Technology Migration ArcGIS Server 9.2 to 9.3

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.

9.2 to 9.2 Migration

 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
  • Customised Web ADF Javascript libraries. Night mare on Javascript is gone. Developer can get full details of script along with neat documentation.
  • 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.
  • Understanding of REST or Javascript API is must.

Sailent features in 9.3 :

  1. Ready made utilities for migrating from 9.2
  2. ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for the Google Maps API
  3. ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for Virtual Earth
  4. Javascript is made public, documented, JSON based, and object oriented. Makes life easy for developer.  9.3 ADF will use JSON instead of XML for it’s communications between the client and server – this alone speeds things up ~30%
  5. Integration with other Javascript frameworks – like Dojo or ExtJS. This allows much more control over how the application looks and behaves.
  6. Improved Map Control, TOC and Overview control. Number of callbacks is reduced.
  7. The resource manager can be managed in Javascript, and has lots of configuration – i.e. layer aliases, fields to show, map tips etc.
  8. Results Viewer: bi-directional highlight. The task can have different results behavior (fields, map tips etc). Kudos!
  9. Additional web controls, additional AjaxExtenders – DockExtender, HoverExpandExtender (pin window type of thing)
  10. Use of HTTP Handlers used instead of pages so the page lifecycle is avoided, so it’s faster
  11. 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”
  12. Javascript intellisense for Visual Studio 2008.
  13. Better templates and utility to convert previous version templates.
  14. Eliminated lots of callbacks, http handlers improve performance because the control tree is not re-created and destroyed
  15. Visual studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 framework supported
  16. Out-of-box printing tool and export using Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF)
  17. ArcGIS Image Server is now an optional extension to ArcGIS Server
  18. Integration with Arc Web services
  19. ArcSDE is fully integrated with ArcGIS Server. SDE license bundled with Server.
  20. Windows Vista Support
  21. PostgreSQL support
  22. OGC specifications
  23. 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.
  • If you are graduating from 9.2 and coming out of Web ADF then 9.3 REST/javascript API will be solace.
  • 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.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

24 Responses to “Technology Migration ArcGIS Server 9.2 to 9.3”

  1. Bill Dollins Says:


    Thanks for the excellent summation. Despite not be in the beta program or having attended the dev summit, you seem to be spot on!

    With regard to item 19, all of the media kits I have gotten for the beta and the release candidate have had a separate disk for ArcSDE. I believe it is “bundled” as a license but still exists as a separate piece of software.

    Keep the good info coming!


  2. iamlaksh1 Says:

    Thank you for your appreciation and information on ArcSDE

  3. Shani Raba Says:

    You rocks,
    Great post,
    I will also subscibe mine in a day or two…
    I’ve alread wrote my details about the adf and the new Ajax api.

    They did a great job.

  4. iamlaksh1 Says:

    Shani Raba,

    Thanks for your visit and appreciation.

  5. Aduri Sreenivas Says:

    Excellent Details. Thanks.
    – Aduri Sreenivas

  6. iamlaksh1 Says:

    Thank you Sreenivas!

  7. Aduri Sreenivas Says:

    How about the performance of Topology building, Editing, Data manipulation in 9.3 – Server? Have you tested it?

  8. iamlaksh1 Says:


    No. I donot tested with 9.3. I’ve complied these above information thru several sources.

  9. Honeymoon with 9.3 « Says:

    […] Like many, am also interested to know about features and enhancements in this latest edition. In my earlier post, I have discussed about ArcGIS Server 9.3. I have compiled the information from various sources. I […]

  10. Aduri Sreenivas Says:


    I think ESRI providing Javascript API to host the Javascript API applications locally. Currently those who were developing this kind of application i.e using Javascript API, the request go to ESRI server, since ESRI providing globally free access.

    Is it correct- Does ESRI provides Javascript API?

    Thanks, Aduri

  11. iamlaksh1 Says:

    If I understood your question right, you mean to ask that ‘whether JS API? is free?. Answer is YES.

    If you have been using the ArcGIS 9.3 JavaScript API then you will be familiar with this line of code. This allows you to connect and download the hosted ArcGIS 9.3 JavaScript API’s.

