Posts Tagged ‘arcgis 9.3’

Honeymoon with 9.3

October 11, 2008

Hi Folks,

After long days of wait, finally day has come to work with ArcGIS 9.3. 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 got a chance to look at the documentation and resources (beta). Thanks to my friends who helped me to equip myself before I start; that gave me a head start.

As everyone, I have started with installation with brand new DVD from ESRI. I still remember my ArcView 3.0 CD’s, I had same excitment even now. I have encountered many installation woes  with 9.2, especially .NET ADF, I was worrying too.  But this time am lucky, my technical manager installed them perfectly.  Installation is a tough job and I add them as a task in my project plan. This is a very important step, as many of them find difficult in installation especially Server. If you look at ESRI forum, “Unable to Login in 9.2 Manager” top thread. I still wonder on seeing many work around suggested by the folks. I should appreciate ESRI this time for giving clear picture of installation steps. Utility to find existing older versions is of great help if you are new. The PDF document in installation CD helped lot for complete understanding.  I advice that one should strictly go through the documents and technical article before proceed. Otherwise, you may have to join ESRI party on thier forums 🙂

It would not be fair if  I did not talk about licensing.  If you have subscribed EDN then just activate them and get the 9.3 ECP files for all the products. For Desktop, I guess 9.2 license itself will work for 9.3. Pl correct me if am wrong. Soon, I will write a seperate post on ESRI licensing and products.  Keep watching!.

Let us dive into the action. I started with default “ESRI Web Mapping Application” . Once the project loaded in VS 2005; I noticed Ajax extension and rich controls. Just glanced on “Default.aspx” it preloaded with two map resource managers, Zoom Tool, and other basic navigation controls. Overview control moved to toolbar. Toolbar aligned left. Security features of 9.3 is adds lot of value. Seperate ESRI presentation on security models is to be referred for further understanding.  Updated Identify Control, Zoom previous and back tools, progress loading box to indicate server action comes with default template are few updates.  Login page will be helpful for developing enterprise application.

Server manager look and feel is also changed. Left panel has links to Manage a service, publish new service etc. Rich look and feel is nice for a developer. Publishing service is rather lot easier. Permission of using service with different user groups are great features. Almost rest of the functionality remains same. UI is has different look and provides warmth and comfort. After all we the developers see them whole day.

Once I add the services and changed resource item name “Layers” as opposed to “MapResourceItem0” and ran the application. Browser pops up with new look. Tools are aligned and Java scripts hassles are reduced.  I zoomed in and out and clicked Identify , it is brilliant. Then I clicked “Full Extent” oops application throws ugly error .  I am surprised  whether I did any mistake, everything looks OK, finally as usual – I searched in forum . It is confirmed that it is a ESRI bug [NIM035617]. This will be fixed SP1. Otherwise, application works fine.

Few other points:

  1. Resource manager equipped layer definition that layers, alias, color settings and styles can be set in no time. We can see fields, types and properties, without need of opening mxd. This saves lot of time.
  2. Map Identify class enhanced. Exclusions of unnecessary fields can be set easily.
  3. Adding identify results to results panel if necessary.
  4. Improved TOC and Over view controls using Ajax reduces much of callbacks
  5. Results Viewer: bi-directional highlight. The task can have different results behavior (fields, map tips etc).
  6. Map tips for all type of layers
  7. Out-of-box printing tool and export using Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF).

and many more to be explored.

Recently James fee wrote an post about over-engineered application; some times I tool feel the same.  I started working with Avenue scripts–>MapObjects ->ArcObjects–>REST .  Due to technology advancements, products were improved with rich functionality and options, but I do not know how many of them uses them all.  At least how many of them know about the functionalities and features available?.  For example grid results controls attracted many users ; I expect this should be added by ESRI. This simple controls helps many. Most of GIS application requirements are fairly simple and straight forward. Nowadays Open source softwares provides easy solution on these when compared with propriety product. Anyway, 9.3 product is awesome on the whole at this moment, as being in honeymoon period.

I keep this post open to all ; professionals who works with 9.3 can share their experience and learnings. You can expect series of post on 9.3 experiences .

Welcome to ESRI ArcGIS 9.3 !

PS: As objective of my blog is share the basic fundamentals and help fellow buddy developers.  Hence many of the articles address the basic issue than much technical and complicated, for that, there were many sources and ESRI blogs.


ArcGIS 9.3 SP1 Announcement

September 7, 2008

ArcGIS 9.3 Service Pack 1 is planned to be available for download later this year in November 2008. These issues are targeted for 9.3 SP1. ESRI will be updating this list periodically with additions and other changes.

There were several bugs reported and enhancements suggested by many.

Product                                      Issues reported

ArcGIS Desktop ~ 70
ArcGIS Engine 1
ArcGIS Server ~ 80
ArcIMS 1

For detailed list of bugs click the below link

ESRI note is much astonishing to me:

“Both the following list and the availability of targeted service packs are subject to change at any time without notice. Users should plan accordingly and, if advisable, wait for the release of a given service pack prior to making commitments.

Does the ESRI is not confident of fixing these bugs or its statutory warning to its product users?

ArcGIS 9.3 Final Release

June 25, 2008

All set for final release of much awaited ArcGIS 9.3. Shipping will begin on June 25, 2008.

The ArcGIS 9.3 beta closes on June 30th, 2008. Here afterwards, ESRI Support Services will provide support for the final release.

We congratulate ESRI efforts on the making this product.

Do you know what is in desktop 9.3

June 20, 2008

ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 RC version  Features and issues/enhancements reported. I have complied from ESRI Forum on RC as on 20th June, 2008 at 15.30 pm IST (Indian Standard Time, GMT+5.30). I found these information will be helpful if you are start using Desktop 9.3. You can also verifiy whether bugs/enahancments made in 9.3 final version against this. Users are very good in testing the product than the developers/software testers who are sometimes baised. I have given link to follow up the issue, if you are interested.

