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    Tuesday, May 10, 2005


    Andrew Hallam from Digital Earth blogs about the new ESRI Developer Network (EDN) subscription we are offering developers. He's right to point out that ArcGIS Desktop is not part of the EDN subscription yet vital to being successful. We spent a lot of time on this subject but in the end decided not to include ArcGIS Desktop to keep the cost of the subscription as low as possible and limit EDN to just the pure developer products. ArcGIS Desktop is extremely useful for map creation, data management and is required if doing anything with ArcGIS Server. So if you are new to the ESRI platform you need at least one copy of ArcGIS Desktop and EDN subscriptions for each developer. We considered making Desktop a requirement prior to getting EDN but didn’t want to make things complicated.

    I like your suggestion of a “EDN plus” that includes a limited use copy of ArcGIS Desktop. What should that cost? Feel free to email me ( or give me a call (909-793-2853 ext. 2310) to talk more about EDN.


    Andrew Hallam said...

    I understand the reluctance to include ArcGIS Desktop on the EDN. The line between using it for development and using it for consulting is blurred, and impossible to control. I also understand that you'd prefer people not to use EDN subscriptions to get a cheap copy of ArcGIS Desktop.

    Fair enough, but I don't buy the "to keep the cost of the subscription as low as possible" line because:

    1) The EDN contain software that costs an order of magnitude more than ArcGIS Desktop if you were to licence it for production use.

    2) In reality, ArcGIS Desktop is a prerequisite for an EDN subscription so it is part of the total cost.

    Your point that one ArcGIS Desktop licence can be shared by several developers is valid. Instead of the "EDN plus" idea, perhaps you might want to offer EDN subscribers a significant discount on up to, say, three ArcGIS Desktop licenses (to cover multiple development teams within one organisation). Such licenses could have the same drop dead date as the EDN subscription, and could be licenced for development use only.

    Steven Citron-Pousty said...

    I like that suggestion of discount pricing on Desktop. The other solution is that we distribute a stripped down version of Desktop that allows for map authoring but not all the fancy analysis that you would get with desktop. This way engine and server developers could still author maps but the GIS analysts could do the heavy analysis lifting.

    Andrew Hallam said...

    Sure, developers don't need a full blown ArcGIS Desktop. Map authoring, creating Shapes, and loading test data into ArcSDE (have I missed anything?) if there was an alternate way to administer ArcGIS Server. e.g. a web interface should not be too difficult to create.

    Brian Flood said...


    Rob/Steve - to echo Andrew's comments, will there be a standalone ArcGIS Server manager in 9.2? This would certainly simplify management of AGS on servers that are partitioned off from the internal domain (e.g. I don't want ArcCatalog on servers connected to the internet) I think there was a post on the forums that said the standalone admin project was dropped from 9.2, IMO this is a mistake.


    Steven Citron-Pousty said...

    Brian F.
    There is a stand-alone server manager coming but I can't say much more than that right now. sorry

    Brian Flood said...

    thx Steve, good to know it's in the works

    Andrew Hallam said...

    Rob, as requested in your post, I emailed you some thoughts on pricing about a week ago. However, I haven't received any response so I don't know whether you received it.

    Given that I spent a bit of time on that email it would be nice to know if it got through, and whether my comments were of any value to you.

    Adam Davis said...

    I understand the reluctance to include ArcGIS Desktop on the EDN but unlike Andrew Hallam see it as a financial matter. In the UK, ArcView + 2 extensions = £6500 + £1500/year maintainance (as opposed to £995 EDN/year).

    Lack of some ESRi products in the EDN:
    DN's to compare
    MSDN - all software available
    ADN (Autodesk) - all software
    BDN (Bentley) - all software

    Suggested cost using >95% savings touted on EDN
    ArcView £74
    Extensions £124
    So lets say all in £1500/year?

    Not to mention that UK EDN training and support from DSG is mandatory at a one-time cost of an additional £4000.

    Rob said...

    I appreciate the comments and although I can't promise anything, I'm committed to working towards a solution that we work for both ESRI and the EDN subscribers. EDN is only a few months old and will grow and evolve over time based on developer feedback.

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