For some time Manifold GIS has entered the market, with some good references of users of great credibility as the case of James Fee. And just a few days after the Eastern Conference for users of Manifold, when you type in Google the word "Manifold GIS", a tool appears that is presented as an alternative for Manifold, this is Map Suite.
In particular it seems a good alternative for the development of licenses for distribution, but I have my doubts for desktop work. Let's take a look.
1 Competition in service (Approved)
Manifold has a bizarre way of selling, and it is that you cannot download a trial version of 30 days, but you have to buy it with the guarantee that if in 30 days you are dissatisfied they will return the money. But many people don't like this, so Map Suite offers a trial version for 60 days ... not bad, apart from that support tokens with Manifold are paid, $ 20 for each query ... and don't ask too much from time to time They are in a bad mood.
2 Functionalities (mmm ...)
It does not look bad Map Suite, which offers different tools both user but mainly for developers. We can see the appreciations of
James Fee Chris C, because he has assured that he downloaded it to prove it.
Input offers tools for Pocket PC, desktop and web, then components for web services development and geocoding. Nice the diagram but we will have to look for the easiness, because that way of ESRI brochures is until you want to do something serious and you start to say that you have to buy more extensions.
Its structure is based on at least 4 levels of scalability and although it is not easy to make a comparison for the questionable nature of the Scalability of ESRI, let's see it from the point of view of a user that requires certain functions:
Do desktop GIS work, Map Suite Desktop. An equivalent of ArcView Desktop $ 1,500, or what we'd call Personal Manifold $ 245 (Not in capabilities, but in concept)
Map Desktop Suite worth $ 4,995 ... chanfle!
Map services publication, Map Suite Web. An ArcIMS equivalent $ 7,000 Or Professional Manifold $ 295
Map Web Suite worth $ 4,995 ... others !!!?
Develop applications, Map Suite Engine. An equivalent of ArcGIS Engine or Arc Editor $ 7,000 The Manifold Enterprise $ 395 (... not so equivalent in capabilities)
Map Suite Engine worth $ 4,995 ... others more !?
Applications for PDA, Map Suite Pocket PC, Or an equivalent of ArcPAD, Manifold does not have an equivalent for this, apparently.
Map Pocket PC Suite worth $ 4,995
It is interesting the distribution licenses, that is, if you develop applications with this platform you do not have to pay runtime licenses as is the case in Manifold and ArcGIS, the plugins for managing renders and also the videos Demonstratives.
They also ensure that their components offer native .NET, pre-designed components and better handling of bulky data sets.
3. Price (Disapproved)
Manifold GIS Has the advantage of being one of the most economic and affordable tools.
But with those prices, Map Suite does not guarantee anything,
Map Suite Desktop, $ 4,995
Map Suite Desktop $ 4,995.00
Map Web Suite $ 4,995.00
Map Suite Engine $ 4,995.00
Map Pocket PC Suite $ 4,995.00
Geocode USA 2.0 $ 4,995.00
Render USA 2.1 $ 2,495.00
USA 2006 Data By County $ 495.00
USA 2006 Data By State $ 495.00
World Data $ 695.00
Map Suite Icon Library $ 295.00
Of course that's a lot cheaper than ArcGIS Engine or ArcGIS Server but they are still extremely expensive just for having the slogan «Microsoft Gold Certified Partner», total if neither Microsoft guarantees itself with Windows Vista.
Anyway, if you want to download the trial versions for 60 days, there they tell us.
ah !, I forgot, the service is better than Manifold, a nice girl attends live, contrary to the ugly and bad humored support of Manifold. It's not $ 4,995 dollars, but it's pretty