Manifold System Enterprise Edition is a version of Manifold System that includes additional capabilities not found in the Professional Edition or Personal Edition versions. If you have purchased and installed Enterprise Edition the features described in this and other Enterprise topics will be available to you. If you have installed the standard Professional Edition or Personal Edition of Manifold System you will not be able to use these features.
Enterprise Edition features are also found in Enterprise superset editions of Manifold System, such as Database Administrator Edition or Universal Edition.
In addition to support for classic desktop and server storage models, Manifold's Enterprise Edition also provides a new storage model, a shared Enterprise server model, which combines the advantages of both desktop and server storage. Users new to Manifold sometimes think that using Enterprise Edition requires use exclusively of Enterprise servers. That's not the case: Enterprise Edition supports all three storage models. In fact, all three storage models can be used at the same time within the same project and often are.
Please read the Data Storage Strategies topic to understand how Enterprise servers fit into classic ideas about GIS data storage.
Enterprise Edition Features
Export to .e00 Format - Enterprise Edition allows export to ESRI .e00 format as well as to the export formats for drawings supported by Professional Edition (ESRI .shp, MapInfo .mid/.mif, Manifold 4.50, AutoCAD .dxf and US Federal SDTS format).
Shared Storage in Centralized DBMS - Enterprise Edition can store any Manifold component within a database using a specialized storage model unique to Manifold System called an Enterprise server. A Manifold Enterprise server can be hosted on almost any enterprise-class database management system such as IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle. DB2, SQL Server and Oracle are officially supported while many other DBMS systems, such as MySQL have been tested and are known to work but are not officially supported.
Use One Component in Many Projects - A single copy of a component like a drawing or image can be used in hundreds of projects, but only a single copy need be kept within the Enterprise server. This saves disk space when the same component is frequently used in many different projects.
Project Coordination via Enterprise Servers - Enterprise Edition enforces access control and controlled editing of shared components so that many users at once can use the same components. Edits can be made using an easily understood "check out" procedure so that simultaneous, incompatible edits cannot be made. Users can continue using shared components even when someone else has checked them out for editing.
Concurrent Multi-User Editing - In addition to the simplified, documented oriented storage model offered by Enterprise Edition using Manifold Enterprise servers, Enterprise Edition also supports truly concurrent, fully multi-user, fully-scalable editing of linked drawings at the object level using drawings linked in a classic server storage model. This allows multi-user editing of drawings of virtually limitless size by a virtually unlimited number of users with storage using standard DBMS geometry types or Oracle Spatial SDO_GEOMETRY that is accepted industry-wide.
Native Spatial DBMS Support - Enterprise Edition can store and retrieve vector geometry (drawing objects) and images within native spatial DBMS products such as Oracle Spatial, IBM DB2 with Spatial Extender, SQL Server 2008 spatial (Katmai) and PostgreSQL. Drawings may be exported into spatial DBMS storage with automatic use of the spatial DBMS package's native geometry types, spatial indices and supporting facilities. In addition, Enterprise Edition can store images and surfaces within Oracle databases that include Oracle's GeoRaster technology.
Generic Spatial Indices - Enterprise Edition can store drawings, images and surfaces within almost any ordinary DBMS in a way that provides true spatial DBMS capability even if the DBMS does not have its own geometry types and associated spatial facilities such as spatial indices. Once Enterprise Edition has been used to store components in this way then any Manifold license can utilize those components.
Manifold Spatial Extender for SQL Server - Enterprise Edition is required to create spatial indices using the Manifold Spatial Extender for SQL Server. Once drawings have been uploaded into SQL Server that is equipped with the Manifold spatial extender, any Manifold edition may be used to import or link those drawings.
Area of Interest Windowing - A key part of unlimited, Enterprise class deployment of GIS applications is the ability to constrain display and editing to a specific, desired region, the Area of Interest (AOI), that is part of what is usually an immensely larger drawing. Manifold Enterprise Edition can work with spatial databases to allow fast and easy specification of an area of interest within a larger drawing: only that part of the drawing will be extracted for use with Manifold, and the part extracted will be fully dynamic and interactive with all viewing, editing and analytic capabilities available to any linked drawings. This Enterprise Edition feature makes it practical for potentially thousands of users to each work with their own areas of interest within drawings that could be terabytes in size. Enterprise Edition is required to use AOI windowing with native spatial DBMS and is required to set up the spatial indices that provide AOI windowing in non-native spatial DBMS.
