Monday, January 7, 2008

zigGIS 2.0 Official Announcement

Obtuse Software is proud to announce the upcoming release of zigGIS 2.0.  For over two years zigGIS has enabled ArcView to view and analyze PostGIS layers.  New to version 2.0 is the ability to edit PostGIS data as well as support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

Originally developed against ArcGIS 8.3, zigGIS 1.0 was a means to directly connect to and view PostGIS data. Over the past few years many hundreds of hours have been invested into improving and advancing the capability of zigGIS. Such improvements include ArcGIS 9.2 updates, proper handling of renderers, and support for on-the-fly reconciliation of spatial references.  Lastly, to be introduced with zigGIS 2.0, is editing of PostGIS data from within ArcMap.  In short, zigGIS exposes PostGIS to the full capability of ArcMap.

ArcMap provides arguably the most complete set of cartography and data editing tools available on the desktop today. Its advanced capabilities have been recognized by its commercial and open source competition. PostGIS and PostgreSQL are a common database underpinning of many open source server stacks.  Marrying the two allows small to medium sized shops to affordably migrate from file-system-based data management to centralized, standards-based RDBMS data management without sacrificing cartographic and analytical capability.  In addition, shops that are already serving data via an open source stack can now take advantage of ArcMap for direct data editing and map production.  Furthermore, zigGIS works identically at all licensing tiers of ArcGIS Desktop.

PostGIS editing from within ArcMap has been a long-standing goal of zigGIS. To date, we have been unable to achieve seamless integration with ArcMap's native editing tools.  So we compromised.  We now utilize a proxy scratch workspace during the user's editing session.  It works particularly well and should eventually be a seamless experience.  This strategy not only provides zigGIS edit capabilities, but includes other benefits as well:

1.  Scratch workspaces are already well integrated with ArcView (it's native technology after all).  This fact has enabled us to more affordably and efficiently push out version 2.0.
2.  An intermediate editing-cache is necessary regardless.  Scratch workspaces do just this, relieving us from inventing our own edit-cache system.
3.  As-is, the zigGIS source code is complicated enough.  One might assume complexity would at least double if zigGIS directly handled editing. However, gut feelings tell us the increase in complexity is more likely parabolic than linear.  The less complex the better.  And, as anyone familiar with software engineering knows, less complexity directly translates to fewer bugs.

(view a screencast)

In addition to PostGIS viewing and editing capabilities, zigGIS 2.0 will bring full support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008.  Following SQL Server through its beta period will require periodic zigGIS updates, but expect the same experience as PostGIS. Intially, support will focus on the geometry data type. We will defer handling the geography data type until Microsoft implements its recently announced change to X/Y ordering for WKB and WKT for geography.

Obtuse Software releases zigGIS 2.0 sometime 2008 Q1.  There is still much to be done so expect it later than sooner.  Corporate licenses sell for $279 per seat.  Personal and educational licenses are free.  The source code will remain open.

Obtuse Software is a newly formed, privately held, international company.  We make fun & friendly GIS software.

28 comments:

Bruce said...

Is there any possibility of a free version without editing?
Bruce

James said...

The screencast does not work.

xanadont said...

@bruce - right now that's not one of our priorities as we try to wrap up 2.0 proper. You can always use the existing, free, edit-only version. I wouldn't throw out the possibility, but two versions of the code and licenses is probably a bigger headache than we can currently manage.

xanadont said...

@james - it's large and takes a while to load. I've also provided a direct link to the movie file for users that don't have a Quicktime plugin installed. (note - I updated the link)

Bruce said...

@xanadont
The only additional feature from the existing version I wanted was the ability to add the link to ArcCatalog instead of the user having to always point to a configuration file.
Thanks
Bruce

xanadont said...

@bruce - would you please discretely send me your email address? We'll discuss off-blog. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Licensing question: Will non-profit org's be able to use zigGIS 2.0 free of cost with no strings attached? I'm considering joining a project with a 5013c on a voluntary basis ... this could be very helpful.

xanadont said...

