Directions Magazine (DM): Can you elaborate on the functionality that will be part of the next release of SQL Anywhere? Will it support basic spatial operations and spatial data types as per the OGC specifications?
Jason Hinsperger (JH): SQL Anywhere will support the OGC
specification for spatial data. Our server and embedded database (SQL
Anywhere) will support the standard geometry types, the ability to
index spatial data, and to query it using the standard set of functions
described in the spec. SQL Anywhere will also support import for shape
files natively, as well as native export for KML, GML and SVG. Our
mobile database (UltraLite) will support storage and editing of point
data, along with a subset of the standard set of spatial functions.
Both will support the ability to synchronize spatial data to
heterogeneous enterprise database servers using our MobiLink
DM: Please explain the bi-directional synchronization of
spatial and standard data between field workers and many popular
enterprise systems. Will this be a real-time connection between field
workers and the database or a "sometimes connected" solution?
JH: Data synchronization is designed for occasionally connected
environments. If there is no connection, remote workers can continue to
work unimpeded because of the local database. When connectivity is
available, synchronization can occur.
DM: What ESRI applications for mobile field professionals are
you supporting and are they limited to only a few smartphones or will
most of the popular smartphones be supported?
JH: Initially, we are developing architectures which will allow for
the mobilization of spatial data from ArcGIS server to laptop, tablet,
Windows mobile, iPhone and BlackBerry devices.
DM: Will Sybase be developing a suite of applications using ESRI
technology to deploy to field workers, and what might those be?
JH: We are providing infrastructure technology to enable ESRI
partners and users to extend the reach of their GIS data. There is no
current plan to offer specific point solutions.
DM: What additional types of mobile applications that leverage spatial information would you foresee in the next two years?
JH: The use of spatial data by "casual" users will grow
significantly, especially in the consumer space, with data collection
being "outsourced" to the general public.
In the enterprise, the requirement to enable remote workers to access
more complex elements of their GIS in a timely fashion, regardless of
connectivity, will become more important to business success.