Intergraph 2008 – Day 1
Posted by jeffhobbs on June 5, 2008
There wasn’t much going on tonight besides the opening night reception. Overall the conference seems to be very well attended. I haven’t attended a conference since Intergraph transitioned from the annual “GeoSpatial World” conference to the generic “Intergraph” conference. With the transition, it’s very obvious how much more time and money Intergraph puts into the conference. Just an enormous amount of subtle details. From the “Intergraph 2008” hotel room keys, to the “Intergraph 2008″ lining on the escalators…Intergraph really seems to have gone all out in making the conference feel big. Even the conference bag and the 3” conference outline “book” that that goes in every bag is very impressive.
Got a chance to talk to a few different people during the opening reception. I was curious to find out about the potential support for SQL Server Spatial (available with SQL Server 2008).
Although there has been some definite discussions on developing a data server, as far as I understand it, there is nothing definitively planned at this point. I found this to be somewhat surprising. Especially since in many ways Intergraph is really tying themselves to the Microsoft platform. The way it sounds, GeoMedia users might need to look at the FME Data Server for GeoMedia if they want near-term SQL Server Spatial support inside of GeoMedia. Update: In a surprising turn of events, Intergraph released a press release yesterday (June 4) announcing their support for Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 spatial enhancements. Although it should be noted that no time frame was provided for this new data server.
As I believe I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, Intergraph is really trying to merge the functionality of their public safety CAD (computer aided dispatch…NOT computer aided drafting and design), their G/Technology suite (used for primarily managing gas, electric, and communication networks), and the GeoMedia platform. With this humongous merger (which will likely take many years), Intergraph users will see this “best of breed” solution for many GIS disciplines. Well, believe it or not, some of the current GeoMedia solutions may not completely fit into this “best of breed” solution. Two such solutions may be GeoMedia Public Works Manager and also GeoMedia Transaction Manager. G/Tech is designed to deal with utility networks from the ground up. GeoMedia Public Works Manager is simply a rather small add on to the GeoMedia suite. So, I think it’s very likely that we’ll see Public Works Manager eventually replaced with similar (yet much more robust functionality) currently available in G/Tech. This in itself I think it is a very good thing…again “best of breed” makes a lot of sense. However, I’m looking at implementing GeoMedia Public Works Manager in the next year or so. Unfortunately, although no one could provide me with even a rough date, it seems very unlikely that we’ll have this G/Tech Public Works Manager replacement within the next year. So…where does that leave me? Do I implement Public Works Manager or hold off and see what Intergraph has to offer down the road? Not totally sure yet.
GeoMedia Transaction Manager may be in a similar boat. G/Tech already has a very fast and efficient transaction manager…unfortunately, is isn’t built off of Oracle Workspace Manager (the Oracle tool that drives the GTM functionality). I understand that the G/Tech transaction manager tool is very fast; this is very important for G/Tech customers. For those that have used GTM, I think most would agree that it’s not the fastest tool. HOWEVER, again, it does rely on Oracle Workspace Manager. For those Oracle customers, this is a good thing. Especially because it provides many ways to get at your versioned data. And, also very importantly, any vendor that supports Oracle Workspace Manager (and there are quite a few) can create a transaction and retire data in your GIS database. This is great…especially from an interoperability stand point. Along with Public Works Manager, I’m also looking at implementing GTM. From a GIS stand point, I think GTM is a strong solution and I do still plan on implementing it…soon. I’m really hoping Intergraph doesn’t give up on the Oracle Workspace Manager…as I really like this solution.
One last note, for those that currently use GTM and/or GeoMedia Public Works Manager. Although Intergraph wouldn’t promise anything, I’m fairly certain there will be upgrade/migration paths as the software consolidation continues. That’s not to say it won’t be some work to get from Point A to Point B…however, nonetheless, there should be a path.
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