More businesses are asking the question: ‘How can we successfully geo-enable our whole organisation using an open platform, while working with an already complex mix of enterprise systems?’ The answer is here.
In my last post discussing interoperability, I identified the benefits of working from an open platform. Here, I’ll discuss the openness of ArcGIS, and explain how this technology can support you in your specific operational environment.
Firstly, you need rich support for industry standards (both geospatial and more generic IT), and well documented APIs, to achieve a greater level of interoperability within your organisational infrastructure.
While Esri may be considered by many as a vendor of proprietary software, it checks all the boxes for this level of interoperability, and then some.
In fact, when it comes to geospatial industry standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Esri is one of the few vendors to be OGC compliant rather than just implementing the standards.
Currently, there are 55 organisations noted on the OGC website that have created 705 certified compliant implementations through 236 different products. Esri accounts for 99 of those products and 212 of the compliant implementations, including the latest release of ArcGIS.
That shows a serious commitment to maintaining interoperability, but there's more to being an open platform than just support for industry standards. Esri's vision for the ArcGIS platform is to demonstrate ‘openness’ across three broad fronts:
Looking at the second open objective, Esri encourages an environment for innovation where everyone can share their unique ideas with the community.
Developers can use, modify, contribute to and customise any of the growing number of open-source projects, including desktop, web, and mobile applications that are made available on GitHub.
That same developer community can dive deep into all of Esri's available APIs and SDKs for building apps – extending the platform, and accessing content and services for free via the ArcGIS developers site.
Finally, a focus on open collaboration includes features of the software itself that are designed to foster collaboration and sharing of data, maps and analysis within and across organisations, and also channels for people to connect and share experiences, whether it's online through Twitter or GeoNet, or in person at Esri-hosted events.