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Spring 2006
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Esri Developer Summit—A Great Success!

Esri Developer SummitFrom more than 30 countries, more than 700 software developers attended Esri's first Developer Summit held this March in Palm Springs, California. Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, and Safe Software sponsored this unique event.

It was the first Esri conference focused entirely on developers. "The Developer Summit marks a shift in direction to focus on providing technical support to developers who are extending the capabilities of our GIS and geospatial technology," said Esri president Jack Dangermond during remarks given at the plenary session. "Esri is committed to supporting developers and will take feedback from the conference seriously."

Friday's keynote speaker was Scott Morehouse, Esri director of Research and Development and chief software architect and visionary. Morehouse provided insights into the ArcGIS framework because "frameworks must be understood to be effective." Martin Nally of IBM and Eddie Amos of Microsoft were the keynote speakers on Saturday. An IBM distinguished engineer, Nally spoke on business processes and service-oriented architecture. Amos, senior director of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group at Microsoft, talked about a vision for the next generation of the Web.

a presentation at the first Developer SummitOne of the summit's goals was to promote direct interaction between Esri staff and developers and foster a community of developers who use GIS. The conference layout and format were tailored to those ends. The Community Center, with wireless coverage, comfy furniture, and Tech Talk areas equipped with white boards, encouraged information discussion and networking. All Developer Summit presenters were available to attendees in the Tech Talk areas. In addition, Esri staff at the Development Island in the Community Center were always available to demonstrate and answer specific questions about the software.

Special interest groups for .NET, Java, UML and agile development, and electric and gas, as well as informal Birds-of-a-Feather sessions on a variety of topics, helped developers with similar interests find each other. The St. Patrick's Day dinner on Friday and Industry Solutions and Development Social on Saturday gave everyone opportunities to mingle and network.

Conference sessions, given to packed rooms, were divided into tracks for data management, enterprise architecture, GIS concepts, and development in ArcGIS Desktop, Java, .NET, Web, and mobile environments. Sessions covered a range of topics. Hitchhiker's Guide sessions emphasized concepts. Other presentations focused on practical considerations, including performance and scalability, security issues, and best practices for developing with specific extensions, such as ArcGlobe.

Lively discussions in the Tech Talk areas that followed many presentations attested to the high level of interest in many of the topics. Attendees can enhance next year's conference by taking the postconference survey at www.esri.com/devsummit.

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