Category: Developer

Developer info for new PDF functionality at ArcGIS 9.3 (including pdf patch)

Many developers have asked how to take advantage of the enhanced PDF export capabilities in 9.3 and the “Map Export Patch to Support Acrobat 9 PDF” in their code, so we’ve prepared a short primer on this new functionality.

All of these new capabilities are contained in a new interface, IExportPDF2.  Unfortunately the web help for the SDK was erroneously published based on an older version of the interface.  We are in the process of updating the web help, but in the mean time here is the skinny on the new interface’s two properties:



This one is pretty self-explanatory.  There are three possible values for this parameter, that control what content is exported into the resultant PDF:

esriExportPDFLayerOptionsNone No Layers and Feature Attributes.
esriExportPDFLayerOptionsLayersOnly Layers Only. This is the default value.
esriExportPDFLayerOptionsLayersAndFeatureAttributes Layers and Feature Attributes.


Be careful when using the option “LayersAndFeatureAttributes”.  All of the visible attribute fields in each feature class in the ArcMap document will be exported to the PDF. 

Exporting attributes to PDF can lead to performance problems when viewing the file in supported PDF readers. If possible, limit exported fields to one layer per map. To suppress field export, turn off field visibility in the Fields tab of the Layer Properties dialog.


Recent versions of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe reader allow for encoding of map coordinate system and georeference information inside the PDF file.  Exporting a map with the ExportMeasureInfo property set to True will record map georeference information inside the PDF.  If you have installed the 9.3 PDF patch, ExportMeasureInfo will be True by default.  This means with any patched install of ArcGIS, even your existing PDF export code will include the new georeference info in exported PDF files.  Set this property to False to suppress the inclusion of georeference info in your PDF. 

For more detailed information on the functionality controlled by these properties, take a look at the desktop help for Advanced PDF Features.  Here’s a link to the web help version of this topic:

Let us know what you think of this new functionality!


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Whoa… What's up with the EDN website?

As you may or may not have noticed, the content-rich EDN website has recently changed to a thin jump site with four links.  So to get right to the point your first question may be: “Where do I find the resources I need right now?

Starting with ArcGIS version 9.3 in July 2008, developers are encouraged to use the new ESRI Resource Centers to access SDK documentation, samples, product technical information, as well as tools and resources for interacting with communities of ArcGIS developers around the world.

For the time being, the old EDN website will continue to exist and be the repository for developer content for ArcGIS versions 9.2 and prior.  It will no longer be used for ArcGIS version 9.3 nor beyond.


Our goal here is to create one single website for all users’ product usage resource needs.  At version 9.2 and prior, developers used the EDN website and end-users of ESRI’s GIS software tended to use the ESRI Support Center online. 

Feedback from the user community, as well as our own technology development goals indicate that developers need information about product installation, architecture, administration, and functional usage as much as any other user, and end-users more and more often are making use of information for product customization, components, scripting, programming, and other resources typically associated with application developers.  As our technology continues to grow along with the maturity of information technology, the lines between “user” and “developer” continue to blur and overlap.  It makes less and less sense to maintain two sites and have users decide which one to use.

So as you use the ESRI Resource Center online, we encourage you to interact with other developers like yourself, as well as GIS end-users and the resources they all use to be successful.  That is the place online where the EDN community will continue to grow, through code sharing galleries, discussion forums, video, and blogs from ESRI development teams, as well as new community tools and resources upcoming such as open chat, tech workshop webcasts, and a fully wiki’d Knowledge Base technical documentation set.

What about the EDN program?

The ESRI Developer Network software subscription program and its add-on training and support products are not changing. 

Developers around the world have found EDN to be a very cost-effective and simple way to access the entire ArcGIS technology and product base for product customization, implementation, as well as the design and development of applications and systems.   This has been a popular product and is not going anywhere.   Actually, ESRI is committed to making improvements and additions to the subscription program as our leadership position in the geospatial technology industry continues to grow.  

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Why is the Visual Basic Editor grayed out after installing ArcGIS 9.3?

VBA version 6.5 is required for ArcGIS 9.3 (installs with Microsoft Office 2007). This does not get installed automatically when installing ArcGIS using the setup.msi file. One of the more noticeable indicators that the correct version of VBA was not installed is when navigating to Tools > Macros > Visual Basic Editor will be grayed out. However, it can be installed after using the setup.msi file by installing the files referenced below or it can be automatically installed if you use the setup.exe instead of the setup.msi. 

The ArcGIS Installation Guide > Installing ArcGIS Desktop silently, states the following: The installation of ArcGIS Desktop (setup.exe) serves as a single installer that integrates three separate installers required to run ArcGIS Desktop.  If you are deploying ArcGIS Desktop or need to install using setup.msi directly, you will need to install the other setup programs as well. The setup.msi programs and installation order are:

  1. The ArcGIS Desktop setup.msi (with custom installation information supplied below)
  2. <media or administrative installation>VBAVBAOF11.msi /qb  (no installation parameters are required)  
  3. <media or administrative installation>VBA1033VBAOF11i.msi /qb (no installation parameters are required) 

Additional Resources: 



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ArcObjects .NET Snippet Finder

New for .NET developers at 9.3 is the ArcGIS Snippet Finder.   This is a neat tool for finding commonly used blocks of code you can use in your application development.  In this video, Don Kemlage from ESRI’s .NET development team takes a few moments to describe this new tool and how to get the most from it to shorten your development time with solid blocks of useful ArcObjects code.   The Snippet Finder contains a few hundred snippets to start with, but more are being added.


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ArcGIS 9.3 .NET developer help: improvements, tips, tricks

The recent release of ArcGIS version 9.3 has been an opportunity for ESRI to improve the developer help system significantly.  Feedback during the beta cycle helped make additional improvements to help developers find the content they’re looking for so that they are more productive when coding against these APIs and components.

In this video, Don Kemlage from ESRI’s ArcGIS .NET development team takes a few minutes to describe many of these improvements.  Discussed are enhancements to the samples, code snippets, help topics, and walkthough tutorials.  Don also describes some neat tips and tricks for searching and filtering results.



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New Developer Samples Added

If you click on the Samples tab you will find 3 new developer samples that illustrate key capabilities of the Mobile SDK that you have been asking us about:

Live Traffic Sample for Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC – this sample demonstrates how you can consume a real time feed and display its content on top of your map data using a custom layer.

ESRI Construction Sample for Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC – this sample illustrates how to use the sketch component to create new features and update the attributes of existing features and synchronize those updates with a map service.

Working With Related Tables – this sample demonstrates how you can edit related tables on a Pocket PC device using ADO.NET and a GeoData web service.

 In addition, if you use the Map Cache Extractor sample, you should download the most recent version as we have made significant updates to it. Improvements include implementing a quad-tree algorithm for caching feature layers so that you do not run into server time-outs when caching large volumes of data, and support for raster caching as well. 

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