Monthly Archives: August 2009

ArcGIS Image Server not functioning after installing ArcGIS Explorer 900

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Several users have called in to ESRI Support Services in the last few days and reported an issue that ArcGIS Image Server 9.3 or 9.3.1 is no longer functioning on their machines after installing ArcGIS Explorer 900.

ESRI is aware of this issue, and is currently working on a resolution to this problem. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

The following Bug reports are currently being investigated for a possible solution:

  • NIM046078: ArcGIS Image Server 9.3.1 conflicts with ArcGIS Explorer (900)

  • NIM047684: Add Image Server Connection button in ArcMap 9.3/9.3.1 does not work after installing ArcGIS Explorer 900.

We will keep you posted via this blog post for further updates as they become available.

Mike H., Development Technical Lead (Server)
User Advocacy Group, ESRI Support Services

Mike H., Development Technical Lead (Server)
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Why all the fuss about System Configuration?

Hi there! I am Cheryl, Senior Support Technical Lead in the Geodata Support Unit at ESRI Support Services. Some of you may be wondering why we always ask for your configuration information. Delay tactic? No, guess again… Well, there are 2 reasons.

The first reason is that we want to ensure that you are using one of the supported configurations. Supported configurations are configurations on which the software has been certified to have been tested.

Does this mean that we do not assist you if you are running on an unsupported platform?

Not at all! We will still work with you as much as possible to resolve the issue, until it has been determined that the problem is definitely with the configuration. The issue would generally be tested on a supported configuration as close as possible to your specific configuration. If it is not reproducible, then chances are that the problem is configuration-specific. If we are able to configure – within reason of timeframe and resources – a test machine with your specific configuration, the workflow is tested on that configuration. Additionally, during software development or testing, there may be major problems encountered with specific system configurations. If these issues are beyond our control, for example, Operating System or RDBMS specific issues, we consider the platform to be unsupported. If those particular issues are subsequently resolved by the particular vendor, we may later revisit the configuration for supportability. If a problem is a result of an unsupported configuration, we do request that customers install the software on a supported platform, after which we will follow up to ensure that you are no longer experiencing the problem. Information on supported platforms is available at ArcGIS Server 9.3/9.3.1 System Requirements.

The second reason is that some issues experienced by our customers end up being specific to a particular configuration. In Support, we will always try to reproduce problems following the workflow you provide. Not having the configuration you are experiencing the problem on results in us trying to reproduce on the most available configurations in Support. This can result in longer resolution times as various common configurations are tested in an effort to determine what the issue is. There are so many possible supported configurations that we may possibly miss your specific configuration in our tests; it is impossible to test a problem on each of the vast configuration permutations available. Providing us your exact system configuration can greatly reduce resolution time, as we now have the exact configuration for testing the workflow. Once the problem is reproduced, we still test on the most common configurations to see if the issue is also reproducible there.

Testing on multiple platforms/configurations – why?

Why do we go through the trouble of testing on other configurations? We are always forward thinking. The premise is that if one person experiences a problem, others may also encounter the problem. So in trying to resolve the issue, it is important for us to have the issue resolved across as many platforms as possible.

There may be situations where customers report that an issue is reproducible regardless of the configuration. While this may be so, it is still important to us that we have a frame of reference for resolving the issue, especially for the customer reporting the issue. When a problem is reported and it is determined to be a bug, the configuration for the customer(s) reporting the problem is included in the bug. To ensure that when we arrive at a resolution, those configurations are included in the tests of the resolution.

Solutions already available to you

In some situations, there are issues that have been resolved by a Service Pack or Patch, released subsequent to your current configuration. In these circumstances, we will compare your software configuration information with the bug fix release information. If it is determined that you do not have the Service Pack or Patch installed, we can point you to the software update on our Service Packs and Patches gateway: ESRI Service Packs and Patches Gateway.

  • Having said that, allow me to make a pitch for always keeping your system updated with the latest Service Packs or Patches. So, go ahead and bookmark the above link, and return to it periodically to see what updates are available.

So when you are reporting an issue to us, please provide us your full configuration information so that we can arrive more quickly at a reproducible case and a subsequent resolution for your environment at minimum. Now that you are aware that we will definitely ask that pesky question, please go ahead and provide it to us when reporting the problem.

What we usually request:

    • Server Operating System (OS) version and Service Pack (SP); full RDBMS version including Patches or Fixpacks (e.g. Oracle, DB2 V9 Fixpack 4a); ArcGIS Server (which includes ArcSDE) version, SP and Patches.
  • Client OS version and SP; ArcGIS version and SP and Patches.

How to find your ESRI software configuration

Don’t know your ESRI software configuration information? Find out by running our Service Pack or Patch Finder also available at the Service Packs and Patches gateway: ESRI Service Packs and Patches Gateway.

Thanks for assisting us in determining the specific configuration in which you are experiencing problems.

- Cheryl C., Senior Support Technical Lead, Geodata Unit, ESRI Support Services

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Deprecation plans for ArcGIS 9.3.1 and the upcoming release of ArcGIS 10

At each release we assess if there are any platforms (operating systems, databases, development environments, hardware…) that are not being used as much anymore or are at the end of their supportability. In addition, we look at our own technology stack to see if some of the newer functionality has superseded older functionality. In either case, we try to give as much notice as possible for any changes in supported platforms or functionality in deprecation notices.

Given the pace of technology changes the last few years, we have been fairly conservative in what we deprecate. However, we found that with the ArcGIS 9.3.1 release out and ArcGIS 10 in development, we have a number of items that need deprecation. Many of these deprecations have been a long time coming (both platforms and functionality); others give you early notice of things that will eventually be impacted. So rather than having you look for individual notices for ArcGIS 9.3.1 and ArcGIS 10, we’ve put together a complete document that outlines what to expect as we move forward.

