"The ESRI Geodatabase Framework" PDF

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05-02-2013 05:43 AM
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by Anonymous User
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Original User: mboeringa2010

Since I still see many people here on the forums struggle with the multitude of options and names of ESRI software applications involved with geodatabases and storage of spatial data in enterprise databases, I decided to create a PDF document and diagram to explain the most important parts of ESRI's "Geodatabase Framework".

I hope this clears up some of the confusion around distinctions between things like "ArcSDE Application Server (3-tier)" and "Direct Connect (2-tier)" connections, and what the relationships and functions of "ArcGIS for Desktop", "ArcGIS for Server", "Spatial Data Server", etc. to all of this are.

I realize representing such things in a diagram has its limitations and some parts may be arguable as to the way represented, but I still hope many people will get a better understanding of how all components of ESRI's "Geodatabase Framework" fit together by viewing it.

As it is based on my own knowledge and understanding, I can not guarantee correctness, if anyone has comments or spots an obvious error, feel free to contact me, or post in this thread, and I will attempt to correct and update the document when I have time.

Any general comments (good or bad) are welcome too here in the thread. I wrote this entirely in my free time (and it took a lot), so be kind... 😉 Let me know if you found it useful.

Due to file size limitations here on the forum, I have included a higher resolution version of the main "ESRI Geodatabase Framework" diagram in a separate document (the one with HQ diagram in the name). The main diagram is also included in the first document, but for printing on a bigger size than A4, or to get a higher quality print-out of the main diagram, you may wish to download the separate HQ document and print that as well.

Have a good read!

Marco
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Frequent Contributor II
Well written.

Since I still see many people here on the forums struggle with the multitude of options and names of ESRI software applications involved with geodatabases and storage of spatial data in enterprise databases, I decided to create a PDF document and diagram to explain the most important parts of ESRI's "Geodatabase Framework".

I hope this clears up some of the confusion around distinctions between things like "ArcSDE Application Server (3-tier)" and "Direct Connect (2-tier)" connections, and what the relationships and functions of "ArcGIS for Desktop", "ArcGIS for Server", "Spatial Data Server", etc. to all of this are.

I realize representing such things in a diagram has its limitations and some parts may be arguable as to the way represented, but I still hope many people will get a better understanding of how all components of ESRI's "Geodatabase Framework" fit together by viewing it.

As it is based on my own knowledge and understanding, I can not guarantee correctness, if anyone has comments or spots an obvious error, feel free to contact me, or post in this thread, and I will attempt to correct and update the document when I have time.

Any general comments (good or bad) are welcome too here in the thread. I wrote this entirely in my free time (and it took a lot), so be kind... 😉 Let me know if you found it useful.

Due to file size limitations here on the forum, I have included a higher resolution version of the main "ESRI Geodatabase Framework" diagram in a separate document (the one with HQ diagram in the name). The main diagram is also included in the first document, but for printing on a bigger size than A4, or to get a higher quality print-out of the main diagram, you may wish to download the separate HQ document and print that as well.

Have a good read!

Marco
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by Anonymous User
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Original User: mboeringa2010

A minor update to the document. I added a few extra useful links and some extra text in the version (1.2) attached to this post. The HQ diagram did not change, download it from the link in the first post if you need it.
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Thanks Marco, that was very useful - especially chapter 14 on CAD integration which is relevant to my own work.

A few points:

14.1
Regarding FDO technology in AutoCAD Map 3D:
"It allows feature and attribute editing of data stored in a geodatabase, including the use of geodatabase defined attribute domains,"
- Attribute domain codes are editable, but the associated domain descriptions are not displayed.

14.2
Regarding ArcGIS for AutoCAD:
"Using ArcGIS for Server, the Feature Service allows editing of an ESRI Geodatabase, including support for versioning, domains and subtypes, from within AutoCAD."
- Same issue with domains as above
- I'm not sure about subtypes being fully supported (I haven't been able to check this recently)
- Also, is it worth mentioning that annotation feature classes aren't supported in feature services, and so can't be edited via ArcGIS for AutoCAD? - They can only be displayed via a map service.

