shrug-l: FW: ArcGIS 10 experiences

Tripp Corbin tcorbin at
Wed Sep 1 09:42:55 EDT 2010

I got this on one of the many other GIS list groups I am on and thought
I would pass it along.  I am currently taking the ArcGIS 10 version of
the ArcGIS Desktop II class so I can upgrade my training authorization.
One problem I did encounter was with the driver on my laptop. ArcMap 10
kept crashing anytime I tried to create a new "Basemap" Layer. (New
thing in Arc 10 that is similar to a group layer but gets cached for
faster draw times) Updated my video driver and all seems well now. 


Tripp Corbin, MCP, CFM, GISP
Vice President, GIS/IT
ESRI Authorized Instructor
CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer
Keck & Wood, Inc. <> 
(678) 417-4013
(678) 417-4055 fax


From: Drew Stephens [mailto:drew at] 
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 3:32 PM
To: North Carolina Local Government Geographic Information Systems
Subject: [ncgis] ArcGIS 10 experiences


Hi list - 


Someone asked about experiences with ArcGIS 10 a week or two ago, and I
saw this summary  of a similar question on a Colorado list I'm still
active with. Drew


Drew Stephens, Director

The GIS Institute

303 881-1595


Begin forwarded message:

	Let me start with a big Thank You!  to everyone who took the
time to reply and share their thoughts and experiences with ArcGIS 10.
I received about 20 or so replies to my post (below) last week.  In
short some folks really like it and have had no problems while others
uninstalled it after a few days as they could not function.  Several
folks who responded were kind enough to share very specific likes &
dislikes and instead of trying to summarize them into a couple of
sentences I've put the responses below the original post below so you
can read through them and get what's important to you (can you sent
attachments through this list serve?).  I've broken them into what I
consider Good, Bad, and Other - some folks had a little of each and I
have split them comments accordingly.  Of course what's good and bad was
completely subject to my Monday morning interpretation so use your own
	As for my concern regarding the deprecation document a few folks
pointed out that these types of documents typically come out rather
early in the lifecycle so users can plan accordingly.  While I've seen
and read deprecation docs in the past, this is probably the earliest
I've seen one - perhaps because I didn't search as hard before or Esri
is doing a better job of getting information out to it's users. 
	Shortly after posting, I found information from Esri stating
Service Pack 1 for version 10.0 will be available in the 4th quarter of
2010.  We will probably wait until then to start testing and deploying
to core users and shortly there after to all users so we can be ready to
field the questions that will follow. 
	 ---------------------------------------   Original Post
	Hello List, 
	I'm looking for some opinions and thought this would be a great
place to get quite a few.  We're still running 9.3.1 and are discussing
moving up to version 10.0 this winter.  While cruising the ESRI site
today, I came across  a blog
3F00_.aspx) discussing functionality depreciation between versions 10.0
and 10.1.   
	This really made me wonder about 10.0 - why is there discussion
of 10.1 when 10.0 has only been out for a few months?  Are there serious
issues with it? Was it released too soon?  ESRI does not have a public
timeline for 10.1, so it could be another year or better away... I just
thought it was odd that the first mention of it I found was the
deprecation document and not a 'what is new and cool' in 10.1 doc. 
	So my question is this - if you've moved to 10.0 what's your
take on it?  Feel free to address anything - installation, converting
the license manager, upgrading SDE, migrating Server apps.... anything
you've experienced good or bad.  Or if you haven't switched to 10.0 why
	 ---------------------------------------   Responses
	Version 10 is pretty stable. I've been working with it on my
production stuff and have only had a few bug issues. None of them caused
me to crash or lose data, so that's about par for the course. 
	The new editing environment is really great, and I'll take that
even with a few bugs. 
	I have been using it for about 4 weeks.  I am happy with ArcInfo
so far.  The editing is much more efficient and some other upgrades are
nice.  I really have no complaints about Info yet.  We are concerned
about upgrading everything else (SDE, Server, etc).  At first glance it
appears the time involved is going to be great.  A majority of the GIS
users in our organization are casual users of Info and the learning
curve is going to be greater with these users.  I am expecting a lot of
questions about editing and other features went.  We have one major
project and one minor project in the next year and we fear that if we
upgrade the vendors will not be compatible yet.  Also, at first glance
it appears that PTLS projects do not transfer easily to 10.  In summary,
I am happy with ArcInfo 10 and we are planning the rest of our upgrade
	There are some good things but as with every major version the
move so much around it takes a while to get use to. 
	The license manager was a clean install on ESRI's part.  My 10.0
license manager is running 9.x licenses as well and there seems to be no