Manifold Enterprise Server Shared Storage Model
The Enterprise server storage model is an innovation by Manifold that is unique to Manifold System. As discussed in the Data Storage Strategies topic, it provides a storage model that combines the simplicity and convenience of the desktop, document-oriented storage model with many of the organizational benefits of the more complex server, object-oriented storage model while in general avoiding the need for managers to become expert DBMS administrators. It is a tremendous convenience for organizations or individual users who have large or complex data holdings.
Centralized storage via Enterprise servers allows multi-user sharing of common components so different users can simultaneously use the same component within their projects. For example, many users in a town's GIS department can use the same base map drawing of a town within their projects. That means any changes to that base map drawing need be made only in one place. Another benefit to storage of components within an Enterprise server, in addition to the shared access thus provided, is the ability to share a single copy of a component within many different projects so that room for only one copy of the component need be consumed on disk.
For example, if the same drawing of Europe or the US is frequently re-used as a background layer in a map we can share that drawing into an Enterprise server and then share it into a project whenever needed. Only one copy of the drawing will be maintained, the copy within the Enterprise server. If a drawing or other component (such as an image) is used in hundreds of different projects we will see considerable savings in disk space.
A tremendous advantage of Enterprise server storage for both organizations and individuals comes when we need to update some component that is used in many projects. Let's consider an example:
Suppose we have a drawing, such as a boundary lines layer, that is often used as a background layer in maps we create. Over time such a drawing might be used in hundreds of projects that are mixed in among thousands of projects a particular consultant or organization might create. Suppose one day that drawing has to be updated with some changes to the boundaries. That can be a really difficult job if ordinary, desktop computing document storage is used to save everything in a project file.
This is a nightmarish situation many GIS professionals have encountered, when they discover that they have to figure out which of many thousands of project files that might be scattered across disk drives on many machines use that particular drawing. Worse yet, to update all of those projects we would have to open each individual project file and then copy the updated layer from a new project and paste it into that project to update it. What a hassle!
In contrast, if we used Enterprise Edition we could have kept the boundaries layer on an Enterprise server and then linked it into every project that used it as a shared component. In that case, when it came time to update the boundaries layer all we would need to do is simply check it out from the Enterprise server, edit it and then check it back in. When we check it back in, every project that uses that drawing no matter where it is located will be automatically updated. In this case, using Enterprise Edition changes a nightmarish project that we never could be certain would be accomplished even though weeks of effort might go by into a very simple project that could be finished in a few minutes with total certainty that it had been done right.
Obviously, the sooner we start using Enterprise servers to store our data the sooner we can benefit from centralization of our data holdings. Many experienced individuals will begin storing their data in Enterprise servers even when the number of drawings they use and the projects they create are relatively few. They know that in the blink of an eye what starts out as small holdings will grow into many gigabytes of components and projects.
Database vendor websites provide free downloads of complete installation packages for the Express editions of all three of the "Big 3" enterprise-class database management systems supported by Manifold Technical Support for use with Enterprise Edition. Installing any of these three database packages gives Manifold users the ability to achieve high performance, centralized DBMS storage within Manifold Enterprise servers using world-class DBMS products without any additional purchase required.
In alphabetical order, DBMS packages supported by Manifold include:
· IBM DB2 Express-C - Based on the IBM DB2 engine. DB2 Express-C is limited to to 4 GB of RAM and two processors, but has no limits on database size or the number of users. DB2 provides the largest capacity of any of the Express editions. See the IBM DB2 Express-C Edition topic for more. Native spatial DBMS capability is available for DB2 via the IBM Spatial Extender for DB2, which is a free download for DB2 Express-C users.
· Oracle 10g Express Edition - Based on the Oracle 10g Enterprise engine. Oracle 10g Express is limited to 4GB maximum database size, up to 1 GB of RAM and one processor or processor core. Oracle Express includes Oracle's famous spatial technology for high performance storage of drawing geometry, enabling Manifold area of interest windowing. See the Oracle Express Edition topic for more.
· SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Express - Based on the SQL Server engine. SQL Server 2005 Express and 2008 Express are limited to 4GB maximum database size, up to 1 GB of RAM and one processor or processor core. SQL Server includes exquisite integration with Microsoft development environments. See the SQL Server Express Edition topic for more. SQL Server 2005 Express (SP2 and greater) may be used as a spatial DBMS when the Manifold Spatial Extender for SQL Server has been installed on the SQL Server machine.
Shared Storage on Enterprise Servers
In addition to support for standard desktop storage models and standard server storage models, Manifold's Enterprise Edition uses a new approach to centralized storage of data within DBMS providers.
The standard server storage model as used by classic spatial DBMS is to store objects within a DBMS at the "atomic" object level. Although there are many merits to this approach and it is fully supported by the extensive spatial DBMS capabilities of Manifold, it can be overkill for many users. It can place a greater load on the DBMS administrator, requiring a higher level of technical expertise to keep things running smoothly.
Enterprise Edition provides an alternative, which combines the conveniences of desktop storage with the organizational strengths of server storage. Shared storage using Manifold Enterprise servers stores the entire component within the DBMS, basically using the DBMS as a centralized file cabinet with supervisory capabilities.
In the Manifold shared Enterprise server model, when a drawing, image, surface or other component is shared on a database the master copy of the data is kept within the DBMS, called an Enterprise server. Whenever a user wants to work with a component saved in the Enterprise server, he or she can link the component into the project at hand. Behind the scenes, Manifold fetches a temporary working copy of the entire component into local memory.
The Manifold model has many benefits, including excellent speed once remote components are linked into the local project as compared to high-granularity older architectures. All operations happen within local memory so operations using shared components are just as fast as those using local ones. If a user wishes to edit a shared component, he or she can check it out for local editing, and then check it back into the Enterprise server when done editing.
This check out / check in model of usage is inspired by the highly successful source code control model used within many development environments for collaborative program development by large teams. It is well understood in the software industry and has proven very efficient as a means of managing multiple edit operations by many users.
Note: In all fairness, there are faster ways of running classic server storage models than are used by some legacy systems. For example, Manifold Enterprise Edition can connect to Oracle Spatial or other data stores using classic server model linked drawing storage. However, Manifold knows to use intelligent caching whenever possible so that more efficient DBMS accesses can be commanded for much faster performance than possible with some old fashioned systems.
When Manifold Enterprise Edition is used with linked drawings from a fast DBMS data source such as DB2, Oracle, or SQL Server the performance can approach or exceed that of local storage. In some cases, such as area of interest windowing into very large data sets stored on Oracle spatial servers, the performance will significantly exceed that of either local storage or shared Enterprise server storage.
Advantages of Shared Enterprise Server Storage
Enterprise Edition storage within Enterprise server geospatial databases has many benefits compared to either desktop models or classic server storage models. The shared Enterprise server installation provides the following benefits:
§ Faster performance, at times by a factor of 100 or more in interactive GIS operations as compared to older architectures that have high granularity.
§ Reliable, conflict-free editing of complex data in an environment where many users share the same data. Surprisingly, even some very expensive older systems cannot guarantee conflict-free editing as does Manifold.
§ Freedom to choose almost any DBMS vendor. Enterprise Edition works with dozens of different database management systems without any need for special DBMS versions, special modules or costly middleware. The Manifold model by default allows use of almost any DBMS that allows transactions and that has an ODBC or OLE DB driver.
§ Heterogeneous, free form utilization of Enterprise servers. Within the same project Manifold can transparently include multiple components from different Enterprise servers hosted by different DBMS vendors.
§ DBMS safety. If the DBMS crashes while working on an Enterprise project the project is still safe and can be saved with no loss of data.
§ Network fault tolerance. If the network crashes while working on an Enterprise project the project is still safe. Transient disconnects won't even be noticed, and lengthy disconnects still allow a local save of the project. Work can continue even without the network. When the network comes back up the project can be opened and automatic synchronization will occur.