@anonymous - non-profits are still an undecided issue. We'll be sure to fully disclose our decision once it's made.

matt said...

please define "a seat". Is that per database, per ArcMap user connecting to the database, or something else?

E.g. 5 people using ArcMap with a single shared spatial data store. What would that cost?

thanks.

xanadont said...

@matt - in most cases the number of licenses required is one per ArcGIS install / machine. Stated slightly different - one license per simultaneous user. You might have one ArcGIS machine but three people throughout the day use it. This scenario only requires one license since the three users can't concurrently occupy the machine. I guess we don't really care about exotic setups where one machine is carefully choreographed over VNC or some such. (if you can create the workflow for such a system then you almost deserve the free use*)

Your example would require five licenses or a $1,395 purchase.

*I'm kidding ... you know if you're breaking the intent of our licensing.

cynthia grier lotze said...

what this blog really needs are some pictures of lindsay lohan. seriously.

Jeremiah said...

Abe, it's cool to follow the dev. of ZigGis into the sweetness it has become. Oh, I remember the heady days of working at Bollos, coming up with sweet websites with you and your magical system.

Good times.

Anonymous said...

Is there an "announce" mailing list so that I can be notified when zigGIS 2.0 is released?

xanadont said...

@anonymous - until further notice, we will continue to support the Google list: http://groups.google.com/group/ziggis. Announcements will be made here.

sven said...

when the new release of zigGIS will be available?
Version 1.2 does not run on ArcMap 9.2 ServicePack 4 (on 9.1 no Problem) is there a fix?.

Anonymous said...

Abe, How efficiently this temporary layer solution is going to work if I try to edit a table with, say, 3 million polylines? :)

craig said...

Abe,

What is the process of purchasing a commercial license of zigGIS?
Who do I contact, what details do you need etc?

Craig

xanadont said...

@sven - we are trying to support as many versions as possible. In fact, we even just recently re-wrote a bit of the code in order to support 9.1. Although we don't have a list now, there will be an official set of supported ArcGIS versions announced upon release. zigGIS 2.0 will be released late this quarter.

xanadont said...

@anonymous - your machine would crawl if you were to edit all features at once. I would think most use cases involve only editing a few dozen features at a time and zigGIS would be perfectly performant. If you needed to update all rows - say doing a "calculated field" operation - then you probably want to defer to using standard SQL UPDATE queries directly against the database.

xanadont said...

@Craig - you'll be able to purchase licenses directly from our website. Don't worry, we'll make announcements on all the regular GIS channels. But to be sure, you can subscribe to http://groups.google.com/group/ziggis to get all the latest news.

Daniel Muñoz Castro said...

I don't understand at all, it did seem to be a free tool, but now, you put it price?, until now I know this project that is why don’t have the price per pc, what is it? And will it be any free 2.0 version of the zigGIS?

Thanks.

xanadont said...

@Daniel - yes, it will be $279 per license for zigGIS 2.0. We currently have no plans for a view-only free version. However, earlier versions remain free. zigGIS 2.0 is also free for Educational and Personal use.

Daniel Muñoz Castro said...

OK. We are interested in buy one or two licenses of ziggis, but we want to know if you have any trial for prove the edit feature. Have you any, and how we can make the negotiation?.

xanadont said...

@Daniel - zigGIS 2.0 is not yet released so there's nothing to look at. We enter Beta next week, so hold tight.

Nadia said...

Hello,
First of all congratulation for the new ZigGis 2.0!!
How can I obtain a free personal license zigGis 2.0?
Thanks.

Nadia said...

Hello,
First of all congratulation for the new ZigGis 2.0!!
How can I obtain a free personal license zigGis 2.0?
Thanks.

Kyle Lyons said...

This is great news for me. Does anyone know if they will add capibility to upload entire ArcGIS geodatabases ( or even shapefiles ) directly to a PostGIS database? Also is would be nice to have a way to update local geodatabases when an PostGIS edit is made seamlessly.

Maybe thats too much to ask...

MikeMartos said...

Hello, wondering if you ever got to implement the support for SQL Server 2008? all I read on your site is related to PostGIS but nothing on SQL Server.