[postgis-users] PostgreSQL/PostGIS and ArcGIS Server 9.3

Paul Ramsey pramsey at cleverelephant.ca
Fri May 23 10:15:05 PDT 2008

SDE allows you to use ArcMap as a client. That's the main value proposition.

Secondarily, there's some stuff, most particularly versioning, that
they implement by managing extra metadata in side tables.  This is
where your concern regarding 3rd party edits to PostGIS data come to
reality. If you start mucking with the data, particularly versioned
data, outside the SDE environment, you can put it into an inconsistent

Also, you need some knowledge of the SDE scheme in order to properly
*read* the information out of a versioned system with a 3rd party
tool, since the data in the tables will include shapes from multiple

In general, if you restrict yourself ot reading with 3rd party tools
and writing with ESRI tools, or non-ESRI tools working through the SDE
API, you should be safe.

Yes, using SDE effectively castrates the spatial database. It still
walks and talks, but it's a shell of the man it was before.


On Fri, May 23, 2008 at 10:04 AM, Tim Bowden <tim.bowden at westnet.com.au> wrote:
> On Fri, 2008-05-23 at 09:14 -0700, Rob Tester wrote:
>> Okay, I have the current 9.3 rc1 with the SDE and PostGIS. I also have
>> talked with some of the developers at ESRI and can tell you the following.
>> Yes the support for PostGIS does exist. The geometries can be in WKB or SDE
>> (we keep ours in WKB). According to the developers of SDE for PostGIS there
>> isn't a large difference in the type anyway. But you can't use both at the
>> same time, so you have to pick your poison.
> Ok, I don't know much about SDE so please forgive what's probably a
> naive lack of understanding on my part.  I'm wondering what
> functionality SDE adds to PostGIS?  If geometries are stored in PostGIS
> types, I assume it translates to the SDE native binary encoding and
> handles connectivity with clients, and overlays some form of topology
> model. Anything else?  Does this mean editing the PostGIS geometries
> directly will put SDE in an inconsistent state wrt PostGIS?
>> I have also patched ZigGIS so that it works with just the ArcGIS Engine
>> which is what we use to develop our applications.
>> Rob.
> Regards,
> Tim Bowden
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: postgis-users-bounces at postgis.refractions.net
>> [mailto:postgis-users-bounces at postgis.refractions.net] On Behalf Of Chris
>> Hermansen
>> Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 8:17 AM
>> To: PostGIS Users Discussion
>> Subject: Re: [postgis-users] PostgreSQL/PostGIS and ArcGIS Server 9.3
>> What I find immediately puzzling about this whole SDE - PostGIS thing is
>> a comment that Someone Knowledgeable (Paul?  Martin?) made a few weeks
>> ago about an incompatibility between SDE's geometry and OGC or at least
>> PostGIS's implementation of OGC.
>> Sorry I can't provide more details, but does anyone recall this, and
>> have a comment on the matter?
>> Tim Bowden wrote:
>> > On Fri, 2008-05-23 at 09:29 -0500, Stephen Woodbridge wrote:
>> >
>> >> Tim Bowden wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> Hi all,
>> >>>
>> >>> I've read bits and pieces about PostgreSQL/PostGIS and ArcGIS Server 9.3
>> >>> and how they (might) inter-operate.  Can anybody point me to a concise
>> >>> summation of what's happening there?  I understand ArcGIS Server will be
>> >>> able to use PostGIS geometries, but at what cost (performance and
>> >>> functionality)? Does this mean we can have ArcGIS and open source
>> >>> clients editing the same geometries?
>> >>>
>> >>> ArcGIS Server 9.3 beta is in the wild, and I've read that the final
>> >>> release is due "soon".  Anyone have any idea if soon is measured in
>> >>> weeks or months?
>> >>>
>> >> Tim,
>> >>
>> >> You might be interested in this link:
>> >> http://blog.davebouwman.net/2008/05/12/PostGISRound2ReadingTheManual.aspx
>> >>
>> >> -Stephen Woodbridge
>> >>   http://imaptools.com/
>> >>
>> >
>> > Hot stuff, thanks Stephen.  Looks very promising.  With a bit of luck it
>> > will ease the transition to PostgreSQL/PostGIS for those wanting to go
>> > down that route.  I can think of a few who will be looking at this over
>> > the next few years.
>> >
>> > Regards,
>> > Tim Bowden
>> >
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