During the 2013 ESRI User Conference in San Diego, ESRI demonstrated what they called ArcGIS Professional. It was still under development at the time, but they said it was slated for a Q4 2013 release. That did not happen, though maybe it was for beta testing sites? Not sure.
Now they are saying it will be part of the ArcGIS 10.3 release planned for the second half of 2014. If you have not seen it yet, below is a video from the ESRI Federal GIS Conference in February 2014.
ArcGIS Pro has a ribbon interface that would be similar to Microsoft Excel and Word products. I personally don’t like that type of interface, the functionality gets lost to me. Others might find it natural though.
ArcGIS Pro is a 64-bit multi-threaded application that is designed to be the premier application for visualizing, editing, and performing analysis using your local content or content from your ArcGIS Online account or Portal for ArcGIS. You can author content in both 2D and 3D and publish it as feature, map, and analysis services, 3D web scenes, and web maps.
ESRI states that ArcGIS Pro will not replace ArcGIS for Desktop. Prediction: I give them 3 years before Desktop goes to live with ArcView 3.
The initial release will not have all the functionality that ArcGIS for Desktop has, but Pro will have capabilities that Desktop does not right now:
- Project based workflows
- Combined 2D/3D visualization
- 64-bit support
- Multiple layout support
Map documents (.mxd), scenes (.sxd), and globes (.3dd) can be imported into ArcGIS Pro and saved as projects (.aprx). WHAT? Having ArcView 3 flashbacks?!!!
ESRI did state that projects are not backward compatible so you cannot go back to ArcMap. But keep in mind the geodatabases you use in Pro will also be accessible by ArcMap so there can be collaboration at the data level. Services published with Pro can be shared with ArcMap. Also, both can run side by side on the same machine.
ArcGIS Pro is part of ArcGIS for Desktop, so only ArcGIS for Desktop customers will be able to receive ArcGIS Pro. ArcGIS Pro will come in three licensing versions that correspond to Desktop license levels Basic, Standard, and Advanced. Also, the initial release of Pro will be able to work with the following Desktop extensions: 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, Network Analyst, Workflow Manager, and Data Reviewer.
ArcGIS Pro will run on Windows 7 or 8 on a 64-bit machine. 8GB of RAM or more is recommended.
There is no doubt that ArcGIS Pro will be featured at the ESRI Conference in San Diego this year! Looking forward to it. -mike