14.3
"Editing of an ESRI Geodatabase through web services is therefore currently only available for AutoCAD Map 3D users using ESRI�??s ArcGIS for AutoCAD"
- Is it worth re-iterating here that this is also true for the vanilla AutoCAD version, so AutoCAD Map 3D is not required?
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by Anonymous User
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Original User: mboeringa2010

Thanks Karl, useful remarks, I will see if I can incorporate them somehow in a future version of the document. To be honest, the CAD integration part is based on reading a lot of technical documentation, to allow me to integrate it in "The Framework". I don't have a full setup with all the options available now to test it out, so your comments are useful additions.

EDIT:

I think I need to do a major re-write of the FDO Provider section regarding AutoCAD. As I now begin to understand, the ArcSDE C API based OSGeo "FDO Provider for ArcSDE" doesn't seem to have had any major development in the last couple of years, and was more or less superseded by the ArcObjects API based "FDO Provider for ArcGIS" in a at least a one-time release with AutoCAD 2011, at 9.x release database level. But even for that provider it isn't entirely clear if it supports ArcGIS 10.x geodatabases..., and it isn't clear if it still included with the latest releases of AutoCAD?? This is badly documented... I do see a link with a screenshot on the page linked below, but in another current video highlighting the FDO providers ("Topographical data directly from the source") on the same page, I only see "FDO Provider for ArcSDE" in the screenshots of the video:

http://www.autodesk.com/products/autodesk-autocad-map-3d/features

Karl, can you tell me if the "FDO Provider for ArcGIS", or "FDO Provider for ArcSDE", whichever it is called from within the software, is still part of the latest AutoCAD releases (2013, 2014), and if it supports ArcGIS 10.x geodatabases?

EDIT 2:

I now found this:
Support for ESRI 10.1
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21382294&linkID=9240697
suggesting ArcGIS 10.0 geodatabases are supported and 10.1 version might be on the horizon... Reading the pages though, I do get the feeling this only concerns an updated ArcSDE C API based "FDO Provider for ArcSDE", as there is no word of ArcObjects, nor the need for ArcGIS Engine or Desktop licences as I saw documented with the "FDO Provider for ArcGIS" (E.g. here). Also, the installation instructions are identical to what I saw listed for the "FDO Provider for ArcSDE" (Copying SDE DLLs).
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Occasional Contributor III
Karl, can you tell me if the "FDO Provider for ArcGIS", or "FDO Provider for ArcSDE", whichever it is called from within the software, is still part of the latest AutoCAD releases (2013, 2014), and if it supports ArcGIS 10.x geodatabases?


I'm afraid my experience of AutoCAD Map 3D is limited to a quick look at a 2013 trial version.

I installed the 64bit version, so first had to find some 64bit SDE DLLs using this link:
http://totalcad.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/finding-and-extracting-the-64-bit-sde-dlls/

Once up and running, I was able to connect to our 9.3.1 ArcSDE geodatabase. The terminology used in the connection screen was "OSGeo FDO Provider for ArcSDE".

Ultimately I gave up with the product once I realised that it didn't have any support for curved geometries.
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Original User: mboeringa2010

Thanks, I now downloaded the AutoCAD 2014 trial myself, and had a go at non-versioned editing against an ESRI geodatabase from within AutoCAD (this doesn't require the ArcSDE DLLs). I downloaded the 64 bit version, which means I can't use the 32 bit ArcSDE DLLs from ArcGIS for Desktop, to allow a Direct Connect. This is similar to your findings, and thanks for the link regarding this issue, I will look into it.

I do see the FDO provider mentioned as well, so its still supported, however not yet for 10.1 according to that last post I did.

Yes, true curves aren't supported, for that you will need to use the latest ArcGIS for AutoCAD.

I will try and update the document with my latest findings.
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Not an entire update of the existing document, but instead a new document as a supplement to the existing one.

I made this supplementary document to account for the recently announced deprecation plans for ArcGIS 10.2. Since these changes affect the ESRI Geodatabase Framework as well, I decided to make a document with a couple of new diagrams that highlight these changes to make them more understandable. Especially notable is the announced deprecation of the ArcSDE Application Server and ArcSDE Command Line tools after 10.2.

In addition, I have included the new Spatial Framework for Hadoop, as this extents the ESRI Geodatabase Framework with an entirely new option many people may not yet be familiar with: to store and parallel process "Big Data".

I included a small "Big Data" glossary in the document, to make the jargon more understandable for the traditional GIS user.

Marco