§ Ability to use Internet. The high bandwidth requirements of older architectures mean that connecting over Internet to a remote DBMS is not usually realistic. With Manifold, the more efficient Enterprise architecture means that it is realistic in many cases to connect to an Enterprise server via corporate Internet links.
§ Off-line working capability. Older systems cannot work without a constant, "live" connection to the DBMS. Manifold allows transparent off-line work, such as with laptops when travelling away from a direct connection to an Enterprise server. Users can continue working while away from their corporate network.
Disadvantages of Shared Enterprise Server Storage
Although shared storage on Manifold Enterprise servers has many benefits, it does have some disadvantages as compared to either desktop models or classic server storage models:
· Exclusively Manifold usage. Enterprise servers cannot realistically be used by other GIS software. In exchange for the convenience of an easy to use environment the organization must use Manifold Enterprise Edition licenses on all clients. However, because Manifold Enterprise Edition also supports storage in "open" server storage models, users who desire interoperability with other GIS packages can also use linked drawings within classic server storage, such as within Oracle Spatial.
· No concurrent multi-user editing. Enterprise servers reduce the complexity of administration and reduce user skill set required by simplifying the shared usage of components. Many users can include shared components in their projects on a read-only basis, but only one user at a time can check out that shared component for editing. While checked out, that component may be edited only by that user. Once the component is checked back into the server, any changes made will propagate to all projects that use that component and a different user can then check out the component if desired.
· No support for area of interest windowing. When drawings are stored in Oracle databases Manifold can link only a portion of a drawing, the area of interest, into a project. It is usually the case when very large drawings are edited that each user is editing only a very small portion of the drawing. By linking in only that portion of interest, which is usually a few tens of megabytes of data, users can effectively work with drawings that are so large, potentially terabytes in size, that they could never be edited on a desktop machine. Because Enterprise Edition pulls the entire drawing from an Enterprise server it cannot be used to work with drawings that are larger than can fit within the performance characteristics of the desktop machine being used as a client.
· Greater complexity for programmatic access to objects. The Manifold API allows users to reach into Enterprise servers to obtain individual objects (that is, individual points, lines and areas) from within a drawing shared on the server, but doing so usually requires more skill than access to individual objects via storage methodologies that are more object oriented.
· Requirement for a database installation. This is really a disadvantage only as compared to the desktop storage model as the classic server storage model also requires a database. In earlier times the cost of a suitable enterprise-class DBMS might have been an obstacle, but given that DBMS vendors now provide free installations of the Express editions of the "Big 3" DBMS products, cost of a database installation is no longer a disadvantage. There is still the slight additional managerial overhead of installing a DBMS server on a machine.
Note that the above disadvantages can be avoided, if required, by using Manifold to store data in a server storage model using linked drawings. Manifold is perfectly happy supporting our work with whatever storage model we choose, be it local desktop storage, shared Manifold Enterprise server storage or linked server storage in the classic way. The advantages and disadvantages enumerated above apply to the shared Manifold Enterprise server model and are set forth so we can decide when we want to use that model.
In particular, none of the disadvantages apply when we use Manifold for server storage in the classic way, saving drawings and possibly images and surfaces within an enterprise-class DBMS like DB2, Oracle or SQL Server. We can even freely combine storage models within the same project to mix and match advantages and disadvantages as we see fit to optimize our storage strategy for a particular project or IMS application.
Once a database has been created to which a Manifold component has been shared it is said to be an Enterprise server. Components stored within an Enterprise server are said to be shared components. Users accessing an Enterprise server using Enterprise Edition are said to be Enterprise users.
To create an Enterprise server we initialize the database and share at least component to it. Thereafter, any Enterprise user can fetch and use components from the Enterprise server. There are two ways for user to work with components saved within the Enterprise server:
§ Import components from the Enterprise server. When importing components from the server a local copy of the component is made and work proceeds on that local copy without further connection to the server. Enterprise servers used in this way function simply as a centralized repository from which users may fetch components as desired for their local purposes.
