gives an Update

Link – Been a while…

Art’s been really busy and that can only mean good things for end users. He’s thrown up a big post about what he’s been up to, what we can look forward to at ArcGIS 9.2 and he’s even asked his team to start blogging more about ESRI, ArcGIS and AJAX/.NET. There are 15 bullet points about spatial controls for ESRI server products and yes Art, that did wet my apatite. I’m hopeful EDN will become a great tool with the release of 9.2 because as it stands right now it is a little sparse. And I’m also glad to hear that Art’s still working on that ESRI developer conference.

Thanks for the update Art, I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the new ADF.

Export to KML Extension for ArcGIS 9.x

Link – Export_to_KML_V10

Export to KML is an extension developed for ArcGIS 9.x by the City of Portland, Bureau of Planning. The extension allows ArcGIS users to export any dataset in “keyhole markup language” [KML] format for viewing in the free Google Earth data viewer. Any point, polyline, or polygon features, in any defined projection, can be exported. Features can be “grouped” by an attribute for creating categorical symbology in Google Earth. Features can also be exported as 2-dimensional features, or “extruded” by an attribute (or, in the case of true 3D features, by z-value).

Kevin Martin over at the City of Portland Bureau of Planning just uploaded a new extension to export any dataset to KML.

Export2KML

Structure height

One problem with all these great tools for KML export is that they have all chosen to use the Google Earth icon on their toolbar. Kind of makes it hard to remember which one is which huh?

Kml extensions

More GIS to KML tools showing up in ArcScripts

Link – KML Home Companion 0.9

“This is an ArcMap extension designed to aid in creating KML format files for use in Google Earth. I tried to create the simplest program that would do the job, so there is not much in the way of error checking or fancy features. Please feel free to modify the code, report bugs, or to make suggestions for future releases.”

Link – Shape 2 KML

Shape 2 KML (Google Earth)
Version 1.0.1
Bug fixed encoding name and description”

Keyur Shah Posts Another Gem

Link – Adding layers dynamically in the ArcGIS Java ADF

Keyur’s latest blog post is the perfect example for ESRI bloggers to follow. You don’t have to worry about posting tidbits of the lasted secret ArcExplorer features, just post like you would on the forums. I won’t hold it against Keyur that he’s into Java (it must be a life choice), but he did a great job of explaining how to dynamically add layers with the Java ADF in ArcGIS Server. If there were more great posts like this from ESRI employees we’d never really have to visit the forums.

Heck it doesn’t even need to be programming (though I wouldn’t complain if there was .NET code being released somewhere), you can post about ArcGIS Desktop also. I’ve never liked the layout of the Geoprocessing and Data Models sections because they are just so disorganized, but if there was a Geoprocessing Blog or a Data Model Blog, that would be so much easier for everyone. I think many at ESRI are worried that their blog posts will get them reprimanded, but if your post is good enough for the forums (which are open to the public), then it should be good enough for a blog post. Keyur doesn’t post much, but the quality is great and other ESRI employee’s who are blogging or want to blog should take a look because he’s nailing it.

ArcGIS Road Ahead — What’s Coming for GIS Developers at 9.2

I decided to change up my schedule and head over to a “developer” technical workshop. I tried to first go to ArcGIS Server: Developing Applications with .NET but that was overflowing. I then peaked into ArcGIS Developer: ArcGIS for Java Developers, but I’m just so far removed from Java that I didn’t stay (sorry Steve). I ended up sitting at the “Road Ahead” for developers. Brian Goldin was talking about the new changes with 9.2 so I sat down.

ESRI has really changed how they treat developers over the past view years. The big news for my GIS shop is the new Developer Kit for Visual Studio.NET and for our Java IDEs. The new ESRI Developer Network hasn’t really been pushed during this conference and I can’t understand why. I would have figured that during the plenary they would have shown the EDN, but other than just a one line blurb in the PowerPoint presentation. Brian did go over some of the enhancements planned for EDN including RSS feeds and better search, videos and code.

VBA will continue to be supported (meh) but they are going to try and move it toward customization in ArcGIS Desktop rather than extending the Desktop. I was surprised how many people are still developing with VB6, but it does appear that people are moving to .NET and with integration to IDE that will probably happen sooner.