Do you know these in 9.3?

  1. Sorting twice over in the attribute table
  2. Bookmarks on the main menu – and a nicer interface
  3. Status Percentage during geoprocessing requests.
  4. The PAUSE labels button on the label toolbar is a useful function.
  5. Attribute tables now have an option to show the field ALIAS name. {Table Name}.{Field Name} in the attribute table days are gone.
  6. The Alias field name is also used in the Join attribute dialog box when you choose which field to join a feature/table to.
  7. The mouse wheel zoom in now has an option that you must set that will zoom to the center where the mouse pointer is located instead of the center of the screen which is the default setting.
  8. The option to move a legend item all the way to the top or bottom of the list in just one click
  9. Layer Properties under the Joins & Relates there is a Properties box showing details for each join and relate. 
  10. The improved reliability
  11. Crash to desktop sends error reports
  12. ..much more

Issues/Bugs/Enhancements Requests

  1. CTRL-C to copy from help system. Click here to read 
  2. ALT F11 enhancement . Click here to read
  3. Provide debugging options in the Field Calculator. ESRI logged this one. Most valid one. Click here ro read
  4. Layer Annotations from 9.1 have fonts added and colors changed. Bug- Click here to read
  5. Add to Recent Documents list on startup. Nice one. Read here
  6. Excel file contain any foreign characters in the field names. Read here 
  7. “Catastrophic Failure” during MXD opening when double-clicking. Read Jeff comments. Details
  8. Sharing violations-shema locks ArcMap ArcCatalog. Read here – Still we need explicit refresh even at 9.3.
  9. Select by Location – Results Wrong. Read here 
  10.  Divide function’s dialog – Place points separated by every X units. Grammetically mistake.
  11. Geocoding issue. Not sure whether user mistake or certainly a bug. Read here
  12. ArcCatalog: import tiling scheme from ArcGIS Server 9.2. Nice one.  

Tip for point 12 on Issues from ESRI: This is to confirm you that we cannot use different versions of ESRI software to manage AGS services. ArcGIS Server 9.2 services can only be administered with ArcCatalog 9.2 or with ArcGIS Server Manager 9.2.  You must use ArcCatalog 9.3 to administer ArcGIS Server 9.3 services.
You can update the cache of ArcGIS Server 9.2 with ArcCatalog 9.3. This can be achieved by coping the cache of ArcGIS Server 9.2 in the cache folder of ArcGIS server 9.3 and then updating cache from ArcCatalog 9.3.

Simply put – you can’t even connect to Server 9.2 with a 9.3 Catalog 

Thanks to Jeff to listening User needs patiently and providing solution and make note of all issues/enhancements.

  • Jeff, Development Technical Lead , User Advocacy Group (UAG) , ESRI Support Services doing good job.

Technology Migration ArcGIS Server 9.2 to 9.3

June 19, 2008

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.

VS2008 and ArcGIS 9.3

June 17, 2008

ESRI : “Visual Studio 2008 will be a fully supported development platform for working with the .NET, VC++, and C++ APIs at ArcGIS 9.3. However, at this time, we do not recommend installing VS2008 and working with the ArcGIS Engine Controls. Our tests have revealed a significant issue (NIM013454) that would prevent developers from successfully using Visual Studio 2008 to build ArcGIS controls-based applications with the Tech Preview version of ArcGIS 9.3. Additionally the installation of Visual Studio 2008 also affects the application exe’s compiled with Visual Studio 2005 so these exe’s will crash when displaying a control. Uninstalling Visual Studio 2008 does not resolve the issue. We are working on a solution to this issue; if testing proves successful, the fix will be included in the forthcoming Beta of the ArcGIS 9.3 release.”

Does any one know/tested whether this issue has been fixed in 9.3 Beta? . Please comment if you have an answer.

ArcGIS 9.3 Supports Geospatial Information in Adobe Acrobat 9 and PDF

June 9, 2008

ESRI and Adobe Collaborate to Provide Increased Interaction with PDF Maps

Redlands, California—ESRI announces support for Adobe Acrobat 9 software and new geospatial capabilities available in PDF with the release of ArcGIS 9.3. ESRI has collaborated with Adobe Systems Incorporated over the past year to ensure a seamless workflow for geographic information system (GIS) professionals using ArcGIS who wish to widely distribute maps in PDF. Recipients of PDF map documents can find and display a location in the file using x,y coordinates as well as measure features directly on the map. This enabling capability enhances both existing customer workflows and creates new ones because recipients without ArcGIS can directly interact in new ways with maps using Acrobat 9.

ArcGIS 9.3 users can author a map document and export it in PDF for wide distribution while passing along the ability for increased end-user interaction with the document beyond simple viewing. “We are excited that our collaborative work with Adobe allows our users to distribute their GIS maps to a wider audience,” said Damian Spangrud, senior ArcGIS product manager, ESRI. “The portability and pervasiveness of Acrobat and Adobe Reader software allows ArcGIS users to better share their geographic information with their end users. The advanced features in Acrobat 9 mean users can now do more with PDF maps than ever before.”

“The ability to effectively extend the reach of GIS information is something of great interest to enterprise organizations and government agencies,” said Michael Folkers, Acrobat group product manager, Business Productivity Business Unit, Adobe. “Our work with ESRI and the advancements we’ve made in Acrobat 9 will enable customers to leverage the richness of PDF and reach of Adobe Reader for GIS workflows.”

The enhancements supporting PDF in ArcGIS 9.3 will be available as a free download for ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, and ArcGIS Engine at the release of ArcGIS 9.3. To learn more about what’s new in ArcGIS 9.3, visit