Wow, what a conference! I spent the last week in Palm Springs with various Latitude co-workers at the ESRI Business Partner Conference followed by the Developer Summit. Steve and the account management team were busy from Saturday to Tuesday meeting with existing and potential partners from around the world. I played mainly technical support for the first couple days, assisting where I could. Ryan Cooney flew down on Monday and we spent the rest of the week at the Developer Summit, which was the main reason I was there.

So, what did we learn? On the business side, there's a real buzz about Geocortex Essentials and the work we've been up to, as Steve alluded to earlier. On the technical side, there's a few points of particular interest:

  • The .NET Web ADF at 9.3 has a number of quality and performance improvements. A lot of work has been done to support a "hybrid" model of web application develoment where you get the ease of development using client-side (JavaScript) focused technologies coupled with the power of a server-side object model.
  • It will be relatively easy to port web applications built on 9.2 to 9.3. Of course, this applies directly to Geocortex Essentials which we plan to support on 9.3 out of the gates.
  • The .NET Web ADF at 9.3 supports the .NET Framework 3.5.
  • Significant documentation improvements.
  • The new ArcGIS Server JavaScript, REST, and connector APIs make ArcGIS Server a real contender in the consumer maps arena. Although, I predict a lot of confusion around which APIs to get started with, which I plan to address in the coming weeks.

Dave Bouwman did a great job of capturing the details of the .NET ADF session as well as the others he attended, as did James Fee in his conference recap. Bottom line on ArcGIS Server 9.3 is that it looks like a great upgrade that I'm looking forward to building on with Geocortex Essentials. Finally, the two conferences were a great time and I'm already looking forward to attending next year.