Category: Developer

Welcome to the Java Resource Center

When I entered college at UCLA, I remember that they had a weekend orientation for incoming freshmen. It was held in the summer before the fall quarter was to begin. It was great – you got to meet other incoming freshmen, make friends, and learn about the processes and procedures. I am not sure I would have ever figured out how to enroll in classes without the help of the orientation. The information was available in manuals and guides but it wasn’t in a form that was easily understood by incoming freshmen and it wasn’t easy to find the information.

That’s what we are trying to do at the Java Resource Center. We have a great community of Java developers and a ton of great information available for Java developers but we have never had an orientation that gets you started. On the Java Resource center we have striven to use language that Java Developers will understand and take you to the content for the most common tasks.

Let me take you through the some of the highlights of the Java Resource Center:

  • The ArcGIS Java Blog is an opportunity for us at ESRI to share best practices, solicit your feedback, and highlight product features that hopefully will make your life easier.
  • The Help tab points you to the latest documentation that’s relevant for Java developers. I personally have this one bookmarked.
  • The welcome page is the page that should help get you oriented, leading you to the resources you need to build web apps, consume soap services, build Swing apps, and extend ArcGIS.
  • The Communities tab takes you to the existing communities we have for the ArcGIS Server Web ADF and ArcGIS Engine. There you will find a code gallery where developers like you are sharing their code, a media gallery from presentations we have given, and forums to get answers to questions.

To complete the welcome to the Java Resouce Center I would like to share a photo of a lot of the development folks working on Java and Unix products at ESRI.


Posted in Developer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment and the GIS Community – Next Week!

The US economic recovery stimulus plan is underway and is the online vehicle for keeping everything transparent to the public.  This kind of proactive openness from government is refreshing and confidence building.

But transparency works both ways.  Next week (starting April 27th) the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board wants to hear from the IT community.  They want more ideas on how the site can be improved with information technology.

From their site:

“What ideas, tools, and approaches can make a place where all citizens can transparently monitor the expenditure and use of recovery funds?”

The front page suggests you can mark your calendars and “check back for the web link”.

Your know-how

As GIS professionals and developers, we know how this technology can be used to collect, manage, analyze, display, work with, and disseminate spatial information.  We know how to process data, then present it effectively to the user, giving them simple intuitive tools for seeing what they want to see quickly.  

In short, YOU know what can be added to to make it better in these ways.  Jump in and tell them how.  And then vote on the ideas.  Represent your interests and those of the GIS community.


Take the conversation beyond simply web mapping and visualization.  That’s a powerful front-end, but GIS is the engine to help determine what to visualize.  Talk about the need for open standards for interoperability, quality data, geographic analysis, modeling, system architecture, and engaging in geospatial workflows that GIS professionals know so well.  Describe how for decades GIS has been a key part of the strong foundation for open government, transparency, and accountability. 

State and local governments have already started.  Maryland is one example of a state leading the way.

Here are ESRI’s ideas and position on how GIS can best help.  This is what ESRI will be bringing to the conversation.

Business opportunities 

Crisis and need feed creativity and innovation, both powerful traits of Americans throughout history.

As these systems are implemented connecting all levels of government, this work also clearly provides new business opportunities for firms doing GIS, especially developers. 


What a great way to get involved!  Now is the time.  Be heard.



1.  What each state is doing

2.  Facebook Group:  Recovery Dialogue: IT Solutions

3.  Twitter Feed:  @natldialogue    hashtag #RecoveryGIS (new, but let’s start some activity)


- EDN Team


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DevSummit 2009: Post Conference Survey Feedback

Many thanks to the more than 200 attendees who took the time to answer the DevSummit post conference survey. We had a lot of valuable feedback that was both positive and negative for various items at the conference. As for the open-ended questions, we received over 600 unique comments and suggestions. In the end, this feedback will only make next year’s conference even better!


Here are some areas you identified that need improvement:

-          There weren’t enough ArcGIS Desktop/non-Web developer sessions

-          Need more advanced sessions describing how-to’s and lessons learned

-          The level and depth of PreSummit session content needs to be reexamined

-          Try not to cram too much material into the sessions

-          Internet connectivity access could have been better

Some areas that you thought went well:

-          The vast majority of attendees (99.5%) would recommend the DevSummit to a colleague

-          Many positive comments about direct access to development teams and other ESRI staff

-          The Keynote speaker David Chappell was a huge hit

-          The User presentations were very positively received and well attended

-          Networking opportunities with other developers

Since the technical sessions are always one of the most valuable resources at the conference, here’s a graph showing what you said about the value of the session content.




We also we received a lot of positive feedback from developers who weren’t able to attend that benefited from information being tweeted by people at the conference. If you missed it, the Twitter account for the summit is @ESRIDevSummit and the hashtag is #devsummit if you want to continue to follow the before, during or after conversations. So, keep your eyes open for more of this type of activity at future conferences, such as the User Conference in San Diego. 


Thanks again to all who attended, and if you have something additional to share that will benefit the planning for next year please post a comment.