§ Link components from the Enterprise server. When a component is linked from the server the component continues to reside within the Enterprise server with controls on how that component can be used by different users at the same time. It is said to be a shared component. Enterprise Edition provides several ways of working with shared components that allow coordination between multiple simultaneous users.
Enterprise users can share components using the following commands, which appear in the context menu when right-clicking onto a component in the project pane:
§ Share - Save a component into the Enterprise server. Use this command to load the Enterprise server with shared components.
§ Unshare - Convert a shared component into a local component. The data from the Enterprise server will be downloaded to the local project and all connection to the Enterprise server for this component will be ended.
§ Check Out - Gets the latest version of a shared component and makes it editable exclusively by us. Only one user at a time can check out a component. Other users can still link the component, but they will not see any changes we make until we check in that component.
§ Check In - Saves the edited version of a component back to the Enterprise server and makes the component read-only in our project. When we are done editing a shared component we can Check In to save the changed version of the component to the Enterprise server. After we check in, any user getting that component will get the newly edited version.
§ Get Latest Version - Fetches the latest version of a shared component. If we are working with a shared component and suspect that someone might have checked out the component we are using and altered it, we can use Get Latest Version to fetch the latest version.
§ Undo Check Out - Enabled if we have used Check Out to get a component for editing. Abandons any changes we have made to a shared component on our local system, gets the latest version from the server and makes it read-only.
§ Link - Appears in the File menu and in the Tools - Server Console dialog. Fetches the latest version of a shared component for use in our project. This opens a shared component in a read-only mode. We can view the component and allow it to participate in maps we create, but we cannot edit it.
§ Cached - Shared components are cached by default. We can designate a component to be uncached by right clicking on a shared component in the project pane and choosing Cached from the pop-up context menu to toggle the check mark next to the Cached entry. Tool tips and the project pane status bar will show the cached/uncached status of each shared component. See the Cached and Uncached Components topic.
The above commands will be familiar to users of Microsoft Visual SourceSafe source code control system, if one understands Link to mean SourceSafe's Get. The Manifold commands have, in fact, been deliberately designed to retain conceptual compatibility with similar commands used within source code control systems to resolve multi-user access and conflicts issues in complex development projects.
Remote, Shared and Local Components
Components that are stored in an Enterprise server or which are linked in from other data sources are called remote components. Components in an Enterprise server that are linked into the current project are called shared components. Components that are stored within the project are called local components. A project can contain any combination of local or shared components. Shared components from many different Enterprise servers may be included within the same project.
The project pane shows shared components with a small gray lock icon next to the component icon to show they are read only. A component that is checked out by us will have a small red check mark icon. A component that is checked out by someone else will have a small dark blue lock icon. If someone else has checked out a component and edited it, the icon for that component will appear as a dark red lock icon. This indicates that if we want to work with the latest version of that component we should do a Get Latest Version.
Tool tips show the status of a shared component when the mouse hovers over it in the project pane. If a component is not checked out it will be reported as a shared component using the name of the Enterprise server data source. In the above example, the Roads Drawing component is shared on an Enterprise server data source called Enterprise example.
If we check out the component the icon turns to a red check mark and the tool tip reports it as being checked out.
If someone else checks out the component the icon turns to a black lock and the tool tip reports which user checked it out. In the above example, a user called Administrator on a machine called PROJECT has checked out the component. Tool tips report which user has checked a component so we can get in contact with them should we want them to check the component in so that we can check it out for editing.
If someone else checks out the component, changes it and then checks in the component, the icon turns to a dark red lock in our project. This lets us know it is time to get the latest version. The tool tip reports that the component is that it is outdated.
Forms Cannot be Shared
Forms components cannot be shared to an Enterprise server. The reason why not is that forms can contain programming controls which cannot be guaranteed to be available on the client computer. In some cases, users may employ licensed controls within their forms that are not redistributable to other computers without a license grant by the originating vendor.
Although Enterprise components are brought in from the Enterprise server using a "link" command once they are in the projected they are called "shared" components. Within Manifold, the term "linked" component is used to refer to tables that are linked into the project from an external data source other than an Enterprise server.
The main operational distinction between a linked table and a shared table is that a shared table is supervised by Enterprise Edition and it will be read-only unless it is checked out. An ordinary linked table will usually be read/write subject to the access controls of the host DBMS.
