What's new in ArcGIS Server 10
ArcGIS Server 10 includes a number of improvements to performance, data access, editing, search, map cache management, and more. Some of the highlights are listed below along with links that will lead you to more information.
This section lists general changes and improvements to ArcGIS Server at version 10.
Data extraction tools
The Server toolbox has been expanded with a Data Extraction toolset. These tools help you expose interactive data downloads, and are primarily intended to be published as ArcGIS Server geoprocessing services. They are similar to the various "clip, zip, and ship" examples that have been documented in previous versions of ArcGIS Server. Some of the tools can even e-mail the data to the recipient.
Increased monitoring of SOC processes
A new process, ArcSOCMon.exe, runs on each server object container (SOC) machine, monitoring the state of the SOC processes. This increased monitoring results in faster recovery when the SOM comes back online after unplanned downtime.
Logging offloaded to SOCs
Log files are now kept on each SOC machine by the ArcSOCMon process. Offloading the logging to the individual SOCs is a more scalable approach than was used in previous versions, in which the SOM kept one log file for all messages. You can use Manager or the ArcObjects Server API to generate a chronological list of log messages compiled from all SOC machines.
Option for log file cleanup
A new property for log files allows you to specify the maximum number of logs that are allowed to exist in your log directory. When the limit is exceeded, the server removes the oldest log. This prevents your log directory from becoming too big.
Checks for invalid data connections
You can now optionally configure your services to be checked periodically for invalid connections when the services sit idle. If you have configured these checks and a broken connection to ArcSDE is detected while the service is idle, the server will repair the problem immediately. This prevents users from encountering unresponsive services if the connection to the database is interrupted overnight or during other periods of downtime.
Improved help search
The Search tab of the help now uses ranking logic to list the most relevant topics at the top of the results.
This section lists the new services available with ArcGIS Server 10 and some of the changes to existing services.
Feature service added
Search service added
Search services allow you to index GIS content and folders throughout your enterprise and make them easily findable by users. Your intranet clients can then use the updated search interface in ArcGIS Desktop to connect to your search service and find useful content. They can then drag the results into their maps.
Search services are most useful for scenarios where browsing to the data would be cumbersome because of the sheer volume of the data or the distribution of the data through many folders and geodatabases.
Geometry service expanded to facilitate Web editing
The geometry service exposes a number of new methods to help with geographic feature editing. These are especially useful in Web editing scenarios. Some of the editing widgets exposed in the Web APIs require a reference to a geometry service for this reason. New operations include:
- Auto complete
- Convex hull
- Densify (was not available in REST at 9.3.1)
- Trim / Extend
MSD-based services support Maplex, cartographic representations, and new layer types
The map service definition (MSD) is a type of file that can be used to publish a map for fast dynamic drawing by ArcGIS Server. MSDs support a subset of ArcGIS mapping features that is growing with each release. ArcGIS 10 adds support for cartographic representations and the Maplex labeling engine in MSD-based services.
These features are computationally intensive by nature and are only recommended when using MSD-based services to create map cache tiles. However, judicious use of cartographic representations and Maplex can contribute to an effective, visually-appealing map cache.
Several new map layer types in ArcGIS 10 are available through MSD-based services, including query layers, parcel fabric layers, and mosaic layers. Stand-alone tables are also accessible through MSD-based services.
Map services support time-aware layers
ArcGIS offers time-aware layers that store information about the state of a dataset over periods of time. You can make many of your layers time aware using ArcMap. When you publish your map to ArcGIS Server, the time-aware information is preserved and is accessible through the map service. You can use this information to change the display of your maps or perform temporal queries.
Map services expose feature attachments
ArcGIS 10 introduces feature attachments, which is a way to upload and associate files with certain geographic features in your map. Examples of attachments could include TXT, PDF, or image files that contain supplemental information about the feature. When you publish your map as a service, clients can see and download the attachments.
Clients can also upload and delete attachments if you enable the Feature Access capability on the map service.
Map services expose symbology information
Map services expose subtypes and domains
Enforcing data integrity when working with map services is now easier because of added support for subtypes and domains. Subtypes and domains offer a way to organize your data so that certain operations, such as editing, become more efficient while the integrity of the attributes is maintained. For instance, if you are performing a Web editing session on a county zoning infrastructure database, you could choose the desired subtype, such as City, then choose from the appropriate domain, such as Residential, Commercial, or Industrial. The domain description Residential is available for display instead of the coded value R.
