Monthly Archives: April 2009

Online Live Forum: The Feds Want To Hear Your Ideas

The US Economic Stimulus Recovery program wants to hear from the IT Community – This Week!

Throughout the week of April 27 to May 1, 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.

Read more about how you can get involved on the ArcGIS Developer blog.

-Collin W., SCN Blog Content Manager, ESRI Support Services

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The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 32

What to do when you cannot map metafile.

Hi, my name is Cassandra, and I am a Senior Support Analyst for ArcGIS Desktop. Almost everyone who has printed or exported from ArcMap has experienced the following error: “Cannot map metafile, not enough memory”. After working with ESRI and Microsoft developers, we have found that the first step one should take to combat this error is to resize the temporary metafile. While this ability has been around for awhile, we’ve recently found that 32 is the magic number, as it has proven to help many customers reduce the chance that they will get this error.

See the following ESRI knowledge base article for more information: KB article 33659 – “HowTo: Modify the temp metafile size setting to optimize draw time memory use”.

-Cassandra L., Desktop Support Analyst, ESRI Support Services

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Going Beyond the DevSummit Presentation

.NET Web ADF three more common issues

3 More Common Issues When Working With .NET Web ADF

Hi, my name is Jian. I am the Server Tech Lead in the User Advocacy Group within ESRI Support Services. At this year’s Dev Summit, Undral and I gave a presentation titled, “Top 10 how-tos in the .NET Web ADF”.

We received many comments and really appreciate all of your feedback. Some of your comments mentioned that you would like to see more samples of the common issues that come up when working with .NET Web ADF. Because the session was only 75 minutes, it was not possible to cover all of the hot topics that we have been seeing from the user community. So, I want to introduce and discuss 3 more common issues pertaining to working with .NET Web ADF.

  1. How to make a newer version of ASP.NET AJAX toolkit work with .NET Web ADF.

    When you have .NET Web ADF installed, an ASP.NET AJAX Toolkit component is installed as well. Since the toolkit is an open source project, it will be continually releasing new versions. But different versions of the toolkit cannot work together on the same Web page, which prevents you from using the newer version of AJAX Toolkit with the Web ADF controls, since ESRI Web ADF controls rely on the older version of the AJAX Toolkit. We wrote a Knowledge Base article titled, “HowTo: Make the latest version of AjaxControlToolkit work with Web ADF controls”, which illustrates how to resolve the issue.

  2. How to pass values when a tool is interacting with the map.

    A very simple use case is how to create a custom point tool to place text on the map when clicking on the map. The text is from a user’s input in a text box control.

    placing text on the map when clicking on the map










    The problem is that when implementing a custom tool, the only parameter passed with the interface IMapServerToolAction is ‘args’, which contains only the tool information, such as point location, buddy control and so on. It’s not associated with the text box control. In order to resolve the issue, we need to understand the mechanism of partial postback. When clicking on the map with a custom tool, a partial postback happens. Behind the scenes, all the information on the page has been collected and sent to the server as a request, so we can find the text in the text box control through the HTTP request object. Please see the code snippet below:

        public void ServerAction(ESRI.ArcGIS.ADF.Web.UI.WebControls.ToolEventArgs args)


            Map mapctrl = args.Control as Map;

            MapPointEventArgs pntArgs = args as MapPointEventArgs;

            //Get the HTTP request parameters

            System.Collections.Specialized.NameValueCollection inputParametersNameValueCollection

                     = mapctrl.Page.Request.Params;

            string textstr = inputParametersNameValueCollection["FloatingPanel1$TextBox1"];

            //Add the textstr as Graphicslayer

            AddGraphics(pntArgs.MapPoint, mapctrl, textstr);


  4. Maptips template.

    We have received the same question many times asking how to change the style of the callouts. For example, some people want to make the corner of the popup round; some would like to add shadow to the callouts; some need to change the background color; and sometimes the use case is to apply a different format to the maptips for different layers. All of those are possible in the new version 9.3.1 maptips template; which has been enhanced to allow programmers to implement their own templates, so that you can have absolute control over the style of the callouts.

-Jian H., Server Tech Lead – User Advocacy Group, ESRI Support Services

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Resolving Incidents – Sharing is Caring

Go To Assist

You Love GoToAssist, You Really Do!

ESRI Support Services has a variety of tools available to assist customers in resolving issues, and one of these is Citrix Online’s GoToAssist technology. GoToAssist allows our Support analysts to remotely and securely connect to our customers’ computers: allowing for faster, more accurate diagnosis of many kinds of problems – especially when the problem involves a map. We’ve been finding more and more situations where GoToAssist has been helpful in reducing resolution time and increasing the satisfaction of our customers, but you don’t have to take our word for it…

In February, ESRI Support Services conducted more than 2,700 GoToAssist sessions with customers. At the end of each GoToAssist session, customers have the opportunity to complete a survey. In February, we saw a survey response rate greater than 45%. That’s rather high for a voluntary customer survey, and we’d like to send out a big “Thank You!” to those who did their part by completing their GoToAssist surveys!

Customers are more likely to respond to a survey if they had an extreme experience, either extremely good or extremely, well…otherwise. Our reaction to the survey results is an extreme one as well; we’re extremely pleased to be able to say that, overall, our customers love GoToAssist! Consider these facts and figures from the February 2009 survey data:

  • When asked whether the Support analyst’s decision to use GoToAssist was a good idea, 99.6% of the surveys received said, “Yes”. We would have been happy with 95% or even 90%, but the astounding figure of 99.6% means that there are probably even more situations in which using GoToAssist may be beneficial. ESRI Support Services will continue to look for more ways in which this tool can help you.

  • When asked whether using GoToAssist increased the speed of issue resolution, 96.2% of the surveys received said, “Yes”. In many cases, the response was “Yes” even when the issue was not resolved by the end of the GoToAssist session! That means that our customers recognize and appreciate the time-saving benefits of using GoToAssist to diagnose and troubleshoot, even if the issue isn’t immediately resolved.

  • Almost 75% of the responses indicated that the issue was resolved by the end of the session. To state this another way, if one of our Support analysts used GoToAssist with you in February, your odds were nearly 3 out of 4 that your issue was going to be resolved by the time you said “goodbye”!

If the numbers don’t speak loudly enough, here are just a few of the comments we received last month regarding the benefits of GoToAssist:

“It is always better when the expert is able to actually see what I am doing wrong and make it right! Yeah!”

“The [screen] sharing program was really helpful and made my task so much easier!”

“As always, this was a great way to show tech support the behavior of the problem.”

“This was one of those issues that would not have been resolved without using the screen sharing because of the nuances. It greatly sped up the troubleshooting process and helped us develop a workaround.”

“I love tech support! I love screen sharing! You guys make me look good! Thanks for all your help.”

Now, we know that screen sharing isn’t a cure-all; for example, GoToAssist won’t help if we don’t have Support staff that is available, knowledgeable, and friendly. We also know that screen sharing is less beneficial in some situations, like when reviewing large log files or trying to debug code; but there are many situations where screen sharing can make a big difference. All of us here at ESRI Support Services will continue to look for good opportunities to use GoToAssist to assist you.

Thanks for letting us know you appreciate it, and keep that feedback coming!

-Jason H., ESRI Support Services, Global Metrics Manager

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