Monthly Archives: December 2010

Joy for the tables that join

Ah, the holidays. What better time of year for joining together with friends, families…and tables? Hello, this is Cassandra again bringing you the good tidings of tips for making sure your tables join in harmony.


We talk to a many customers who experience odd problems with data that has been joined, such as an attribute table that contains NULL values, empty output or odd errors when performing geoprocessing. The most common reason why these problems occur is because one or more of the field names in the joined table or the name of the joined table itself does not follow the required naming convention rules.



Naming convention rules, as directed by the Microsoft JET engine, which enables Windows applications like ArcMap to read various table formats, include the following:
- The name must start with a letter, not a number.
- The name must not contain spaces. - The only special character allowed is an underscore.


Take a look at this Excel table – how many names do you see that will cause problems?



If you experience problems performing joins or relates or displaying XY data on tables, exporting the resultant joined table or performing subsequent geoprocessing on a joined table, your first step should be to check all the field and table names.


Another trick I’ve learned when your problem is a field name but you don’t see any problems, is to save the table as a CSV format file and then try to add that CSV into ArcMap. If there is a problem with any field name, ArcMap will display an error message stating which field is the problem.



So, while I can’t fix Aunt Harriet’s fruitcake or that crazy tie you got in the Holiday secret Santa exchange, take comfort that you know your tables join.


Happy holidays from all of us at Esri Support Services!


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Is my database patch supported?

A lot of users often have questions concerning their system configuration for the version of software being used in conjunction with our products. Questions get more specific to involve installing patches, service packs, etc., within an environment and, in relation to ArcSDE Enterprise geodatabases, questions also involve RDBMS patches. Let’s outline some of the key points made in our Supported Environment Policy document that should help you answer these questions when considering patching a test or production database that houses ArcSDE Enterprise geodatabases.

Support Environment Policy

Meet or exceed the minimum requirements:

  • As a rule of thumb, ensure your configuration meets or exceeds the minimum configuration listed on our system requirements page.

  • Non-certification of an environment does not necessarily mean it is not supported.

  • An environment is supported if it meets or exceeds the base build environment and that environment is not known to fail.

Check out the ‘limitations’ section of the system requirements page:

  • Environments that are known to not work are usually documented on the product support page as soon as that information is available.

  • An environment may be supported even if there are some known issues with the software on that particular environment (any known issues will be documented in the “limitations” section of the System Requirements for that environment).

Check that the 3rd-party vendor supports the environment:

  • Esri cannot support any environment not supported by the vendors of the operating systems, RDBMSs, or Web servers.

Test, test, test!
Since Esri cannot test and certify every possible configuration, it is always recommended to thoroughly test any upgrade or change to your production environment on a test server first. This helps to ensure your organization’s workflows prior to implementing such a change.

Geodatabase and ArcSDE System Requirements – Version 10.0

ArcGIS Server 9.3/9.3.1 System Requirements – see Supported Relational Database Management Systems (ArcSDE) section

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Using the OutSpatialReference property: Putting the points where they belong

How many times have you tried to geocode a point somewhere in the continental United States and the point appears off the coast of East Africa? For example, you call Esri Support and we tell you that the locator is giving you lat/long but your map service is using a projection other than WGS 1984, Web Mercator, for instance. Solution? Re-project your geocoded results: from Geographic to Web Mercator. If your map service uses a spatial reference other than Web Mercator, then you would need to use a Geometry Service to do the reprojection.

OutSpatialReference (Silverlight, Flex, JavaScript). This is the keyword that is going to make life easier for you. A new property of the Locator task (or of AddressToLocationsParameters class in Silverlight) introduced in the ArcGIS Server 10.0 REST API and henceforth in the 2.x Web APIs allows you to set the spatial reference of the output geometries.

For example, setting the outSpatialReference in JavaScript API
locator = new esri.tasks.Locator(“http://<SERVER>/ArcGIS/rest/services/<LOCATORSERVICE>/GeocodeServer”); locator.outSpatialReference = new esri.SpatialReference(102113);

This property is available only with ArcGIS Server 10.0 and later releases. So, make sure that in your 2.x Web API application, you are working with Locator services hosted on a 10.0 machine.

- Kripa J., Esri Support Analyst – SDK group, Esri Support Services

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Transition of 9.3 Resource Center happening soon!

The transition date has been re-scheduled to mid-January, 2011.

Gateway page for 9.3 ArcGIS Resource Centers

December 21st, after 5pm, is the date we’ve chosen to officially transition the old 9.3 Resource Center website, (pictured above) to the new, 10-and-9.3/9.3.1 ArcGIS Resource Centers and/or sites. All 9.3 content from the old site has been moved and we’ve incorporated redirects where necessary, so you’ll have a seamless experience using your bookmarks and Favorites links.

Gateway page for 10 and 9.3/9.3.1 ArcGIS Resource Centers

And as some of you already know, new content is added weekly to the 10-and-9.3/9.3.1 ArcGIS Resource Centers, including new gallery postings, videos, blogs and documentation. Let us know what you think!

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Getting to Know Esri Support: Sumedha S.

An interview with SDK analyst Sumedha S.