major issues that I have run into there. 
	I'm running 10 on my Win7 x64 laptop and 9.3.1 on my Win7 32-bit
desktop.  As soon as I can (release of 3rd party add-on), I'll be
bringing desktop up to 10.  Cleaner look, easier to program for, just
seems quicker for most of the stuff I do. 
	Lots of annoying little changes, mainly things that I'm used to
using in a certain way that have changed where they are or how they
work.  No real problems or gripes up to this point. 
	On the Server side: 
	We have ArcGIS Server 10 and SDE 10 64bit both installed on
Centos (RH5 free version) and both seem to be working OK so far (once we
got the rather complicated Linux install worked out), however we have
not extensively tested these and they are not currently in a produciton
environment. We are close to moving ArcGIS Server and SDE 10 into our
beta environment, so I can tell you more about it in a few weeks. 
	On the Desktop: 
	It installed fine and I tested out the web-editing functionality
against Server 10 that is now available. That seemed to work fine so
far, but again is not tested extensively. I've seen mention on some of
the GIS lists that people are considering going back to 9.3.1, but these
kinds of complaints aren't unheard of with major ESRI you
know. Talk of v10.1 already does make me nervous, though. 
	v10.0 does have quite a bit of added functionality, so I'd think
it would be worth running some test installs anyway. I really like the
Server 10 improvements so far...can't say much about desktop at this
	We are running 10 on about 3 machines and 1 person is running it
every day. 
	So far my experience with 10 has been that it's a huge
improvement over 9.3.1.  Starting with the license manager and moving
forward, everything is a lot better.  I have more than my fair share of
criticism for the GIS monopoly guys, but they really made some major
improvements.  I have also read the deprecation discussion.  They plan
years in advance when making a software product this complex, so it's
not at all uncommon to discuss 10.1 so soon after 10.0 is released.  A
large portion of it seems centered around the fact that they cannot
support VBA anymore.  Will anybody really miss it?  I surely won't. 
	Installation was no problem (Win 7, 64-bit) except for one
thing: Visual C# 2010 Express Edition is not supported (although full
Visual Studio 2010 that you pay for is), so I had to stick with 2008 C#
Express Edition.  The license manager is excellent.  You can check out
licenses from the license manager now, which means I don't have to carry
around a USB key and run a license server on my laptop anymore when I'm
away from a network connection.  Editing has been completely overhauled.
Much better raster format support now - they're using GDAL (gasp!  open
source!).  There's a big focus on 3D, and even though it's still kind of
pathetic compared to true 3D graphics software, being able to do at
least minor editing in 3D is a big plus.  Network Analyst can do 3D
network analysis now.  Geostatistical Analyst received some very
important improvements (at least in my work they're important).  The
user interface is vastly improved in my opinion.  Open tables don't
fight with you anymore, and opening multiple tables makes no difference.
Add-ins make custom tools development less confusing and easier to
deploy.  These are just a tiny few improvements that make me
enthusiastic about version 10. 
	We are doing development on some big server apps for big
clients.  We have seen noticeable improvements in performance on ArcGIS
Server 10 versus 9.3.1.  There's enough improvements that convincing
xxxx was successful. 
	I can understand hesitation in installing a dot zero version -
it seems like buying a first-production run of a new car.  I've been
overwhelmingly surprised at ArcGIS 10.0 and I don't hesitate
recommending it.  This is not an easy recommendation - I'm usually very
critical of ArcGIS, especially when slow performance, un-fixed old bugs,
and proof-of-concept tools are marketed as fully functioning
out-of-the-box tools (that don't work unless the stars are in
alignment).  It seems that with version 10, a lot of that has been
addressed.  I'm certain it'll let me down in some way at some point, but
it hasn't yet.  Sure, I wish it was 64-bit and multi-threaded, but it's
a good start in the right direction. 
	In all honesty though, it is very stable ... the most stable
release I've seen come out.  Like any release, there will be quirks, but
this has been nice to see it go out. 
	....every release has it's issues, I think 10 is pretty
good...been using it for awhile (in my infinite spare time).
Installation was easy, there are some small learning curves with the UI,
but I really like it....there are a few things being worked on now 
	"I jumped at 10 (with distain from my co-workers) and installed
it on my production machine (Win 7 64 bit).  A mistake! 
	After a few days on the phone with tech support I reinstalled
	This was a couple of months ago and I don't recall all the
issues. I do know that there was a known bug with the search tab not
working in help. Also the add base map (from web services) did not work.
And I recall stability issues. It just did not seem ready for release. 
	I have installed 10 on a non-production machine (Win 7 32 bit)
