ArcSDE: The GIS Gateway to Relational Databases
ArcSDE plays a fundamental role in both multi-user and distributed GIS systems. With ArcSDE your GIS software (ArcInfo, ArcView, ArcIMS, and others) can work directly with spatial data managed in a DBMS.
ArcSDE provides the gateway between ESRI's GIS software and the DBMS, filling three roles:
- As an integral part of a multi-user ArcGIS system
- As an application server to deliver spatial data to many users and applications
- As a developer tool for open access using either ArcObjects or its own Java or C application programming interface (API)
ArcSDE is completely integrated with and supports all the major functions and capabilities of a "spatially enabled" DBMS such as IBM's DB2 Spatial Extender, IBM Informix's Spatial DataBlade, and Oracle Spatial. ArcSDE enables the geodatabase to use the extended spatial types of a spatially enabled DBMS to store and manage feature geometry. ArcSDE works with IBM DB2, IBM Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle.
ArcSDE provides new functionality including versioning, direct editing of spatial data, and support for new data types including raster files and locators (addresses). In addition, multi-user geodatabases are managed by ArcSDE. The geodatabase model is an object-oriented model that allows users to add behavior, properties, rules, and relationships to their data.
Key Features as identified by ESRI
- ArcSDE for DBMS Server License (includes 2 processors)
Note: available for IBM DB2, IBM Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle.
- One Year of ArcSDE Maintenance and Technical Support
- Flexibility and Performance
ArcSDE significantly improves the performance of a complete GIS system by distributing the GIS application between the database server, the client, and the ArcSDE application server. Performance is enhanced through storage methods that provide a fast and compact representation for spatial data.
- Database Portability
You can move data from one DBMS to another without loss of information through ArcSDE data export and import capabilities.
- Schema Portability
ArcSDE defines a single logical model for spatial data implemented on top of the particular physical database. ESRI GIS applications and applications developed with ArcSDE's Java and C API will run with little or no change regardless of the underlying DBMS.
- Data Integrity
ArcSDE manages the integrity of point, line and polygon information added to the database and will not allow ill-formed feature geometry to be inserted (for example a polygon's boundaries must be closed). In addition, ArcInfo and the ArcSDE gateway can be used to implement additional integrity constraints that are not practical to implement in the DBMS itself (for example you can add editing rules to prevent overlapping polygons or connectivity rules for utility networks).
- Application Programming Interface
ArcSDE provides GIS functions for advanced application development through open, high-level C and Java APIs for querying and processing spatial information.
- Reduced Database and Application Development Costs
ArcInfo's ArcObjects, ArcSDE's Java and C APIs, and MapObjects allow developers to choose the appropriate tools to quickly create focused applications and custom data loaders.
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