Project Capacity and Performance
When a component is shared to an Enterprise server, Manifold will upload a compressed version of the component into the Enterprise server. For large components, the process of compression can take a minute or more. When linking a component from an Enterprise server Manifold will fetch a local, read-only copy of the component into temporary local storage, decompressing it as it is fetched from the server. For large components, the decompression process can take a minute or more. Once a shared component has been linked into the project performance will be the same as if it were a local component.
Projects using shared components are subject to the same size limitation as other Manifold projects: for example, they cannot exceed a total capacity of 2 gigabytes. Enterprise servers can store as much information as can be handled by the host DBMS, possibly terabytes given the right hardware and software.
Compatible DBMS Products
Enterprise Edition has been developed using the latest editions of IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server (including SQL Server Express) and Oracle. These products are "supported" in that Enterprise Edition is designed to function using these three DBMS server products for Enterprise servers. Users purchasing Developer Tech Support incidents may ask questions about Enterprise Edition usage using those three DBMS servers as examples and may expect reasonably sensible answers.
Many other DBMS products may be used as Enterprise servers in addition to DB2, SQL Server and Oracle. For example, MySQL has been frequently used within manifold.net. Enterprise Edition even includes special code that works around a MySQL bug in a recent MySQL version that sometimes strips the last character in a stored section of binary data. There are many other fine DBMS products that will work well as Enterprise servers with Enterprise Edition. In general, any professional quality, multi-user, enterprise class DBMS that handles transactions well is a good candidate for use with Enterprise Edition. Some users even use Access 2000 (although this is discouraged since SQL Server Express is a profoundly better multi-user DBMS server).
MySQL users please note: Enterprise Edition requires that transactions support be enabled within MySQL when hosting an Enterprise server on MySQL. MySQL users should see the Manifold Knowledge Base articles on MySQL.
Enterprise Edition FAQ
Can I run Enterprise Edition without purchasing a DBMS system? Yes. You can install any of the three free DBMS packages and create Enterprise server databases within the DBMS installation thus created. You can also run Enterprise Edition without using Enterprise features (that is, like Professional) without any DBMS at all.
What is the best DBMS to use for an Enterprise Server? That depends upon the user's tastes and requirements. Each DBMS provided by Manifold is a superb, truly world-class DBMS, but all are different in various areas over which experienced DBMS administrators will passionately argue. Each DBMS has strengths in certain areas that would be a strong incentive for users interested in those strengths to choose that DBMS. See the Data Storage Strategies topic for a discussion. Users will often install and employ more than one of the three databases, although obviously there will be more to learn for the DBMS administrator if more than one system is used.
If we consider the limited question of just setting up a Manifold Enterprise server to use as a file cabinet without expectation of concurrent multi-user editing, then many users who are focused on capacity will install IBM DB2 Express-C Edition because it allows unlimited database size and will run using up to 4GB RAM and up to two processors. If maximum capacity in a free Express installation is the only consideration then clearly IBM DB2 Express-C has the edge.
But capacity as a Manifold Enterprise server using a free Express installation is not the only issue for many users. Many users will use mixed storage models where in addition to an Enterprise server they also want to use a classic geometry-storing centralized server to enable concurrent, multi-user editing of drawings or centralized storage of images. Or, they may have many existing applications that use Oracle or SQL Server. In that case, some other DBMS may be preferred. Any of the "big 3" DBMS packages may be used by Manifold as a spatial DBMS.
Users also may be considering the fit of the DBMS to their development environment. Organizations may realize their needs will far exceed the ability of even a very capable, free Express installation and may look to what DBMS they will eventually purchase in a full Enterprise configuration.
Even though Oracle Express does not include GeoRasters, other products from Oracle do, and once one expends the effort to learn how to be a DBMS administrator for a big-time DBMS there is a lot of wisdom to scaling up within the same vendor's product line. Users who are therefore just testing the waters with a free Express installation may well decide to go with Oracle even though the initial Express installation is limited in capacity to only 4 GB.
