Interview with Jack Dangermond

image When we are a couple of days from 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 information sharing more easily. There are planned improvements in the areas of advanced modeling, 4D analysis and visualization, map scripting, non-spatial modeling and temporal characteristics, among others.

Allow the development of geospatial applications 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 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 eliminating the dongle 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 in ArcGIS 9.4 in both the creation and handling and sharing of 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 thought of server-based GIS platforms and while this integrates high performance in web maps, we look for the implementation of services of virtually all ArcGIS functions and tools.

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

Over time, we believe that GIS server technologies will come to improve the platforms for our users. It allows them to do their work 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 one week, the new ArcGIS API for Flex will be available. This API can be used to build quick and expressive applications at the ArcGIS Server level. Similar to the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, this API will include a complete online resource center with interactive development software (SDK), application examples, source codes 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 baseline 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 have a beta version. A special meeting with a group of interested parties in Adobe Flex is being scheduled for the August 5, it will be at noon in the 15A SDCC room.

What is ESRI's recommendation for easy use of redlining tools?

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

  • ArcGIS Desktop using data editing within the geodatabase and Microsoft technology "ink"
  • 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 version in the user conference, feature classes and their related tables can be published directly in a geodatabase via ArcGIS Server. The editions in that version can be directly synchronized by both one and several ArcPad users.

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

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

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

The 9.3 version of ArcGIS met many quality requirements, however, we still need to make changes. The changes in the 9.3 version will be integrated in the next service pack versions. Our focus on quality will be on these elements:

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

Better information on quality standards posted on the web (knowledge base articles, changed bug lists, etc.)

We will continue to focus on implementing the quality of our software: installation, use of applications, documentation, error reporting and scalability. Our upgrade process is focused on ensuring the highest quality with the next 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 complete API for building applications for the Internet 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 in the ArcGIS Server Resource Center. ESRI will make this API public during the User Conference. To learn more, visit the group interested in Adobe Flex the 5 of August at noon of the 5 of August in the 15A SDC room.

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