The document, ArcGIS 9.3.1 and 10 Deprecation Plan, outlines what we will deprecate for ArcGIS 10 and lists what platforms and functionality from ArcGIS 9.3.1 will not be supported in ArcGIS 10. (This deprecation document is also linked from KB article 37113 for reference.)

For the most up-to-date information on the deprecation plans, refer to the following link: Deprecation Plan for ArcGIS 10.0 and ArcGIS 10.1.

-The ArcGIS Release Team, ESRI

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Waiting to hear back from us…Did you check your SPAM??

Hi Readers, this is Garima, writing from ESRI’s Eastern Support Unit at Charlotte. As we have heard from many customers, our support answers sometimes end up in your spam. I thought I would share the following information with you, so that next time you log an incident with us via email or call in with a question, you can be sure that you have added our Support Services email address,, into your safe email list.

This will make our emails end up in your inbox, and not in the spam.

If you use Microsoft Outlook as your email client, follow these instructions to let our answers/emails into your mailbox:

  1. Click on Actions > Junk E-mail > Junk E-mail Options.

  2. On the Safe Senders’ tab, make sure is added.

  3. Click “OK” and see what a wonderful conversation we have had.

  4. Junk E-mail Options dialog box

If you are a Gmail user, follow these steps:

  1. There is no way you can add a safe sender there, but what you can do is browse your Spam Folder or search “”, and when you see our email there click on the “X” near the Spam tag Gmail Spam tag that shows up in the email title.

  2. Or click Not Spam at the top of the message.

  3. Adding the address to contacts can also help.

If you are a Yahoo mail user, here are some helpful suggestions for you:

  1. Browse your entire mailbox for “”, and if the email appears to be in your spam, check the green tick box there which says Not Spam.

  2. Or, you could right-click the email and choose the option Not a Spam.

  3. Another suggestion would be to add the address into your contacts.

If you are a Hotmail user, follow these steps:

  1. Browse your entire mailbox for ““, and if the email appears to be in your Junk, click on Junk to open your Junk mailbox.

  2. Check the box next to the email from ESRI Support Services ( and click Not junk from the selections above the list of Junk emails.

If you are using any other email client, the best and most common practice to enure any email from ESRI Support Services does not go into your Spam or Junk mailbox is to add “” to your address book or list of contacts.

Hope this helps and as you know, we would never keep you waiting…

-Garima V., Support analyst, SDK Group, ESRI Support Services

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Post-User Conference – Data from the Support Island

hand holding globe

Where in the world did everyone come from?

Hello GIS World! Monte here again to share some post-User Conference information regarding the Technical Support Island. As Jaime mentioned in his previous blog post about Support Services at User Conference, the Technical Support Island is an area in the User Conference showcase where users can stop by with questions, issues, workflows, etc., and receive help from an ESRI Support Services specialist.

This year, we had over 400 visitors from 23 different countries throughout the world and 40 different states in the US stop by for assistance. You may be asking “How do you know where everyone came from?” This year, ESRI Support Services used digital scanners to scan and capture information from each User Conference attendee’s badge. Your second question may be “Why would ESRI Support Services want to capture information about us?” First off, ESRI Support Services loves to capture and analyze data. More importantly, we wanted to capture the number and frequency of visitors, as well as categorize the different types of issues by product and specialty.

Staffing the Technical Support Island is a unique challenge for ESRI Support Services for two reasons. First, we need to have the right number of specialists available in the Technical Support Island to answer all of your unique questions. Second, it is critical to have staff back in Redlands and Charlotte for normal Support requests. While the User Conference was in full steam, thousands of people around the globe continued with their normal job responsibilities, and we needed to be available to support those users as well.

Now that the User Conference is complete (BTW – it was a tremendous success), we are busy analyzing all of the data that we captured. Of the 400 people who stopped by, we helped 78% of those reach resolution on their issues at the Technical Support Island. For those issues we didn’t resolve, we created follow-up Technical Support incidents to make sure all users received help in order to achieve success. Likewise, we are now using this data to help with staffing of next year’s User Conference, as well as analyzing feedback we received for improvements to better serve you.

Distribution of USA visitors to TE island
Distribution of users in the United States who visited the Technical Support Island

Distribution of users throughout the world who visited the TE island
Distribution of users throughout the rest of the world who visited the Technical Support Island

Thank you to those of you who stopped by for help, and we hope to see you at the 2010 User Conference. Oh yeah – one last thing: if you attended this year’s User Conference and would like to leave feedback, areas for improvement, etc., please do so in the comments section of the blog.

-Monte M., Server Unit Manager, Support Services, ESRI

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ArcGIS Server Geoportal Extension 9.3.1 Distribution Database Scripts Patch

A patch is now available on the ESRI Support Website for the ArcGIS Server Geoportal extension 9.3.1. It is called “ArcGIS Server Geoportal Extension 9.3.1 Distribution Database Scripts Patch” and fixed the following issue:

When the Geoportal extension 9.3.1 was initially released and shipped to customers, the database upgrade scripts and the Linux environment database scripts were not included. Users who want to upgrade their existing GPT 9.3 geoportals to 9.3.1 or users who want to implement a 9.3.1 geoportal on Linux will require these scripts.

This patch provides the missing scripts by installing them into the Geoportal extension 9.3.1 distribution folder, C:ESRIGeoportal Extension 9.3.1Database Scripts, by default. It should be installed by geoportal system administrators on the machine where the original Geoportal extension 9.3.1 distribution setup.exe was run. The patch installer checks for the presence of the distribution installation, and will not install the scripts unless that original distribution installation is found.

- SDI Solutions Team, ESRI

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