This post higlights some points on technology migration from ArcGIS Server 9.2 to 9.3. Some one might ask, “Hello ..dude..why do you want this so early ?”. ArcGIS 9.3 is expected to release by this July. So this would be ideal period to discuss on this. This will be helpful for those who wants to develop new application in 9.3 or redevelop/migrate the existing 9.2 application or atleast curious to know about new features in 9.3.
Yet 9.2 Web ADF have not been explored fully, atleast by myself. Now 9.3 is almost ready. I guess 9.2 released in November 2006. With in 2 years ESRI came up with brand new 9.3. Web ADF in 9.2 has been under lot of critiscm from several folks though used widely. The ADF learning path is bit hard, thats the naked truth thats the reason everyone hate using 9.2 atleast in .NET. On Other hand Java ADF in 9.2 seems good but lacks documentation. I have not heared much annoyance/comments with respect to java. Server is not so easy as conventional IMS. ArcGIS Server provides extensive functionalities than IMS product. It all depends on your requirement and bussiness needs. Lets get into topic without further noise.
In General, 9.3 ADF built on the same framework in 9.2 with a number of technology and performance enhancements have been incorporated in 9.3 to provide comprehensive platform. The core object model has undergone minor (believe so) changes. ADF (.NET) is hybrid platform- mix of server side and client side development enviroment. Basic web controls like Map, TOC and Overview has been re-engineered and scriptable now.
Your migration options depend on whether you built a Web ADF application using the Web Mapping Application template (includes applications generated by Manager) or you build a custom Web ADF application without the template. Below matrix explains the possiblities to upgrade.
Key points for developers:
- Using ASP.NET partial postback pattern instead of client callback. If you might written lot of code for TOC, rendering by now controls will take care of all your needs. Even if required, it will be on client side
- Custom tasks uses partial post back
- Shallow stateful pattern is no longer supported in 9.3. Developers should be aware of this. Because adding/removing layers done thru pooled server objects using shallow stateful concepts. Here 9.3 HTTP hanlder (ESRI.ArcGIS.ADF.Web.UI.WebControls.MapHandler) responsible for Map draw operations.
Sailent features in 9.3 :
- Ready made utilities for migrating from 9.2
- Improved Map Control, TOC and Overview control. Number of callbacks is reduced.
- Results Viewer: bi-directional highlight. The task can have different results behavior (fields, map tips etc). Kudos!
- Additional web controls, additional AjaxExtenders – DockExtender, HoverExpandExtender (pin window type of thing)
- Use of HTTP Handlers used instead of pages so the page lifecycle is avoided, so it’s faster
- Blending at 9.2 used a single tiling scheme. At 9.3 each resource has it’s own tiling scheme, and the “blending has been massively improved”
- Better templates and utility to convert previous version templates.
- Eliminated lots of callbacks, http handlers improve performance because the control tree is not re-created and destroyed
- Visual studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 framework supported
- Out-of-box printing tool and export using Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF)
- ArcGIS Image Server is now an optional extension to ArcGIS Server
- Integration with Arc Web services
- ArcSDE is fully integrated with ArcGIS Server. SDE license bundled with Server.
- Windows Vista Support
- PostgreSQL support
- OGC specifications
- Much more…..
Hear the Latest Podcasts on ArcGIS Server 9.3 from ESRI. CLICK HERE
To summarise ArcGIS Server 9.3 seems improved much quality and performance wise.
- Those who are new to Server and about to start development in 9.3 then donot look back web ADF at all.
- Are you about to migrate to 9.3 then look at both pros and cons. Don’t jump.
I thank fellow bloggers Dave, James Fee, Tom and others who helped me with valuable inputs. I dare to write this post because am NOT in beta evaluation. Hence people like me who look for similar information, this post may help. If there were any mistakes/omissions/additions or want of further details, please do comment or email me.