Map services expose relates and stand-alone tables
Map services now expose information about relates and stand-alone tables. Relates simply define a relationship between two tables without appending the associated data in each table. In many cases, the relates point toward stand-alone tables, which lack geometry but often contain valuable attribute information. For example, if you published a map that contained relates between city parcels and a stand-alone table of parcel owners, you could utilize search, query, and identify tasks to return the owners and locations of the parcels.
For a complete list of supported stand-alone table types, see the data types section of the help topic Supported functionality in MSD-based map services.
Map services support querying of raster fields
Map services now support querying of raster fields. Suppose you maintain a vector dataset of street lights in your city. On this dataset, you've created a field of type Raster to store a picture for each street light. Through the map service's new method QueryRasterValue, you can retrieve the picture to display in your client.
Maximum record count property increased and exposed in ArcCatalog and Manager
The default number of records ArcGIS Server allows a service to return in response to a query has been raised to 1,000. Previously, the only way to change this number was to manually edit the service configuration file. Now, this property is exposed in the service properties in ArcCatalog and Manager.
Serve mosaic datasets
Mosaic datasets are a new dataset that can be served as an image service or inside a globe or map service. There are also additional capabilities to query and interact with image services derived from mosaic datasets.
Enhanced image service parameters
The image service properties page now allows you to control a greater number of default service parameters. This gives you more control over the amount of data a user can request, the type of information that can be requested, and the allowable mosaic and compression methods.
- Maximum image size per request
- Maximum number of rasters per mosaic
- Default resampling method
- Allowed compressions
- Allowed mosaic methods
- Maximum number of records returned per request
- Metadata level
- Allowed fields
- Maximum number of downloads per request
New supported operations for image services
Images services have been expanded to allow more operations. Export Image has been improved to allow you to specify mosaic rules and properties. Additionally, Query, Identify, and Download have been added.
Network analysis services expose three new solvers
Three new Network Analyst solvers are exposed through the SOAP API, Web ADF, and ArcObjects APIs. These are:
- OD cost matrix solver
- Vehicle routing problem solver
- Location-allocation solver
Geocode services support single-line address format
ArcGIS geocoding now allows users to enter an address in a single-line string such as "300 peachtree st nw atlanta ga". This enhancement is exposed through the geocode service, including through the REST API.
Other OGC service enhancements
Following are some ways that support for Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) services (WMS, WFS, and WCS) has been extended in ArcGIS Server 10.
- Specific style templates can be applied to the information returned from a WMS getfeatureinfo request.
- Publishers can now add more CRS information to the service configuration file, which is then read by the server and displayed as part of the "capabilities" response.
- WMS layers can now be referenced using name strings. The string must match the layer name used in the map's table of contents. Previously, layers in WMS services published by ArcGIS Server were only accessible through zero-based integers representing the layers' positions in the table of contents.
- A style can now be specified in the WMS getmap request. This allows users to "dynamically" send SLD information rather than persisting that information in an SLD file.
- When image services are based on a mosaic dataset, it is possible to access individual images using WCS/WMS. ArcGIS allows users to enter URLs that append the base WMS URL with the /RasterID of an individual image and get a WMS/WCS service of only that image. This enables access to the individual images in a large catalog. The big advantage of this is that a catalog of the images can return separate URLs for each image. There are many use cases for this. For example in a service of Landsat image, a user may want to have a WMS/WCS of only one image.
- WFS services now respect any aliases, definition queries, and field visibility settings from the source MXD.
- SLD support is available for raster symbolizers.
This section lists improvements to map caching, which is the process of pregenerating large banks of tiled map images for rapid display of Web maps.
Compact cache storage
You can now choose to use a compact cache format that groups tiles into large bundle files instead of storing each tile as a separate file. Compact caches consist of a smaller number of overall files and use less space on disk than traditional exploded caches. Compact caches can be moved much more quickly from one machine to another, which is helpful when copying caches between staging and production environments.
Mixed mode caches
A mixed mode cache allows you to use tiles of different image formats in the same cache. This is helpful when displaying a raster cache on top of another raster cache. You can use JPEG for the tiles in the middle of the cache to keep your relative file size low while using PNG32 on the periphery of the cache where part of the tile needs to be transparent.
Caches can be treated as a raster dataset
Caches can be added directly to ArcMap or ArcGlobe as a raster dataset using the Add Data button. Just browse to the location of your cache directory on disk and add the cache like any other dataset. This option removes the dependency of the cache on a parent map service.
Collaborative cache building tools added
New tools have been added for importing and exporting cache tiles to and from the cache directory. This makes it easier to collaboratively build a cache among a network of organizations and departments that are using the same tiling scheme.
