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Esri ArcGIS 10.4.1 for Server with SQL Express (Oct 2020)

Esri | 10.4.1 (Patched Oct 2020)

Windows, Windows Server 2012 R2 w/SQL Express 2014 Windows Server 2012 R2 - 64-bit Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

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External reviews

427 reviews
from G2

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    Higher Education

Awful Program, website, and customer service

  • March 14, 2017
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
Nothing. I have not one nice thing to say about Esri besides that Jack Dangermond needs to fire the staff or leave, himself.
What do you dislike?
I dislike the fact that the computers in my department's GIS are always having problems due to GIS licensing. I dislike the fact that I have spent HOURS trying to download ArcGIS (I am not computer illiterate). I dislike the fact that I have spent over and hour and a half on hold with customer service. I'm actually on hold right now. I hope someone else comes along and creates a better program than Esri.
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
None.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
If possible, find another program.


    Government Administration

Very powerful program with a wide variety of applications.

  • March 03, 2017
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
The best thing about ArcGIS is the fact that it has become a standard in the industry. This means that mastering the application increases overall productivity and hire-ability. It is an incredibly powerful program with hundreds of applications in the field of planning.
What do you dislike?
The most difficult part of ArcGIS is that the file reference system makes managing a database very difficult between users. It also complicates saving data over time as file paths are changed or modified between users.
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
ArcGIS has improved my ability to graphically present complex information to clients.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
This software requires quite a bit of training to master.


    Michelle L.

ArcGIS is a staple!

  • March 01, 2017
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
There's not much I cannot do in ArcGIS. I can analyze drainage patters, topography, identify potential streams and wetlands, georeference historical maps and site plans to create overlays, calculate stream lengths and construction impacts. It can do everything I need as an environmental consultant. And when I am done, I can format the final map to look perfect everytime!
What do you dislike?
It can be very slow... It takes a few minutes to open and uses a lot of RAM. I also wish it would permanently remember links so I can copy and paste maps into new folders without constantly having to reconnect shapefile and data links.
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
I have to create an array of environmental maps outlining soil types, vegetation cover, surfaces waters, etc. In using ArcGIS, I can create solid maps to guide our field efforts. This helps reduce time in the field by making it more efficient. Additionally, it gives our company a professional edge over our competition.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Get a fast computer! It may cost more upfront, but it will save your employees a lot of time and therefore money! Also, go through a couple trainings. There's 5 different ways to do everything in GIS and learning the ins and outs will allow you to use the program to its potential. You can wrestle through it and will never even scratch the surface of what it is capable of!


    Retail

The standard for GIS

  • February 16, 2017
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
I like that ArcGIS is the standard in GIS -- cartography and analysis. This software is what most with a traditional background in GIS learned on. The interface is nice and the tool is powerful. The company also offers free licenses for nonprofit use.
What do you dislike?
For individuals the price is quite expensive. The tool is so powerful that it can be hard to learn all of the intricacies.
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
Most recently I have been using the software for the sole purpose of visualization, but there is so much more to it than that. Spatial analysis capabilities abound; however, I use alteryx for analysis most recently and ArcGIS for other needs.


    Religious Institutions

ArcGIS

  • February 14, 2017
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
After you have had a basic class it is very useful to do all sorts of demographic research, land use, water quality analysis, and extract layers to make and print other maps.
What do you dislike?
Sometimes it is slow depending on your processor of your computer, and also loading individual layers. I have had the program freeze before when loading too many layers. There are also parts of the program that I have not learned yet to use.
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
I have used the program to delineate watersheds, land use, water quality, and population data concerning management issues and policy. It is helpful to have such detailed data for this kind of research and to find out what contributing factors are involved.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
I highly recommend this, especially when compared to using online systems for analysis.


    Katherine F. F.

Good for basic work, slow for advanced

  • February 03, 2017
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
Intuitive tools, great for beginners to use. Easy to understand interface
What do you dislike?
The interface is a little slow for advanced computing and analysis. Python or other programming languages are slightly easier
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
There are a lot of great research answers that emerge using this to target urban development problems, including problems of land identification, land suitability analysis, ability to identify regional hotspot, vacancy options, etc.


    Management Consulting

Great Cartographic and Spatial Analysis Program - Poor UX and Design Features

  • January 30, 2017
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
If you know this program well, you can do a lot with it - this includes simple map making to advanced spatial analyses. Lots of industries use this software, from Architecture and Urban Planning to the Police Department to UPS and Fedex.
What do you dislike?
The challenge is knowing how to use the software. The learning curve is quite steep to do simple tasks, and even steeper to do advanced tasks. Often times, staff will need to attend a training class or program to become comfortable enough to use this software on their own. The UX is also not very great, and not intuitive at all - same goes for designing a map once you've created it (often you'll need to export to Illustrator to pretty it up).

Warning - this program ONLY works on WINDOWS OS (not Mac).
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
I used to work in an urban planning consultancy - this was the best software on the market to do what we needed to do. I heard it was very expensive.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Steep learning curve - make sure your staff is up to the challenge (or you have a budget to train them)!


    Government Administration

ArcGIS

  • January 27, 2017
  • Review provided by G2

What do you like best?
Ease of editing and manipulating images. Easy to customize display symbolsl
What do you dislike?
Sometimes difficult to navigate dashboard
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
Mapping infrastructure


    Environmental Services

ArcGIS Desktop - The good and bad

  • January 13, 2017
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
Some of the best features of ArcGIS (32bit flavor - not ArcGIS Pro) are in the cartography and vector editing categories. ArcGIS has good tools to produce quality maps. Some tools include the use of ESRI's "data driven pages", which allow users to tile maps on small pages for large areas with high detail (large scale).