The demo on the integrated toolset in Visual Studio.net was really nice with templates for ArcEngine, ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Desktop (with a wizard interface). This should really help with programmers workflows (there is the word again) simplifying the creation of a project. I’ve always hated setting up projects to extend ArcGIS Desktop because of having to add all those classes, but now it is pretty much automated. ArcGIS 9.2 will include the .NET 2.0 Framework so we won’t have to make sure that .NET framework is installed on clients. I’m sure they don’t want this announced, but there might be a release of ArcGIS 9.1 IDE integration on the EDN website this fall.

The next demo was of the quick start templates for ArcEngine. The wizard allows you to choose the license and extensions that you want in your project with all the ESRI references added. What is nice is that the map control and toolbar is also created with this wizard and in fact you can run the application without writing one line of code. There is nice documentation of the quick-start templates so you can modify them to better fit your workflow.

There are new GeoProcessor functions in 9.2 which is going to be welcomed. Developers can now add any GeoProcessor toolbox in their Engine applications. The ArcEngine runtime will run all toolboxes available to ArcView and with an extension to Engine you can have access to ArcEditor toolboxes. If you want ArcInfo GeoProcessor tools, you’ll need to use ArcGIS Server.

Some of the new Engine controls include, symbology, add data, cross platform widgets (GTK and QT on Solaris/Linux and Windows). There are over 80 new commands and tools (such as identify, find) as well cartography enhancements. The toolbar control now supports XP themes as well as many new “MS Office like” toolbar features giving your applications a really nice professional look. The new TOC control gives you much of the same functionality of ArcMap (drag and drop) and the new symbology gives you control of symbology to your applications. The demo Engine applications that ESRI shows really looked nice and after the demo was done people applauded.

There are tons of new Java enhancements in 9.2. The changes to the Java API have focused upon fixing many of the current issues. There is also IDE integration for Java IDEs (Eclipse is preferred) an there will be some really nice Visual Java Beans as well as some very nice JToolbar framework. ESRI has moved toward supporting common frameworks and away from custom frameworks. Java will support JRE 5.0 (and 6.0 if it is out) and support for Windows, Solaris and Linux. The SDK for Eclipse is wonderful and I’m going to have to get my Java programmer on it. Geoprocessing is also available with Java as it was with .NET. Keyur showed the Java IDE integration and the generators for toolbars. The automation is going to save programmers much time eliminating repetitive tasks, very nice. 9.2 is going to be a great release for Java programmers.

Some new features for .NET Server Developer are ArcExplorer Web, Web site designer, AJAX support, Server object extensions and .NET 2.0 framework and some new ADFs. There will be another session that will go into more detail on .NET Server Developer. New Enterprise Java Beans will help Java programmers simplify calls to the server. There is a new API for Geoprocessing, Globe, etc and AJAX support. Again ESRI seems to be supporting Eclipse, but there will support for Sun Java Studio will also have some integrated support.

ArcGIS .NET Developer Special Interest Group Meeting

I attended the first ever ArcGIS .NET Developer Special Interest Group Meeting (SIG) today and was happy to see so many ESRI developers who are really interested in GIS programming. I also got to meet fact to face many of the bloggers who will be at our blogger meetup later today at Dick’s Last Resort (6pm). Art Haddad lead the discussion and programmers such as Brian Flood and Jithen Singh talked about some of the development they are doing (J will be presenting his project tomorrow at 3pm). Art then opened up discussion with Brian Golden about what us developers would like to see with the new ESRI Developer Network (EDN). Many liked the idea of a “gotdotnet” where we can all share our code as well as a ESRI Developer Summit where deeper level discussion of developing using ESRI tools could happen. Many also said RSS feeds as well as email alerts to updates and changes in the EDN site.

Rob Elkins let us know that EDN subscribers would be allowed in the 9.2 BETA program so we will be able to test our products against changes that are being made with ArcGIS 9.2. One concern brought up was developers who don’t have EDN because they already have all the software contained in it but don’t want to be left out of the EDN community. It sounds like that even though EDN is currently open to all, Rob and Brian will make sure that these developers will be included in any EDN or Developer SIG or Summits.

I thought the turnout was great given that the SIG was during lunch and I think everyone there was enthusiastic about getting together again at a Dev Summit in the future. Even Microsoft stopped by and let us know if there was anyway they could help out.