and these problems went away. 
	I don't have any other impressions yet." 
	"I would wait.  10.0 is unstable.  Both ArcMap and ArcCatalog
wink out without warning daily.  There are many "improvements" which
only serve to frustrate, complicate and mystify (snapping, attribute
tables, table of contents).  If you have any customization based on VBA,
they may not work.  If you have queries in your map documents (i.e.
definition query to display only certain features) they will not work
and will need to be "fixed".  I had to go through hundreds of queries to
change all of the [ ] brackets to " " double quotes around field names.
I had built a little arc objects tool which sped things up but... how
ridiculous!  There are other issues, too many to relate or remember.  I
was forced to move into a file geodatabase due to an indexing problem
with certain feature classes which would no longer display in 10.0.  The
move to FileGDB was in the works anyway but its something to consider. 
	I am a bit disappointed to say the least.  I know it is partly
frustration with the unfamiliar, but the sudden death stoppage is not
just me being a stick in the mud." 
	I switched to 10.0 about 3 weeks ago.  I was on the phone with
ESRI on several issues some of which are now BUGS. 
	1st I am not a "heavy" user by some standards but things I have
found are this. 
	VBA can be used but not by default so any code you have that is
VBA will not work!  There is a work around but only for 10.0 and it will
go away in 10.1.  I did not realize how many simple VBA commands I had
in scripts that I thought were VB Script commands and turned out to be
VBA commands. 
	If you use TRANSFORM for cad files, this was not enabled in
10.0.  Seems like an earlier version, they just missed this section of
code.  The tab is there and all the fields but when you click on apply
nothing happens (this to me is a bug). 
	For sure BUG.  Annotation.  I have a Coverage annotation (old
ArcINFO coverage) with street annotation.  If it was placed with Point
or Point2 it draws fine.  If it was placed with LINE it rotates out of
the space it is in.  The solution was to convert the anno coverage to a
File Geodatabase but in 10.0 the problem persist in the conversion.  If
you step back to 9 and convert it then the File Geodatabase brings the
anno in fine, just have to mess with size to adjust it back to what you
want it at. 
	Other items that catch you by surprise: 
	10.0 Geodatabase is not readable in 9.x version.  You can create
with tool an 9.x database in 10. 
	10.0 Layer file is not readable in 9.x version.  You can save as
9.x layer file but you need to remember. 
	Editing has snapping on or off.  Near as I can tell when it is
on it snaps to all layers and no way to turn off layers for snapping. 
	Tables all open in the same window, with tabs across the bottom.
Cannot separate tables to their own windows that I know of. 
	One nuisance that I think is a bug in tables but don't know how
to report it yet. 
	If you have highlighted and not highlighted records in the table
you cannot copy information from one record to another.  This is true
for any mixture of selections.  In order to be copied from one record to
another all displayed records must be unselected, or Selected, or
Highlighted-Selected but not a mixture of any of those.  This is new in
10.0 and I consider it a bug even if they don't. 
	.lock files.  10.0 uses lock files (for example on a roads.shp
file = I have had problems with these
not releasing and then not being able to move shape files or
Geodatabases.  This is much more of a nuisance that the previous
versions of locking out data and the release seems to not work well and
in some cases not at all.  I have one database I edited and then went to
move the whole Geodatabase to a new location the next day and it would
not let me as it still had a .lock file in it. 
	There seems to be more overhead on loading and it takes
noticeably longer to load on startup. 
	Because ESRI customers are also their beta testers. 
	I'm planning a downgrade as soon as possible. 
	I would say, don't make the shift just yet.  Initially, all of
my customized tool bars had to be redone, then symbol layers, followed
by drawing problems where polylines actually filled in with color/shade,
polygons did not coincide with actual location and looked like a
convergence of two different layers, and this is only my second day
using it.  I'm thinking about reverting back to 9.3.1 to avoid any
further wastes of time and effort.  GIS server seems ok after day 2 
	We loaded it on a spare XP desktop and it kept blowing up when
doing queries and selections...haven't touched it since 
	... the learning curve is a bit difficult.   There are a lot of
bugs that seem to take a lot of our time either by searching online
through the blogs and esri's information or just problem solving on our
own. For instance, many of my layers were not showing up when I zoomed
in even though I had no scale set on the layers. Turned out I had to go
into ArcCatalog and reconfigure the layer in the index tab. Happens to
some layers and not others, who knows. Little problems like that and not
having straightforward FGDC metadata templates have been frustrating. I
would recommend that if 
	your office is in a busy time right now, it might be worth it to
wait for the next upgrade. 