Another nice feature in ArcGIS (only available at the Standard and Advanced license level) is vector editing with topology within a Geodatabase. The topology tools work well and have good tools built into them to allow the user to find topological errors and fix them. Vector topology is an essential tool for ensuring data integrity.
What do you dislike?
The costs of this software are enormous for the initial purchase price and the subsequent yearly fees for the product. Not having recent quotes, but in the past pricing for Standard and Advanced licensing were $7,000 and $12,000 respectively for initial purchase. Then yearly fees are incurred to get "updates" to the software and tech support. With $1500 and $3000 yearly maintenance fees respectively for Standard and Advanced, the costs per year can rapidly escalate when multiple licenses are purchased. The annual fees are practically mandatory to stay current with the community and client needs.

Proprietary data format of the Geodatabase. The ESRI geodatabase can only be created and written to by ESRI software (Standard and Advanced licenses). This design creates vendor lock-in, such that organizations need ESRI software to access and edit geodatabases. This design enforces sales of the ArcMap software, as ESRI geodatabases demand ESRI software to be fully utilized. This also creates an environment where a few special operators with special software can access the data. This discourages the accessibility and sharing of GIS data information. Being that GIS data is information, and information should be shared, the proprietary data format is an obstacle to creating easily accessible information within an organization and with other organizations.

The performance of ArcMap (32bit) is poor relative to today's computing standards. 32 bit architecture is very outdated and when performing spatial operations, the delay in processing costs users time. Since ArcMap came out and was re-written from scratch in the early 2000s, there have been continual issues with bugs and performance. Fixes to the bugs are slow to be resolved. Sometimes the application hangs up (not responding) for seemingly basic tasks.

Lack of modern algorithms. Example would be the hydrologic routing tools that are from the early 1990s and have not been updated with current modeling features such as Multi-Flow Direction (MFD) modeling of where water flows, and how much accumulation.

Tech support is a paid service along with updates to the software through yearly annual fees. The first level tech support has often left a disappointing feeling, where either the topic was being read directly from the help menu, or the technician kept trying to solve the problem with educated guesses, rather than knowing what the solution is. A substantial amount of time has been lost with tech support at the tier 1 level. The tier 2 level of support is good. The technicians know the products more specifically, and are generally more helpful to resolve the issue.

Some spatial functions are only available in the top tier product (such as identity). This aspect was really frustrating as a user and for an organization. The difference between the Standard and Advanced licensing is about $5,000 (last checked). The interesting thing is that the Basic, Standard and Advanced licenses are all the same product, just with varying levels of provided tools. One such tool is the identity function. This is a commonly overlay function in any GIS, however, ArcMap only provides this simple overlay at the advanced level.

Lack of general interoperability. Over the years, open data standards such as Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS) have provided open formats to work with GIS data. WFS is designed to allow editing of features over a web protocol, but in order to implement this in ArcMap, $10,000 software needs purchased (ArcGIS for Server). There is currently no way to write to an open database GIS format from ESRI software, without purchasing additional software.
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
Client needs. This ranges from permitting applications and risk assessment. Hydrologic modeling for large tracts of land are done with open source software (GRASS GIS) and then brought into ArcMap for compatibility with the organization and client needs. The benefits of ArcMap (from a consulting standpoint) is that it provides a comfort level tho those who believe that GIS is synonymous with ESRI.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Be careful. ESRI has managed to gain major market share and monopolized the GIS software. Over the years, other open data formats have nudged ESRI to move to more supported open data formats.

Evaluate your needs. Check to see what your organization needs GIS services for. Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a great open source desktop software that meets the geospatial communities needs, with hundreds if not thousands of user contributed add-ons and tools. Some cases may require the purchase of an ESRI license. Explore other options before falling into the vendor lock-in trap. Open source software in the geospatial world, is really advanced and amazing. Consult with a user of GIS in the FOSS world, to gain information about how different products can meet the needs of an ArcMap user.

Setting up a GIS Data Library as a PostGIS/PostgreSQL server was a challenge to integrate with ESRI. The good news is that SDE is a deprecated product and the libraries are now included with ArcMap. This allows ArcMap to access Database servers and PostGIS data formats as read-only. This is ideal for setting up large, state-wide layers of GIS data, with ArcMap able to connect and clip or select features from it, and place the data in the local Geodatabase for editing.


    Shannon H.

ArcGIS is the Industry Standard

  • January 13, 2017
  • Review verified by G2

What do you like best?
I like that I can use ArcGIS to communicate with fellow scientist all over the world about a specific area I am researching. We can share updated updated maps and data instantly. I like that Esri also makes softwares such as Collector and Survey123 to work hand-in-hand with ArcGIS.
What do you dislike?
The software is very expensive. Especially for students who are in the scientific community. I wish there was an educational discount for students/faculty. I remember the course I took back in college had us download the free 60 day trial. However, that did not last the entire semester.
What problems is the product solving and how is that benefiting you?
We are utilizing the software to record wildlife presence and abundance. It's used to record how many species of milkweed at found in a specific plot to how many Monarch larvae were recorded on blooming plants. When we as a team are dealing with over a dozen plots, it helps us keep track of where we are going and which plot was which. That seems to easy to do until you are out in the middle of rolling grassland prairies and everything looks the same.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
If you are taking field research seriously, you must know this software. I have used it for every job I have had.