ESRI Dev Summit Day 1
I’ve sat through more powerpoint presentations than I care to remember stating (with no references) that 80% of all business information has some sort of geographic aspect. Then they follow up with some geocentric diagram with GIS is in the middle and surrounded by smaller applications orbiting around it, in synch with Copernicus rolling over in his grave. That didn’t happen this morning.
Instead, reps from IBM presented a new view based on a graphic similar to this, except with the Enterprise Service Bus as the integration platform. Diagrams similar to this came up several times, almost as if this is becoming a mandala.
This new way of thinking revolves around a workflow, as enabled by the Enterprise Service Bus. Realization: it’s the workflow, stupid! [Reminds me of the old joke “Census Poller: ‘How many people work here?’ Respondent: ‘About half'”] Geography still matters – but only to the extent that it helps organize workflows, not as an end unto itself.
Julio Olimpio quite forcefully made the point that ESRI is committed to IBM, citing numerous multimillion $ projects they’ve collaborated on. Also mentioned 2 days of IBM’s profits == 1 year of ESRI’s profit. Profits matter. Given IBM’s embrace of opensource, I wonder how they view their relationship with ESRI compared to opensource GIS.
WebSphere looks cool. I’ve been dabbling with the freely downloadable Windows WF extensions. I hope to soon test some workflows with GIS-based activities. I don’t see any place to freely download something from WebSphere (if anyone does, please let me know). This redpaper seems to go into details of what they presented. I wish they would have gone into more detail about what differentiates them from Windows WF. Maybe they realized they’d be perceived as biased so they don’t bother. I look forward to tomorrow’s presentation by Mark Driver of Gartner group, I hope he’ll go into this. I wonder if he’ll talk about open source, as he has in the past.
Attendance: 1600 (some said 2000) twice what it was in 2006.
Estimated Percent Male: 95%
Estimated Median Age: 40
The mandala for the Framework had 3 circles: Desktop, Server, and ArcOnline – unlike the mandala here, that has 5.
Others have blogged about what was said, so I figure I’ll blog a bit about what was not being said:
Very little mention. It’s still there and its not going away. The web ADF is growing faster than the COM libraries. Service Packs will now contain new functionality. Was implied a lot of the new functionality will be in the web ADF. Interestingly, lots of code was shown, but no OMD’s or any UML that I can recall.
In the past there was a lot of whining about price. Didn’t hear any of that today. Maybe people realize ease of deployment justify license costs.
I guess Class Extensions are now the recommended approach. Larry Young did a good job presenting Class Extension demo. What ESRI really needs is a new class extension called ClassExtensionContainer. This would follow the composite pattern. Let’s say I wanted to implement the classextension Larry showed us, only to find my featureclass already used the timestamper class extension. Well, if we had something like the ClassExtensionContainer, we could add both as subclass extensions. We would also need a new optional interface with something to establish what order the classextensions are notified for events. Maybe something analogous to IComPropertyPage.Priority.
Moving ArcObjects Code to ArcGIS Server from ArcGIS Desktop
Hosted by Jian Huang and Allan Laframboise. This was excellent. By the afternoon I was so saturated with new material from earlier sessions, it was comforting to see familiar desktop concepts along with a migration path into ArcGIS Server. A lot of good performance statistics for alternative approaches were presented. I look forward to seeing these posted as samples. Would have been nice to hear about debugging Server Object Extensions (SOE’s). I haven’t found a way to step through execution of an SOE using the debugger. I’m wondering if it might be a good practice to develop a class that implements both IServerObjectExtension as well as IExtension so that I can debug it using Arcmap as a test harness.