Moving to ArcGIS 10.1

Moving to ArcGIS 10.1

One of my colleagues, Chip Hitchens, just came back from an ArcGIS Server 10.1 “boot camp” with Esri.  We’ve been working on making sure we are ready for the changes this new version will bring, so I’ve outlined a number of new features that suggest significant progress with Esri’s flagship server product as well as ongoing improvements in the desktop products. Here’s a short summary:

ArcGIS for Desktop

  • Better support for operating directly on PostgreSQL, SQL Server and Oracle – things like setting up spatial tabels, creating users, renaming fields, rebuilding indexes, creating views, truncating tables, etc. cna be done from ArcGIS for Desktop.
  • New Python toolboxes and support using Python scripts for buttons and tools.
  • Unfortunately, my favorite extension, Spatial Analyst, is looking a bit neglected – no new Map Algebra operations though there are a few improvements to existing work.

ArcGIS for Server

  • Native 64-bit good-ness – this should have a huge impact on performance.
  • Removal of SOM and SOC concepts as well as DCOM has simplified the architecture and made big performance improvements.
  • Distinction between MXD and MSD documents is gone – all map documents are now optimized for the server.
  • Simplified installation and config, including simpler setup for multi-machine architectures.
  • REST API for server administration will enable scripting of config and admin processes.
  • Support for “clusters” of servers that can share the load on specific services.
  • Better support for geometry calculations and printable maps.
  • Dynamic symbolization from the ArcGIS client APIs – this is huge – we have had a number of web applications where we want to enable the end user to change the symbology (color, line weight, etc.) on  a thematic map; this has been very challenging and was really the last feature until ArcGIS Server reached feature parity with ArcIMS.
  • Lots of improvements to map tile caching
  • ArcGIS Spatial Data Server – There is a new type of server – a lightweight set of REST APIs that enable interaction with a geodatabase without the full-blown ArcGIS Server infrastructure being installed and configured.  So no geoprocessing, maps, geocoding, routing, etc. – just access feature service that gives access to the vector data sets in the geodatabase.
  • REST endpoints to support batch geocoding.
  • Really, really fast network service area and routing calculations as well as the ability to integrate live traffic data as part of the routing.
  • New support for OGC standards, in particulary, Web Processing Service (WPS) and Web Map Tile Service (WMTS).  As someone interested in spatial analysis and geoprocessing, I’m particularly excited about the WPS support.
  • Quick, simple publishing to ArcGIS Online for tiled maps and vector feature services (requires the new organizations subscription).


We are continuing to invest in supporting ArcGIS Server as well as ArcGIS Online for both our products and our work with clients that use Esri technology. The Cicero API is already using the latest releast of ArcGIS Online for geocoding services. And our HunchLab, Sajara and GeoTrellis products are designed such that they can take immediate advantage of the new release.

If you are interested in speaking more about ArcGIS Server 10.1 or Azavea’s products, please get in touch.  We’ll also be at Booth # P631 in the Public Safety Showcase of the Esri User Conference next week.