EDN Team



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ArcGIS Resource Centers: Code Gallery Blog Series

We would like to introduce this new blog series for the ArcGIS Resource Centers.

This series focuses specifically on the Resource Center Code Galleries.  It will cover a wide range of topics including tips and tricks on how to use the galleries, posts highlighting new content, website updates, and hints on how to work with the galleries more effectively. 

We’ll also be showcasing some of the best entries here as well, so be sure to stay tuned. 

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the Resource Centers, you may want to review this article to learn more about the key features.

Let’s first get started with a little Q/A. 

What are the code galleries?
What galleries are avaiable?
What can I do with the galleries?
    View it Live

What are the code galleries?

The code galleries are an online collaboration tool that you can use to share code and exchange ideas with others in the community. 

If you browse the entries, you’ll find they contain a wide range of applications and samples.  Some are short, specific examples of how to accomplish a given task, while others are more elaborate solutions to real-world problems.  Others include code for applications that were shown in presentations at the DevSummit .  

What galleries are available?

In total, there are 16 galleries available for a number of different developer communities:   

ArcGIS Desktop and Engine: .NET  Java
ArcGIS Server:  .NET ADF  Java ADF  JavaScript API  JSAPI for Google  JSAPI for VE  Flex  Silverlight
ArcGIS Mobile:  .NET

 Model and Script
Business Analyst Extension:  Desktop  Server

Water Utilities: Template


What can I do with the galleries?

Browse for Entries

1.  Navigate to one of the Code Galleries above.
Select a field (name, rating, date added…) to sort the entries.
Select the entry itself to get more information.


Search for Entries

1.  Navigate to one of the Code Galleries.
2.  Type in a key word in the Search box at the top.

3.  Filter your results by selecting the “Code Gallery” node.


View an Entry “Live”

1.  Find the sample of interest.
2.  If the “View it Live” link is available, click on the link.

 Tip:  This feature is only enabled if the author who uploaded the entry specified a URL to the application online or a URL to a video that demonstrates how the application works.  

Download an Entry 

Find the sample of interest.
Click on the download link.


Upload an Entry

1.  Package all of your code, data and a Readme.txt file in one .zip file (max size 30 MB).
Go to the appropriate code gallery and create a new entry.
Fill out the information for your submission (title, description and requirements…) and submit.


Tip:  You will need to create or login to your ESRI Global Account to upload a sample.  If you don’t have one, go here.  

Leave Feedback
1. Log in with your ESRI Global Account and click the rating star.
2. Leave comments at the bottom of the entry.

Tip: If you download code, you might also want to subscribe to the RSS feed so you can be notified of any new comments!  Authors often post helpful information here or they’ll make a post when changes are made to the code or new versions are available. 

In Conclusion

Whether you are just browsing for a solution or you would like the upload and share something with the community, the code galleries are an important resource for everyone. 

Tip:  If you want to know when new entries are made, be sure to subscribe to the RSS feeds for each gallery so you are notified automatically.  

Lastly, if you have any feedback on the galleries, feel free to leave them on the gallery pages themselves or on this post as well. 

Thank you. 
EDN Team 


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ArcGIS Developer Poll Results – Most Valued DevSummit Presentation

Thank you for participating in the last survey.  When the final scores were tallied, the Technical Sessions were voted the most valuable, followed by the User Sessions, Plenary Sessions, Presummit Seminars and Demo Theaters.  We were glad to see the User Sessions were highly valued this year!  Hopefully we can offer more next year.

The next poll is coming soon.

EDN Team


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ArcGIS Developers: Status Report #2 on DevSummit 2009 Videos

We are proud to announce that all of the technical session recordings are now posted online and available for viewing. You’ll find the recordings in two locations:

Resource Centers:  The Media Galleries provide the full session descriptions, videos, and links to PowerPoints and code (if applicable) for each presentation.  The videos are categorized by the type of community you are in; for example,  ArcGIS Desktop > DS2009: Introduction to ESRI’s Developer Technologies. 

  • DevSummit Proceedings:  The Developer Summit 2009 proceedings page  provides a master list of all of the recordings.  Each entry links back to the associated video and media in the Media Gallery.If you are looking for a particular video by name, you might find it helpful to search this page first. 

Three user presentations are also viewable, and more will be uploaded this week.  We’ll keep you posted as they become available. Here’s what’s ready today:

Using OpenLayers with ArcGIS Server REST API, presented by James Fee

Building RESTful Apps and Services Using MVC, presented by Brian Noyle

Unit Testing 101: Building Testable Applications, presented by Dave Bouwman

Keep in mind, once you are in the Media Gallery you have two viewing options.  You can either use the embedded Flash Player to view the video at 800 x 600, or you can download the WMV file and watch it locally with the Windows Media Player at a slightly higher resolution of 1024×768.  

Thanks again for your patience and we hope you find these helpful!

EDN Team

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ArcGIS Developer: New name for the ArcObjects Blog

The “ArcObjects Development Blog” has been renamed and is now the “ArcGIS Developer Blog”.   

