[postgis-users] Re: Any FOSS equivalent to ArcGIS Server tasks?

dnrg dananrg at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 1 02:57:27 PST 2008

Thanks for the reply Paul.

> In true ESRI form, they re-named something generic
> because it was GIS, so it needed a different name.

I know I dislike and object to how they define "two
tier" and "three tier" ArcSDE architecture; they don't
seem map with traditional IT notions of tiers. Gets my
knickers in a twist.

But then, since there's evidently no formal definition
of Business Logic, perhaps they can be excused? And
SOA evidently is a moving target.

As with grammar, I think it's ok to break the rules:
1) if you know them and 2) if you preemptively explain
to others why you broke them.

Articulating ESRI architecture to traditional IT
people tasked with building systems can result in
either head scratching or brow furling. 

> What ESRI has done that has not been done in the OSS
> world is standardize the bindings for their web
> services so their clients can discover and
> consume them on the fly. I don't know of any
> non-ESRI consumers of ESRI "tasks".

It does seem like they're pushing ArcGIS Explorer as a
no-cost (to the user) alternative client to ArcGIS
Desktop. Are you positive that ArcGIS Server web
services can't be consumed by web browsers?

> I also don't know of any reason why you wouldn't
> want to expose your web services as something
> a lot simpler, as the folks at mecklenburg did,
> for example.

Market security? The Obfuscation Advantage? I don't
know. I do like ESRI products--and ESRI is a pioneer
having done a great service for the profession; where
would most of us be (lineage-wise) without them? But I
get impatient and frustrated with the technology,
especially when terms aren't defined clearly.

Tobin is certainly doing cool things over in MC. A
friend alerted me to a recent blog post, where Tobin
built a small REST framework for PostGIS Web Services:


Good stuff. Check it out folks. Would love to see


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