Manifold is pleased to announce the release of Radian Studio, the first of Manifold's new technology products. Manifold today also is introducing new pricing and simplification of the Manifold Release 8 GIS product line as well as an updated design for the Manifold web site.
The Radian Studio product is an evolutionary development of the Radian product line discussed in the initial beta announcement.
About Radian Studio
Radian Studio provides a spatial engineering console that is an integrated, interactive environment leveraging the power of Manifold's Radian® Spatial Data Engine to explore, analyze, view and manipulate spatial data. The Radian engine powers Manifold's newest generation GIS products as well as other applications involving both spatial and non-spatial data.
Radian Studio is designed for data-centric users who are comfortable with SQL and with database concepts. Although Radian Studio is not intended as a GIS, the visualization capabilities it incorporates for reviewing data provide many GIS-like benefits when working with spatial data.
Radian SQL is automatically parallel SQL. Radian itself is a parallelized database engine that stores its own data within file databases using a very fast format. Radian by default automatically launches parallel threads to utilize as many cores as are available on as many CPUs as are available. If one or more NVIDIA GPUs are installed, many Radian functions can launch massively parallel utilization of thousands of GPU cores, all automatically optimized against the use of CPU parallelization.
Spatial Data Engineering
Radian is a spatial data engineering tool serving a related but different need than GIS products like Manifold System Release 8.00 or the upcoming Release 9.
The difference between a spatial data tool like Radian and a GIS like Manifold is the difference between a data-centric emphasis and a more presentation-centric emphasis.
GIS products usually have some data manipulation capabilities. Some, like Release 8.00, have profoundly powerful Spatial SQL. Other GIS products are often weaker, provide no Spatial SQL or depend upon external packages, such as a DBMS, to provide spatial capabilities.
Pure database packages of course have superb data manipulation capabilities but few have any visualization capabilities and most are lacking in some way when it comes to spatial data engineering. They may not have point-and-click capability, they might not have automatic CPU or GPU parallelism, they may lack an extensive roster of spatial functions or suffer from weak integration with visualization, for example, no automatic display of image servers.
For now, there is no single tool, not even from Manifold, which provides both everything desired in a GIS and also everything desired in a spatial data engineering tool. The current state of the art is that one must use both a GIS and also a more data-centric tool.
For GIS users, including ESRI users as much as Manifold users, Radian is that tool. Radian is that tool for DBMS users as well because it augments and adds capabilities, such as massively parallel computation or specialized spatial functions, that database server products such as Oracle, PostgreSQL and others either do not have or which are difficult to use.
See the FAQ.
Non Spatial Data
Radian is also the data manipulation tool of choice for applications involving non-spatial data. The power and flexibility of having multiple connections to so many different sources together with the point-and-click power of templates plus SQL plus scripting means that database people who need to blend, extract, transform, load, analyze, validate or otherwise manipulate their data will pay back the cost of a Radian license in the first few hours of use.
If nothing else, the supreme power of automatically CPU parallel operation plus automatic, massively parallel GPU speed for analytics will provide the ability to crunch data and perform tasks in seconds or minutes that would take hours or days with other tools.
SQL and Non SQL
If you are not an SQL expert do not be intimidated by Radian - the product features extensive point-and-click templates within the Transform dialog that harness the power of Radian with no need to know SQL. Radian also will automatically create the SQL behind a template for you, so you can see how it works, learn more about SQL and customize what a template does to do something different. SQL is easier to learn if you learn by customizing something that already works.
Radian supports languages other than English via user-customizable localization files. Starter files are available for English and German with partial examples in French, Spanish and Portuguese. See the Localization page and the Localization topic in the user manual.
Radian is bulletproof. There is no known way to crash Radian and in over a year of testing no beta tester has ever reported a crash. Radian is massively more reliable than any other tool we know for working with spatial data, including Release 8.
As of release there are a handful of known, minor bugs within Radian but at such a deep and exotic level that Manifold believes no new user will be able to get far enough into the system to encounter them until long after they are fixed.
Most technical work going forward will be new features and improvements in Radian, including improvements to support integration with other products. Radian connects to a vast range of database servers and other sources, some of which have thousands of features. Whatever Radian can do to make such connections easier will happen without regard to whether it is an error in Radian, an error in the other product or simply an integration convenience.
Radian updates will be free and will be frequent in the months ahead. Working updates will be issued approximately every week but not automatically announced. Users who want the latest build can download a working update. Any bugs will be immediately repaired in working updates.
Announced updates will happen less frequently, every two weeks at first, then once a month and then regularly as needed. Numerous new features are planned with hundreds of small improvements in the pipeline and several very major improvements planned as well. All will be free to Radian licensees.
When sending in suggestions for Radian, please keep in mind that Radian is a DBMS tool and Release 9 will be the new generation GIS product. Please make it clear when suggesting an addition if you would like to see it in Radian, in the upcoming Release 9 product or in both.
Connecting Back and Forth with 8
Radian opens Manifold Release 8 .map files and will save them as Radian files, so going from 8 to Radian is trivial. To exchange data on a regular basis from Radian back to 8 the best way is to use the DBMS you prefer as a spatial storage for both.
For now, the current state of the art in GIS is there is no single tool that combines all of the needs of GIS with all of the needs of data engineering. That will change when Manifold issues Release 9 later this year. Given that Manifold Release 9 is based upon Radian technology, using exactly the same engine, formats and localization files as Radian, we expect Radian users will be able to seamlessly upgrade to 9.
Great care has been taken throughout Radian develoment and will continue to be applied to ensure that from a user's perspective Release 9 will be a seamless upgrade and superset to Radian. For example, the native format Radian uses is known as Manifold 9.00 .map format.
If interested in 9, get Radian and build expertise in Radian. Early access for 9, for example through the beta test program, will be offered only to Radian licensees.
Study the new web site for information about Radian, including the extensive online user manual.
Limited Time Offer
As a special introductory offer, until 15 February 2017 Manifold is offering a bundle of Radian Studio Universal x64 plus Manifold Release 8.00 Universal Edition x64 for a combined price of $395.
Release 8 GIS Products
Manifold is also pleased to announce changes in the Release 8 product line providing simpler licensing options plus significantly better pricing. Other than repricing and consolidation of the product line there are no technical changes in Release 8 which, surprisingly, continues to have the greatest breadth and depth of any GIS.
- Release 8 licenses are now all x64 and will enable either 64-bit or 32-bit installations.
- Release 8 is now available in Personal, Professional, Universal and Ultimate editions, plus the 30 Day Lease of Universal Edition.
- There is now a single, Universal Runtime.
- Extensions plus Option pack continue as before, but with better prices.
- No changes to support and service products.
Better prices include significantly reduced prices for Manifold System Release 8. The intention is to provide easier access to Release 8 and to open up headroom for Release 9 when it is issued later this year. Release 9 is expected, like Radian, to be announced as a single, Universal, all-inclusive edition that will be priced at a higher level than Release 8 Universal.
See the products page for details.
Manifold would like to thank all beta testers who helped bring Radian to life. Your patience, endurance and contributions made the difference!