In this blog, you can expect to find similar posts, but they’ll now have a wider “ArcGIS developer” focus.  This means you’ll find more developer content in the form of How To<’>s and Did you know articles, resource summaries, and highlights about activity in the ArcGIS developer community. 

You’ll also be happy to know that the RSS feed hasn’t changed, so there’s no need to re-subscribe. 

As always, we encourage feedback, so feel free to leave suggestions for future articles as well as comments on posts. 

We’ll also be posting a number of new ArcGIS developer polls, so stay tuned.

Thanks in advance for participating in the online ArcGIS developer community. 

EDN Team




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Status Report on DevSummit 2009 Videos

We know you are anxious to see this year’s DevSummit videos, so we wanted to give you a status report of where we are.  We have just published a number of videos in the Media Galleries and we are still processing a number of others.  We are also still linking the videos to the code galleries, so we appreciate your patience as we get everything wired up for you.

In the galleries you will find following types of videos:

  • Plenary session
  • PreSummit sessions
  • Technical sessions
  • User sessions
  • Demo Theaters*

* Since the demo theaters weren’t recorded, we have made them available as  automated “slide shows”, but they do not have  audio. 

If you don’t see the video you are looking, for then we recommend subscribing to the RSS feed in the Media Gallery of interest to be notified automatically notified of updates.  We expect it will take a week or two to get all of them uploaded. 

Lastly, when you are through watching a video, don’t forget to rate and leave comments!

Enjoy and thanks again for your patience.

EDN Team


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Detailed VB6 to .NET Migration Videos

If you need to migrate your VB6 projects to .NET, be sure to check out these new How To… videos in the Media Gallery.  Don Kemlage from the ArcGIS team provides a very detailed tour of how to convert various types of VB6 projects to .NET. 

Tips and Tricks
Also covered are some of the obstacles you’ll run into in the conversion process and how to get around them:

Required library reference changes
Code changes
VB6-.NET type resolution
Visual Studio project settings
Visual Studio .NET debug configuration

Don also describes how to take advantage of the ArcGIS SDK .NET integration tools and base classes to streamline your .NET code.

How to Migrate a VB6 Project to .NET – Simple Project

How to Migrate a VB6 Project to .NET – Complex Project

So if you are about to migrate or are in the process of moving your projects over, be sure to check these out.

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VBA and VB6 with ArcGIS: What's the Story?

Coming out of the ESRI Developer Summit last week, and hearing some buzz about this on Twitter, we figured it would be a good time to catch everyone up with the ArcGIS support story for Visual Basic 6 (VB6) and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).  We wrote a few notes on this a while back, but here’s the scoop.

Visual Basic 6 Support

This development environment is fully tested, documented, and supported for use with ArcGIS through version 9.3.1.  

The v9.3.1 release will include a version of the VB6 Software Developer Kit (SDK) for both ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Engine.  For the past few years Microsoft has been phasing out support for VB6, finally considering it unsupported as of 2008.  Due to this, ESRI will not be releasing a VB6 SDK, nor supporting VB6 at the ArcGIS 10 release.  We continue to encourage users and developers to migrate their projects and code to more recent versions of Microsoft Visual Studio which use the .NET Framework.

What about your existing VB6 code?  Well on the one hand, your code may just continue to work with version 10, but one should not count on that for planning purposes.  In addition, VB6 documentation, samples, and other resources for earlier versions of ArcGIS will still be searchable online.  As for the user community, VB6 users will probably be there for some time into the future, but you should probably expect that the size of this group will continue getting smaller.  On the other hand (and more importantly) you will not have an SDK for VB6 at version 10 nor will technical support services from ESRI or our distributors be available, so our ability to support what you are doing will be significantly limited.

Another point worth mentioning is that ArcGIS will no longer install the Microsoft VB6 runtime at v10.  This is something to consider if you plan to deploy VB6 solutions to machines on which v10 is installed.

Check out this migration post to see how to use the Visual Studio Update Wizard to convert your code.

So to summarize:

For ArcGIS through v9.3.1:  VB6 is fully supported.
For ArcGIS 10:  VB6 will be unsupported.  Your code may just work, but there will be no VB6 SDK, nor technical support services. 

VBA Support

For about 12 years now since version 8.0, ArcGIS Desktop users have been able to take advantage of the embedded VBA Editor to write macros, code modules, etc.  The status of VBA going forward is this.  VBA is fully supported through ArcGIS Desktop version 9.3.1, however developers are encouraged to use supported versions of Microsoft Visual Studio when extending the ArcGIS Desktop applications.  When ArcGIS 10 is released, VBA will no longer be recommended for use, however it will still be available in order to support legacy code and applications.

So to summarize:

For ArcGIS Desktop through v9.3.1:  VBA is included and fully supported.
For ArcGIS Desktop 10:  VBA will be available if needed, fully supported but not recommended.

(edited on 6.28.2010 to replace “v9.4″ with “v10″ due to version renumbering)

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