A key requirement for successful uptake of geographic databases (geodatabases) is that they must be openly accessible so users can easily and freely create, access, and manipulate geographic data.
Esri geodatabases are openly accessible in several ways:
- The geodatabase XML (binary and ASCII) interchange schema/format is published.
- Published C, COM, .NET, and Java APIs allow programmatic access.
- Data can be published using Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc., Web service interfaces (Web Feature Service, Web Map Service, Web Catalog Service) and industry-standard Simple Object Access Protocol/XML.
- More than 100 data interchange formats make it easy to load/unload data.
- The new ArcGIS 9.2 SQL API extends open query access from DB2 and Informix to Oracle.
- Many Esri business partners, users, and third-party GIS vendors now support geodatabase access from their products/systems.
It is no longer necessary to access geodatabases via Esri software products; the technology and documentation easily support direct access from other products and systems.
See also "Managing Spatial Data in ArcGIS 9.2."