Hello, this is Cassandra bringing you the next blog in the “Getting to Know Esri Support” series. This month we’ll spend some time chatting with Sumedha S. who helps customers with customization issues with Esri products.

Support Services Blog: Hello Sumedha! Thank you for spending some time with us.
Sumedha: Thank you!

SSB: What brought you to Esri and Support Services?
Sumedha: I always wanted to work with several technologies at a given time and keep myself updated with newer trends. Esri has always been up to the mark integrating GIS with upcoming technologies. Support Services offered the best option for me where I can work and learn so many different aspects within GIS. Since I did not have prior academic background in geography or GIS, Esri promised and provided the best training and excellent mentorship. It’s my first full time job after graduating and this is certainly the best thing that happened to me.

SSB: Very cool. How did you get into GIS in the first place and where did you go to school?
Sumedha: I pursued my Master’s degree in Computer Science from George Washington University in DC. I just had the theoretical knowledge about GIS basics before joining Esri. Right after graduation, Esri was my first step in the GIS world. I’ve been here for over three years and I am enjoying exploring GIS programmatically with Java, Flex, etc using it to customize GIS functionalities.

SSB: Have you always worked with customization and programming?
Sumedha: I first started working with ArcGIS Desktop and then transitioned to SDK. Over the course of three years, I have worked with ArcGIS Engine, Map Objects, ArcSDE API’s, Java ADF, Flex and other Web API’s. The Web API’s using JavaScript and Flex were introduced at ArcGIS version 9.3 and I just love working with them. A Web API is such a light-weight application with a fast learning curve. With these simple API’s, it is easy to achieve complex functionality; the appearance and performance with the newer widgets is just amazing.

SSB: You’re amazing! So what do you like to do when you’re not programming up a storm?
Sumedha: There’s an endless list! But usually I like to play racquetball or squash or go to fitness classes like aerobics and zumba. I mix and match everything in the week. I also like to chit-chat with friends or family, along with a cup of coffee and snacks. I make four to six trips a year back to Washington, DC to catch up with my friends from Grad School and we usually end up hiking and partying.

SSB: Ever party while you’re hiking?
Sumedha: All the time! I always like to have fun.

SSB: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?
Sumedha: I would take plenty of food and water and a portable tent – I don’t want to get tanned! But If I have the option of a phone network and electricity, I would like to replace the last option with my iPhone and charger so that I can browse the web and talk on the phone!

SSB: That’s not much of a desert island – that sounds more like a vacation.
Sumedha: Can’t hurt to hope for a WiFi connection!

SSB: So if you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go and why? Or would you need a WiFi connection?
Sumedha: No, I can live without WiFi for a trip like that. If given this chance, I would like to accompany Neil Armstrong or Yuri Gagarin and be one of the first people to take a tour outside Earth.

SSB: Alright, last question: the best chef in the world is going to cook you your ultimate meal, what would you have?
Sumedha: I would love to have the authentic vegetarian Ethiopian complete meal. I just love their cuisine especially the bread when soaked in curry.

SSB: Mmm! I’ll join you and we can have a party!
Sumedha: Let’s do it!

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ArcPad 10.0 Service Pack 1 Released

esri logo

We are pleased to announce to our ArcPad customers that Service Pack 1 for the 10.0 release is now available for download at the Esri Customer Care website:

If you have any questions or run into issues with the installation please contact Esri Technical Support at 1-888-377-4575, option 2, or visit the Support site. Users outside the United States should contact their local distributor for help.


UPDATE: 12/15/10

A version of ArcPad with SP1 included is available for download on the Esri Customer Care website under the “Software Downloads” section.  Authorized contacts that are able to download ArcPad can also get this new version that has Service Pack 1 included.


Mike H., Program Manager
User Advocacy Group, Esri Support Services

Mike H., Program Manager
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Get ready to Flex your GIS Muscles!

Greetings! This is Emeline and I’m here to provide some pointers to prepare for using the new ArcGIS Viewer for Flex. The ArcGIS Viewer for Flex offers an easily configurable but super cool application for showing off your ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server map services! Before you add your services to the Flex Viewer application, you’ll need to work through a few initial steps first: esri logo

  1. Make sure your map service is ready to mash up with ArcGIS Online services. In order to use your services in the Flex Viewer, you’ll need to change the map to use the WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere projection).

  2. If you make changes to the map document (step 1 for example), be sure to clear your REST services directory cache.

  3. Be sure to add your services within the <operationallayers> tag, and not the <basemaps> tag (unless you want to use your own basemaps, instead of the ArcGIS Online services).

  4. If you haven’t cached your map services, make sure you change the type property of the <layer> tag to “dynamic” instead of “tiled”.

  5. If your Flex Viewer is hosted on a different server than the ArcGIS or ArcIMS layer you are adding, then the machine with the ArcGIS or ArcIMS needs to have a crossdomain.xml file.

    For a complete introduction to the Flex Viewer, check out the  Introduction to the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex training seminar. I hope you enjoy the Flex Viewer, and be sure to check out the Flex Viewer Blog for the latest tips & tricks!

    Happy Mapping!

    Emeline R.

    ArcGIS Server Senior Support Analyst

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