ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

March 2010

2010 Esri Developer Summit
Where: Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, California
When: Monday, March 22–Thursday, March 25
More Information:

ArcGIS 10, David Chappell on Cloud Computing, Technical Sessions, and More

What Does the 2010 Esri Developer Summit Have in Store?

The 2010 Esri Developer Summit (DevSummit) starts next week in Palm Springs, California, and promises to deliver a lot of technical know-how to developers who work with GIS.

  photo of David Chappell making a presentation
David Chappell, principal of the information technology consulting firm Chappell & Associates, will speak about cloud computing.

The technical sessions—what Esri's Rob Elkins calls "the heart and soul of the conference"—will cover everything from Python scripting for map automation in ArcGIS 10 to how to use the new ArcGIS WebMap for Flex, a new out-of-the-box configurable Web mapping application.

Esri writer Matthew DeMeritt spoke with Rob Elkins, ArcGIS Desktop product manager, to give ArcWatch readers a taste of what to expect if they attend the event. The seminar will start Monday, March 22, with the preconference sessions, and end Thursday, March 25. For more information about on-site registration, visit

DeMeritt: What will be the DevSummit's hot topics?

Elkins: The buzz will likely center on ArcGIS 10, scheduled for release in the second quarter of this year. ArcGIS 10 is a great release for developers because of the significant changes we've made. We've made editing much more intuitive and vastly improved data access and management. It's also a lot faster. All these improvements directly benefit today's developers, whether they are new to GIS or very experienced with the technology. Everybody will get a sneak peek at the capabilities of ArcGIS 10 when the software is demonstrated at the Plenary Session on Tuesday, March 23.

The ArcGIS APIs for Silverlight, Flex, and JavaScript also will be popular topics because they are so easy to use and integral to serving geographic information over the Web. We'll discuss the future in terms of cloud computing and desktop workstations and how we're helping developers work together to solve problems like managing and serving their imagery. Cloud computing, and how ArcGIS 10 enables it, will dominate much of the discussion.

DeMeritt: Can you give a synopsis of what will happen at the DevSummit?

Elkins: We'll kick things off with three preconference sessions on Monday morning. Those sessions will be on managing the geodatabase, Python scripting, and our Web Mapping APIs. Later that afternoon, attendees will get to meet with Esri staff and talk about issues and the topics that are on their minds.

  photo of some 2009 attendeed
The DevSummit draws more than 1,000 attendees annually.

The Plenary Session on Tuesday will begin with an opening address by Esri president Jack Dangermond. The technical workshops on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be helpful for developers who want to dig deeper into GIS functionality. The user presentations, introduced at the 2009 summit, also are expected to be a big attraction. There will be more user presentations than there were last year. We also will bring back IT industry expert David Chappell, our 2009 keynote speaker.

DeMeritt: David Chappell impressed people at last year's summit with his talk on SOAP versus REST. What will he talk about on Wednesday?

Elkins: Yes, Chappell was very well received last year. We knew he'd have some interesting things to say about the explosion of cloud technology, so we invited him back this year to talk about cloud computing and online services. He'll explain what cloud computing is, talk about new and future trends, highlight the different cloud computing vendors out there, then relate that back to what that means to GIS developers building with ArcGIS and deploying it in the cloud.

DeMeritt: I assume many sessions will focus on ArcGIS 10 and the cloud.

Elkins: Yes, there will be sessions about ArcGIS 10, the ArcGIS Server platform, and being able to create Web applications that can be deployed in a cloud environment or over the Internet. We'll also host technology sessions about creating custom GIS solutions for desktop users and mobile devices. ArcGIS 10 has many improvements that will speed the mobile workflow and make fieldwork more efficient.

DeMeritt: What opportunities will developers have to talk with Esri staff at the summit?

Elkins: On Tuesday evening, we will bring many members of our development teams to Palm Springs. We'll meet in a big room so everyone can mingle and talk with the different developers who write the software. Developers can ask the tough questions, and we will get valuable insight into how the users came up with their solutions.

DeMeritt: Can people still register for the DevSummit, now that online registration has closed?

Elkins: Yes. Anyone can register on-site at the summit after the online registration deadline.

DeMeritt: Thanks, Rob.

Elkins: You're welcome, Matthew. See you at the summit.

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