Friday, July 18, 2008 at 08:43:48

OK, its actually SoftGrid and ArcGIS. Bought by Microsoft recently, softgrid provides a virtualisation environment where you can “push” an application across a network to a client sitting on a PC. It looks& seemless and means the application doesn’t have to be installed locally. This is really useful for our computing support people as our GIS software is site licensed through the faculty, but we have students wanting to use them in university labs. Softgrid is a great solution and works with everything we have thrown at it (ERDAS Imagine usefully!) except, you’ve guessed it, ArcGIS. This is the one application we really wanted to get working, but with little success. It initially loads but with very slow performance, hanging etc, it becomes unusable.

And (thanks Kris for the info) it appears that the problem may be related to the archaic port of ARC/INFO to the PC, the appallingly poor use of registry entries (apparantly 50-70Mb just for ArcGIS!) and Microsofts slow registry performance. All of this adds up to alot of registry accesses which kill performance.

Solution? ESRI needs to re-write ArcGIS properly and get rid of the bad back end. ESRI needs to use *anything
other than the registry for most of its settings. Microsoft needs to sort out registry performance.

None of which is likely to happen!

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