Interview with Jack Dangermond

image When we are a couple of days away from the User conference of ESRI, here we translate the interview done to Jack Dangermond that tells us that we can wait for ArcGIS 9.4.

What plans have for the next version of ArcGIS 9.3?

The following version of ArcGIS (9.4) will focus on the following four aspects:

Business Applications
Continue to expand the capabilities of ArcGIS Server with respect to platforms, scalability and security through a focus on UNIX / Linux and Java support, dynamic map capabilities, and rich support for Internet applications (Flex), also something with Tracking Server .

Productivity for ArcGIS professionals
Simplify the user experience, streamline process flows to increase productivity, and promote collaboration with easier information sharing. Enhancements are planned in the areas of advanced modeling, 4D analysis and visualization, map scripting, non-spatial modeling, and temporal features, among others.

Allow the development of geospatial applications the rapid deployment.  Building on the new capabilities in ArcGIS 9.3, the next release will continue to expand functionality to easily and quickly deploy in enterprise applications. In ArcGIS Explorer, a new look in the user interface, 2D and 3D integration, and mark-up collaboration features are planned. In ArcGIS online, improvements include routes and navigation, as well as support for GPS at a more professional level.

GIS solutions for business users
ArcGIS 9.4 will extend the solutions by offering a set of applications for business and logistics. With the Business Analyst suite, Business Analyst Online will be migrated to a Business Analyst Server platform. A logistics solution (ArcLogistics), Network Analyst and StreetMap Mobile are also planned.

When will ESRI allow licenses to be used disconnected from the central License Manager?

ArcGIS 9.4 will support the ability to "check out" a license and take it to the field keeping it inactive in the central license server.

Are you considering removing the dongle-style licensing protection mechanism?

Yes. In one of the service packs (post 9.3), ESRI will accept the ability to use a license manager without a dongle, on Windows and Linux

When will you implement the metadata editor in the ArcCatalog editor?

We will restructure the metadata editor as part of our enhancements to ArcGIS 9.4 in both creating, handling and sharing metadata.

Why is ESRI putting so much emphasis on ArcGIS Server?

The simplest answer is that we see that geospatial services and server-based technology is one of the most significant trends in our industry. ArcGIS Server is the best thinking of server-based GIS platforms and as long as this integrates high performance into web maps, we seek service implementation of virtually all ArcGIS features and tools.

This server-level environment supports a rich set of "out of the box" web services (eg, cached raster maps, 3D globe services, geoprocessing, etc). It also works with a storage of web clients and browsers, geobrowsers and mobile environments, of course also in traditional desktop environments.

Over time, we believe that GIS server technologies will improve the platforms for our users. It enables them to do their job better and more efficiently and also facilitates GIS development to increase the number of users.

Will ESRI give Flex support in ArcGIS Server?

Yes, in just a few weeks, the new ArcGIS API for Flex will be available. This API can be used to build fast and expressive applications at the ArcGIS Server level. Similar to the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, this API will include a comprehensive online resource center with interactive development software (SDK), application examples, source code, and more.

  • With the ArcGIS API for Flex, a developer can:
    Display an interactive map with your data
  • Run a GIS model on a server and display results
  • Display your data on an ArcGIS base map online
  • Find attributes in your GIS data and deploy results
  • Create mashups (combine information from multiple web sources)

See how the City of Boston is using the ArcGIS API for Frex in its Solar Boston applications

Initially, the ArcGIS API for Flex will be in beta. A special meeting with a stakeholder group on Adobe Flex is being scheduled for August 5, it will be at noon in room 15A SDCC.

What is ESRI's recommendation for the easy use of editing tools (redlining)?

Although there are a number of third-party applications that have built editing capabilities for ArcGIS, there are four "box-ready" solutions now available to ESRI users:

  • ArcGIS Desktop using data editing within the geodatabase and Microsoft "ink" technology
  • ArcReader with redlining capabilities
  • ArcPad with markup capabilities
  • WebMap editing with layers markup

In ArcGIS 9.4, ESRI plans to add additional tools to allow for the sharing of notes and markups.

Can ArcPad synchronize directly with a geodatabase?

Yes, with ArcPad 7.2, available in beta at the user conference, you can directly publish feature classes and their related tables to a geodatabase via ArcGIS Server. Editions in that version can be synchronized directly from both single and multiple ArcPad users.

Will they support ArcView GIS 3.x for Microsoft Windows Vista?

No. Because changes in Windows Vista technology cannot be supported in ArcView 3.x. ArcView 3.3 will continue to support Windows XP, although we will not provide updates or changes.

What is ESRI doing to implement quality and stability in the software?

ArcGIS version 9.3 resolved many quality requirements, however we still need to make changes. Changes in version 9.3 will be integrated into future service pack releases. Our focus on quality will be on these elements:

  • Documentation of changes
  • More testing
  • Incident monitoring
  • Quick response to the reque
  • Periodic updates of service packs (each 3-4 months)
  • Integration of ESRI technical support team and development teams

Better information about quality standards published on the web (knowledge base articles, lists of bugs changed, etc.)

We will continue to focus on implementing the quality of our software: installation, application use, documentation, bug reporting and scalability. Our upgrade process is focused on ensuring the highest quality with upcoming ArcGIS 9.3 service packs.

What is ESRI doing with the Flex environment? Will this become part of the product in the future?

ESRI has developed, as part of ArcGIS Server 9.3, a comprehensive API for building Internet applications with Flex. This environment provides a powerful opportunity for our users to build highly interactive user interfaces for their web applications.

The ArcGIS API for Flex will be available as a free download from the ArcGIS Server Resource Center. ESRI will make this API public during the User Conference. To learn more, visit the Adobe Flex users group on August 5 at noon on August 5 in room 15A SDC.

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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