Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reflections on DevSummit

"Go deep." That was my mandate as I headed down to the ESRI Developer Summit. Fully cognizant of my fortune as companies tighten their belts and impose travel restrictions, I disconnected from the office and determined to extract as much value as possible from my time in Palm Springs. To those less fortunate, I will relate three elements of that experience: social media, web mapping, and SQL Server.

Twitter and Social Media
Last year, I increased involvement with social media, but I still call my efforts experimental. I expected Twitter to lose my interest within a week, but I find myself regularly evangelizing its rewards. Case-in-point: a pre-summit Tweet-up arranged by DTS-Agile. (Thanks @dbouwman.) Putting people with names and avatars made subsequent tweets more personal and encouraged a greater sense of community throughout the conference. Live tweeting was limited, but interesting, and enabled a non-attendee, @kvangork to counter a presenter's image format recommendations in real-time. However, I'm on the fence about whether my time would have been better spent creating reviews.

Web Mapping
There were copious sessions on the web APIs from ESRI including ADF, REST, javascript, Flex, and Silverlight. I walked away with a much better understanding of the options and keys to an appropriate selection. ESRI expects to put the recorded sessions online in the next week or so. If you wish to dive into the web mapping APIs, I suggest starting with David Chappell's keynote and then proceeding based on your intended uses and developer areas of expertise. ESRI's online resources for these APIs provide many useful samples from which to extract code. Additionally, I found the Open Layers presentation a refreshing perspective.

SQL Server
"Working Effectively with the Geodatabase Using SQL" presented useful tips for working with native spatial types and spatial indexing. Details on the ESRI integration of these types was helpful. However, my unrequited desire is the ability to integrate/register SQL Server views into ESRI tools (provided the SRIDs match and feature types are compatible with the geodatabase data model). A serendipitous complement to this session and to reading Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008 was a brief visit with Spatial Ed and Seattle area GISers at the airport prior to departure.

Final Note
The extended schedule kept me engaged and exhausted. Even so, there were presentations I missed: slides from GeoWeb Community Development have pointed me to some helpful new resources including an ESRI account, and I look forward to the viewing Effective Geodatabase Programming when it is posted.

Recorded sessions are now available.


Tim Craig said...

Thanks for the post! For those of us that couldn't make the #DevSummit we have to live it through posts like this and all the folks on Twitter.