I am a novice in this area of the ArcGIS platform, and more generally with RDBMSs, but wanted to gather some information directly from the user community.
Why do we need to use ArcSDE as middleware to connect ArcGIS Desktop with an RDBMS?
More specifically, why can't we simply connect directly to the spatially-enabled versions of a RDBMS such as Oracle Spatial or the SQL Server equivalent without the use of ArcSDE? And then load and edit features directly in ArcGIS Desktop?
I would imagine that these types of RDBMSs would be able to manage multiuser editing environments, provide versioining control and user group access permissions - just like SDE.
With GeoMedia Desktop Professional, for example, connections can be made directly with SQL Server Spatial
Your responses would be very much appreciated!