Improving ESRI Developer Network

Rob Elkins asked me in my previous post about EDN for any suggestion I might have.

  • ISO downloads – I’ve come to rely on this for MSDN. Many time while traveling I might need something and I always know I’ll have access to the complete MSDN catalog. I could see where I might want to install another server product on my laptop or reinstall one that screwed up my system. While I love the EDN binder, I can’t imagine carrying it around with me. Also updates could be gotten much quicker than waiting for UPS.
  • ArcGIS Desktop – I can see why ESRI didn’t include it with the EDN, but I think to get the full functionality out of ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Engine, you need ArcInfo/ArcEditor/ArcView. My company has ArcInfo and ArcView, but no ArcEditor. Many of our clients do have Editor and I’d rather have an ArcEditor license to test my applications on. I’m not really sure how this could be implemented, but I do think ArcGIS developers need access to ArcGIS Desktop.
  • ArcPad and ArcPad Application Builder – EDN seems to focus on ESRI’s server products (well ArcGIS Engine aside), but why not mobile GIS?
  • MapObjects and MapObjects Java – Yea, it isn’t sexy, but MO is and still will be very popular. Adding this to the EDN can only help existing programmers get more out of the products by sharing code and samples via EDN.
  • Python – What about scripting? Python is used quite extensively with ArcGIS and I can only assume will increase in the future. The EDN web should focus much upon this to get people caught up who are stuck on VBA and Avenue/AML.
  • EDN Magazine – I’d love to see more detailed articles than those that get published in the current ESRI publications.
  • Additional EDN website enhancements – I’m sure these will come, but more RSS feeds (so I know when to download those new ISO CDs), webcasts, columns or blogs by EDN staff and “power programmers”. The start is good, but don’t let it slide over the summer. With the User Conference around the bend, the traffic at EDN will grow. New content will keep them there and improve the community for all of us. Heck, who wouldn’t like to see or something similar. ESRI has very bright people, let them tell us what they know about the development tools and some great new ideas they have come up or have seen.
  • EDN User Conference – Why not? Could be just held at Redlands as long as you don’t continue to have earthquakes right under the campus. This would be more technical that the Business Partner Conference.

EDN is still early in its life and I’m sure ESRI has thought long and hard about most of my suggestions before I even knew about EDN. Personally I love it so far as we have finally gotten into ArcGIS Engine development and we’ve only had it for a little over a week.