Finally, users who work with Microsoft programming in .NET or with Visual Studio will tend to favor SQL Server Express Edition despite the 4GB limitation on DBMS size because SQL Server Express is so tightly integrated with Windows development tools. Just as with Oracle, if users are using the Express edition to develop an application to be deployed on a much larger scale they will often choose SQL Server Express for development even though the ultimate application will require more than 4GB and will require a full license.
In all cases, when an organization's needs are so extensive that it is clear that the DBMS vendor's full DBMS product will be required it pays to have someone who really knows their DBMS technology examine the matter to make a decision which DBMS should be used. The three Express edition packages are a great starting point and a real testament to the power and competitiveness of these world-class DBMS vendors.
How is Enterprise Edition licensed? - See the License topic. Each computer on which Manifold System is installed must have a license for Manifold, except that for each license you may also install Manifold System on a notebook computer used by the primary licensee in addition to the main system used. You may install any of the three provided DBMS systems on any computer that will function as a server for Manifold. For example, you could have two Manifold licenses and thus operate Manifold on two different machines; however, you could also install SQL Server Express or DB2 Express-C or Oracle Express on several other machines to use as Enterprise servers. See the licenses within the installation packages for each of the three DBMS installations for details on allowed uses under the DBMS vendor's license.
Can I install IBM DB2, SQL Server or Oracle on a machine without installing Enterprise Edition? - Yes. You may install any of the DBMS packages provided on any machine you would like to configure as a server for Enterprise Edition or as a storage repository for tables for Professional Edition. You must use any such DBMS installation within the terms and conditions of the vendor's license that is packaged within the installation.
Does Enterprise Edition work with DBMS products other than the three supported? - Yes. It works with almost any DBMS that supports transactions and that has an ODBC driver. manifold.net has tested Enterprise Edition with Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 and will closely monitor these DBMS products as their vendors produce future editions. There are many other DBMS products with which Enterprise Edition will work; however, it is not possible for manifold.net to test them all or to keep track of new releases from all vendors.
Does Enterprise Edition read and write Oracle Spatial native formats? - Yes. See the Oracle Spatial Facilities topic. However, using Oracle spatial storage is a different thing than using an Enterprise server to store shared components. Using Enterprise Edition to set up Manifold Enterprise servers is a data storage model that shares the benefits of simpler, document-oriented storage models as well as the benefits of more complex, object-oriented server storage models.
Does Enterprise Edition read and write ArcSDE formats? - Yes, and ESRI Personal Geodatabase format as well. See the Spatial DBMS topic.
If more than five users attempt to work with SQL Server Express, will they lose data? - No. There is no longer a limitation to five users in SQL Server 2005 Express Edition as there used to be with the previous MSDE 2000 SQL Server Desktop Edition product. Even with the older MSDE 2000 product there would have been no loss of data, just much slower performance with more than five users.
Can I run Enterprise Edition with Windows 95? - No, and we sincerely hope that nobody ever tries. It is time to move on from early Windows editions and to install modern Windows editions like XP or Vista.
Can Enterprise Edition connect to an Enterprise server across Internet? - Yes. This is simply a matter of configuring the connection to the data source to work across Internet. Because Internet is normally slower than working in local area networks it is probably wise to retain the default cached storage option. There will then be some delay while fetching components initially from the server but thereafter work can proceed with local caching unless changes are made in shared components. That will greatly reduce the traffic passed back and forth over Internet.
To be sure your Enterprise Edition installation is working correctly, create an Enterprise server using SQL Server Express on the same machine, using an Administrator login for all work. The usual cause of any problems sharing components or otherwise using Enterprise servers are errors in the configuration or operation of the database server, or errors in the configuration or use of access permissions. It's the same familiar story well known to network and database administrators: one can configure a beautiful installation, but if a given user does not have access permissions to use it problems will occur. Ultimately, one cannot administer an Enterprise Edition administration if one does not know how to administer the host Windows operating system as well as the DBMS being used to host the Enterprise server.
Data Storage Strategies
Creating an Enterprise Server
Working with Enterprise Edition
Cached and Uncached Components
IBM DB2 Express-C Edition
Oracle Express Edition
SQL Server Express Edition
Administering Enterprise Servers