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Spring 2004
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A Letter From Jack Dangermond

Dear Colleagues:

Several years ago, Esri began developing the ArcGIS platform. The fundamental vision of this platform was to engineer a whole new GIS platform using modern information technology (IT) standards, using object-oriented concepts, and incorporating virtually all known GIS features and functions. This was done by constructing a large generic GIS component library of software called ArcObjects. ArcObjects perform thousands of GIS functions and will continue to be extended by Esri's software development teams.

To date, ArcObjects has principally been used to create ArcGIS Desktop products (ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo, and their extensions). With ArcGIS 9, we are now deploying the same objects in a whole new GIS server architecture as well as fully exposing ArcObjects as developer technology in the form of engines for embedding GIS functionality within custom applications.

This software architecture and approach have not only allowed us to leverage our engineering, but they have also allowed our users to deploy GIS functionality (e.g., business logic) in servers, desktops, or custom clients wherever needed.

ArcGIS 9 is a major release where we introduce more than 400 geoprocessing tools within the desktop environment and global 3D visualization with the ArcGlobe application. ArcGIS 9 also introduces better annotation and labeling—key to intelligent cartography. This means better productivity for placement, editing, and performance and a richer user experience, as well as improved data management for annotation. Also at this release, we introduce Maplex for ArcGIS, a cartographic extension especially for advanced label placement.

ArcGIS 9 makes significant progress in improving the usability, reliability, and interoperability of the entire ArcGIS system. In building ArcGIS 9, we have focused our research on addressing critical work flow issues our users may face. This work has resulted in faster start-up times, reduced memory usage, and significant usability improvements leading to easier-to-use and more robust software.

ArcGIS 9 is built on industry computing standards including common object model (COM), .NET, Java, XML, and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). This ongoing product development initiative provides standard, flexible solutions for interoperable, collaborative, and service-based GIS.

Many evolving technologies are creating the environment for a kind of standard's based IT infrastructure. ArcGIS is designed to integrate desktop, enterprise, developer, and Web-based GIS solutions to this environment. At Esri we believe this will lead to a society with better productivity, decision making, science, and understanding.


Jack Dangermond
Esri President

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