Installing ArcGIS 10 (and can you leave 9.3.1 on the machine)

The best way for users to deploy multiple versions of ArcGIS is to use virtualization software. This approach allows users to continue to use multiple workflows and allows easy application development and deployment.

Initially we had undertaken development for ArcGIS 10 to support multiple versions of ArcGIS (9.3.1 and 10) being able to run on the same machine at the same time. Unfortunately what we found was the needs of such a deployment caused the experience to be unnecessarily complicated and introduced a number of areas of incompatibility. And as a result we will not support installing 10 and 9.3.1 “side-by-side”.  We realize that at the UC we had initially announced this side-by-side support, but unfortunately that announcement was premature, and we will not be able to support this configuration.

We recommend that users who want to install 2 versions of ArcGIS use a virtualization tool (such as VM Workstation) and install the new instance of ArcGIS on that virtual machine. This solution is the best approach now with ArcGIS (9.2,9.3…) as well as into the future (10 and beyond).

At ArcGIS 10, if users install ArcGIS 10 on a machine that currently has a previous version of ArcGIS they will be prompted to uninstall that version prior to installing ArcGIS 10. We realize this is a change to what was previously announced functionality in ArcGIS 10, but the virtualization technology solves this issue in a much more straightforward and user acceptable manner.

-Damian
dspangrud@esri.com
ArcGIS Product Manager

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4 Comments

  1. CamPatterson says:

    How about some tips on installing VM workstation for this purpose? Is there a recommended minimum hardware requirement?

  2. msnook says:

    I’ve found that (if not on a Windows 7 machine) that Sun’s VirtualBox works really well and fast. If you are on XP, Microsoft VitualPC 2007 also work really well for virtualization. IMPORTANT–Be sure to turn hardware virtualization on in your computers BIOS settings if available. Virtualization support can be determined by using this simple program…http://www.grc.com/securable.htm

  3. benknight says:

    This is very disappointing for developers who need to have lots of supporting software installed on their machines. Installing all that stuff in a VM (or multiple VMs) is not fun.

  4. reharrison says:

    I took msnook’s advice and used Sun’s VirtualBox. I too find it to work well and fast. It was a bit scary for me (fear of messing up my main computer) since I’ve never attempted to install a virtual machine but the instructions were quite easy to follow. (and thanks msnook for the link about turning on virtualization support–that was key)

    I then installed XP and then SP2 and then SP3 plus many updates so in all it took my partial attention over several days, about 12-16 hours I guess.

    Also extracting and running the Arc94 using IsoBuster was a challenge to figure out that I wanted ISO format and then needed to extract data, not the entire image.

    I’m sure this is simple for seasoned computer types but it is way more than most small business users will be willing to go through I’d say. (I did consider buying another Win7 machine just to run this on, but that seemed extreme.)

    Some instructions would have given me more confidence and speed the process I think.

    In the end, Arc94Beta seems to be running smoothly and quickly.