Faster caching on distributed deployments of ArcGIS Server
If you have many SOC machines working on a map cache in the compact storage format, you can choose a new option to write tiles to a local cache directory on the server. This improves performance by first writing the tiles (in the compact .bundle format) locally, then copying the bundles into a shared cache directory as they are completed. This approach is faster than all machines writing the tiles directly into the shared cache directory.
Default tile size changed to 256 x 256
The default tile size is now 256 x 256. This corresponds to the tile size used by Google Maps and Bing Maps.
Direct drawing of map caches by ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGlobe
When you build a 2D cache with the ArcGIS Online/Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme, the cache can be drawn directly in 3D by ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGlobe at a speed faster than you would see if you were to use a globe cache. This allows you to expose your service to ArcGIS Explorer users in 2D and 3D mode while only maintaining one cache.
AMF a supported output format
The ArcGIS 10 REST API supports Action Message Format (AMF) as an output format. AMF is a binary format that can be directly read by Flash clients. Using AMF can improve performance when interpreting query and geoprocessing results.
Closest facility and service area network analysis support
You can now use ArcGIS Server network analysis services to perform closest facility and service area analysis through REST.
Server object extensions available for map services in REST
Server object extensions allow you to add to the base functionality of a service through custom ArcObjects code. Using ArcGIS 10, you can now expose your server object extension functionality through REST. This is available for map services only. To build server object extensions, you need to install the ArcObjects SDK.
Well-known text support for coordinate systems
Well-known text is now supported as a valid format for specifying coordinate systems. Previously, coordinate systems could only be specified in the REST API through a numerical ID. Now you can use a specially formatted text string to denote the coordinate system, allowing for customized properties such as central meridian and standard parallels.
REST admin cache can be cleared programmatically
ArcGIS Server maintains a cache of service information to improve performance when using the REST API. This cache must be cleared occasionally to detect changes such as new or deleted services. The REST API now provides developers a way to programmatically clear the cache, allowing for an immediate refresh when services are updated.
This section lists improvements in the Web Application Developer Framework (ADF), including improvements to the default Web Mapping Application that you can customize with Manager.
Print task preserves either scale or extent
New options have been added to the .NET Web ADF Print task to allow the person printing the page to choose whether to preserve the scale of the map or the extent of the map. The Print task requests a higher-resolution version of the map for printing so it's not always possible to preserve both scale and extent.
Deployment on Amazon EC2
ArcGIS Server is available from ESRI as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), allowing you to deploy ArcGIS Server in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). When you deploy ArcGIS Server in the cloud, the installation and postinstallation are done for you, taking much of the work out of the setup. You can choose from the different virtual machine specifications available from Amazon, allowing you to pay for only the hardware you need. Finally, when working in the cloud, you can resize your deployment in response to demand relatively quickly.
Better integration with SharePoint
The release of ArcGIS Server 10 will be shortly followed by version 2.0 of ArcGIS Mapping for SharePoint, which includes Web Parts that use ArcGIS Server mapping, geocoding, and geoprocessing. Version 2.0 is a major release which will introduce the following:
- New look and feel—A new look and feel integrated with the SharePoint 2010 ribbon maximizes the screen area available for your map.
- Geoprocessing—Geoprocessing services can be used to perform advanced spatial analysis on layers in the Map Web Part.
- ArcGIS.com integration—A new Map Center for the Map Web part allows you to discover, open, and save maps from ArcGIS.com.
- Geocoding enhancements—A new Locate Addresses workflow provides an easy way to geocode addresses stored in a SharePoint list. The workflow architecture allows for automatic geocoding when a list item is changed or added. At 2.0, users also have the option to select the best address match candidate for each list item interactively with the Location Field, and can track the status of candidate selection with SharePoint tasks that are automatically generated and maintained.
- Web Part connections—The 2.0 Map Web Part supports SharePoint Web Part connections. This means that users can connect the Web Part to SharePoint's out-of-the-box list and filter Web Parts to view and manipulate layers in the map. Also, SharePoint developers can leverage the connections infrastructure to write custom components that display and filter map data.
- Theming—The Map Web Part is themable. Users have the option of using their site's theme to determine the color scheme for pop-ups and dialogs, or they can define a custom scheme.
- GeoRSS layers—The Map Web Part supports GeoRSS feeds as a data source for layers.
- Basemap gallery—Users of the Map Web Part can now switch basemaps by selecting from a configurable basemap gallery. This gallery includes basemaps from ArcGIS.com and Bing Maps by default, but can be configured to include any number of ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS.com, or Bing Maps base maps.