ArcGIS 10.5 ushers in a new era for enterprise GIS users - with improved products and capabilities making the Web GIS pattern simple to implement for any organisation.
As Bob Dylan put it back in 1964, “The times they are a-changin’”.
At 10.5, you will see some pretty subtle but important changes to the product currently known as ArcGIS for Server, with a tighter focus on the concept of Web GIS.
Since its early 9.x releases, and through several 10.x releases, ArcGIS Server, as it was originally known, has transformed from a simple, standalone application server into series of components.
Today, at 10.4.1, that includes the GIS server, Portal for ArcGIS, web adaptors, a data store and various extensions.
Collectively, they are currently referred to as ArcGIS for Server, and are the basis for Web GIS – a pattern that many organisations are using to make GIS available across their enterprise on infrastructure of their own choosing.
With ArcGIS 10.5, ArcGIS for Server evolves into ArcGIS Enterprise. This makes a lot of sense, as it’s easier to understand what the product is for (i.e. providing a Web GIS experience in a customer's own infrastructure).
By infrastructure, that could mean an organisation's own on-premises software, a deployment of ArcGIS Enterprise in a public cloud like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, or the same capability setup, hosted and managed by Esri Australia in AWS.
Along with the name change, 10.5 brings with it new capabilities that are only enabled through the Web GIS pattern. As a result, there is a shift in thinking about what the footprint of ArcGIS looks like in an organisation.
Previously, one might have thought about the individual components of ArcGIS for Server. With 10.5, you start with the Web GIS base capability which always includes a GIS server, a portal and a data store, and then you build on that.
With that basic capability enabled, organisations can take advantage of some of the exciting new features of ArcGIS 10.5, including Insights for ArcGIS, Raster Analysis, ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server and portal to portal collaboration.
While traditional usage of ArcGIS for Server as a standalone web mapping server is not compromised in any way by the changes introduced at 10.5, it’s a good time to re-evaluate how those use cases might be better served through the more contemporary Web GIS pattern.
The update is scheduled to be released later this month.