	Because version 10 is a complete overhaul, many things are done
in very different ways than previous versions.  For example, something
as simple as setting selectable layers is done in such a different
fashion that users may not be able to find it.  Editing, while improved
in many ways, is so foreign to the previous methods that it can be very
challenging and frustrating to figure out how to accomplish a task that
was simple before.  I liken the changes to the MS Office 2007 ribbon -
everything is more or less there, just in completely different locations
than before.  With ArcGIS, not only did the user interface change, but
even the mode of completing many tasks has changed dramatically.  Most
tasks have changed for the good, but there are a few that frustrate me. 

	A few folks reminded me that deprecation documents are typically
released pretty early.   
	The deprecation list is to inform users of the timeline for
products to be discontinued. For instance, if you're still using ArcGIS
Workstation, then version 10 is your last gasp because it won't exist in
version 10.1. They put this list out as far in advance as possible to
give users fair warning about the products they use. 
	I have also read the deprecation discussion.  They plan years in
advance when making a software product this complex, so it's not at all
uncommon to discuss 10.1 so soon after 10.0 is released.  A large
portion of it seems centered around the fact that they cannot support
VBA anymore.   
	Planning way ahead is nothing new.  Historically Esri has always
been working a couple releases ahead of time and doing Research and
Development.  The deprecation docs help give users more what to expect.
We're really advertising them and getting them out as there are some
very significant changes coming out for some of the really old/legacy
products (VB, VBA, Workstation, ArcIMS all going away).  We need to
communicate this as it can impact some workflows pretty drastically as
there are quite a few that actually comminute to use them.  Also ArcGIS
Server at 10.1 is planned to be 64 bit only so that will also impact
folks decisions 
	And finally, the following are taken completely out of context
but thought I'd throw them out anyway as they made me laugh: 
	ArcGIS 10 will make you never want to leave your computer, it is
the best product ever! 
	We have not upgraded sde yet because XXXXXX is a slacker. 
	ESRI is watching you..... 


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