ESRI UC: .NET SIG

I was hoping Microsoft might provide something to eat, but I still had fun watching ESRI eat their own dogfood. A demo of MapIT showed how it can be used to create REST API endpoints for SQL Server datasets, eliminating the need for ArcSDE. The entire MapIt application was written with ESRI’s WPF SDK.

ESRI realized it is not reasonable to require people to purchase an ArcGIS Server license when all they need is the Silverlight SDK, so it is now free for non-commercial uses (not sure about pricing for commercial uses, will check).

Rex Hansen demo’d a some nice looking tools for creating web parts for Sharepoint. I’ve never worked with Sharepoint but it looked good. Still, the user experience doesn’t really follow that being promoted by microsoft where application development is divided between an artist and a programmer. The artist uses something like Expression Blend to create XAML, while the programmer writes .NET code behind it.

It would be nice to see some sort of light weight Cartographic design tool that would allow a non-programmer to create map symbol XAML files. Art Haddad mentioned they are at work on a symbol galley. Art said there’s a KML layer at the code gallery, but I don’t see it as of press time.

On a tangent Art also mentioned efforts at ESRI to write non-interop wrappers for ArcObjects, using p/invoke instead of COM interop. This is being done for ArcGIS explorer though. I’d guess ArcObjects are just too heavy for Silverlight.

Right now the objects in Silverlight SDK are very rudimentary, but I suspect they’ll start competing with MapDotNet.

Tomorrow hope to get an update about MOLE symbology for WPF/Silverlight.

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