    What happens if you are in a restricted environment and have no access to the internet? ESRI has now made available the ArcGIS 9.3 JavaScript API for local deployment.

    Although ESRI strongly recommends using the hosted ArcGIS JavaScript APIs, an ArcGIS JavaScript APIs DVD is available for those organizations that run on restricted networks with no access to the Internet.

    The DVD is freely available to customers who currently have ArcGIS Server or EDN.

    Customers of the Standard or Advanced Editions of ArcGIS Server, as well as ESRI Developer Network (EDN) subscribers, are entitled to order the DVD from ESRI Customer Service. Please note: the DVD is complimentary, but a shipping and handling charge will be required.

    It’s great that users can now deploy of the ArcGIS 9.3 JavaScript API in house. ESRI strongly recommends using the hosted API but there are certain circumstances where this is not possible and this is where the DVD comes in.

    Ordering details for this free DVD can be found on the ESRI Support Centre here:

  12. ramki Says:

    Hi, I have a problem in installing ARC GIS 9.2 version on a vista platform. License manager server is not starting even though I excluded this from firewall. I will be thank full if any one tell me the solution for this

  13. iamlaksh1 Says:

    ArcGIS 9.3 supports Vista, whereas with 9.2 there are some known issues. I suggest you to go through this technical article from ESRI

    Let me know, if this helps you .

  14. Ram Says:

    Hi All,

    I built an application based on ArcGIS Webadf 9.2 which works well for 9.2 Service. Now suddenly, the service has been upgraded to 9.3. I dont want to migrate to 9.3 as there is lot more other dependencies. I tried to access the service. For simple zoom, it is taking so much time and system getting hanged for some times. Any work around is there to implement the same. Any ideas help a lot.

    Please let me know any ESRI specified document which says migration is necessary for the said case.

    Ram Kumar.

  15. iamlaksh1 Says:

    Hi Ram,

    I do not understand what do you mean by suddenly upgraded to 9.3?.
    Have you upgraded to 9.3? (installed fresh 9.3 on same machine). How do you access the service? Pl let me know these details.

  16. Borja Says:

    Hi, I have a ArcSDE 9.2 installed, what is the way to substitute it to ArcSDE 9.3?

    It is just removing 9.2 and install 9.3?


  17. maddy Says:

    Hi, I have a problem in installing ARC GIS 9.2 version on a vista platform. License manager server is not starting this , please tell me how it will be rectifie. I will be thank full if any one tell me the solution for this

  18. iamlaksh1 Says:

    I’m not sure whether 9.2 works in Vista. Please check in ESRI website.

  19. Aduri Sreenivas Says:

    Yes, I develop the application using Network Analyst- ArcGIS Server 9.3. The communication between server and the application is JavaScript and REST API. Dojo toolkit was used to handle client scripting. Visual C# is used as server programming language and for the geoprocessing tools.

    Thanks, Aduri Sreenivas

  20. Aduri Sreenivas Says:


    I will be developing ArcGIS Server 9.3.1- ColdFusion using FlexAPI, I heard that we can use .Net Objects in ColdFusion… any one give more details?

    Thanks, Aduri Sreenivas

  21. iamlaksh1 Says:

    Hi Sreenivas;

    I didnt get your questions correctly. Can you please check the link

  22. Bhimanna Says:

    Hi Lakshmanan,

    I am working ArcMap and ArcCatelog. There is some issue with session between ArcMap and ArcCatelog. For version 9.2 it is working but 9.3 it not working.

    Please can you helpm regarding this.



  23. iamlaksh1 Says:

    Hi Bhimanna,

    I am not clear with your question. Can you explain more with any error message if any?

  24. Nijith Says:

    Dear Laskh

    I am from Oman. Now we are stuck up with a migration project. We have migrate a webapplication running on ArcIMS to ArcGIS server 9.3.

    We are also running in short of programmers and ofcourse time.
    Can you suggest anyone who can help us in this..

    We require people who is good in C# .net with knowledge in ArcGIS server.

    You help will be really appreciable. If you are also willing i am ready to join hands with you..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: