GeoCat Bridge for ArcGIS Pro: Release Plan


Introduction

GeoCat is working on a follow-up of Bridge for ArcMap, geared towards Esri® ArcGIS Pro™ users.

The final release of Esri ArcGIS Desktop™ is 10.8. Esri has announced that the End Of Life (EOL) of ArcMap™ will be on March 1st, 2026. Already after February 2024, ArcMap will no longer receive any software updates or patches. ArcMap is currently in the "Extended Support" phase.
As a result, GeoCat will no longer issue any updates or patches for Bridge for ArcMap after February 2024 either. Effective immediately, GeoCat will no longer add any new features to the old product, because all resources are invested into the development of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro.
 
This document provides an outline of all the features that the first stable release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro in the second half of 2023 (to be announced) will have, and in which pre-releases these features become available either fully or partially. 

Pre-Releases

During the coming months, GeoCat will provide an alpha and beta release, as well as a release candidate. In software development terms, these types of pre-releases should normally be "feature complete", which means that all features have to be present in the software, but that they may not fully work yet.
In the case of Bridge however, each pre-release up till the release candidate will (re)introduce a couple of new or migrated features. Only the release candidate will actually be "feature complete".
 
GeoCat Enterprise and Live customers can download the pre-releases from our customer portal, try out the software, and provide feedback.
We will announce each pre-release to our customers. Please let us know if you are interested in trying out the software. 

ArcGIS Pro Compatibility

Esri has recently released ArcGIS Pro 3.0, which features some breaking changes compared to 2.x.

Because a lot of Esri users have not migrated to the latest version yet, GeoCat will provide Bridge for ArcGIS Pro installation files (.esriAddinX) for the following ArcGIS Pro versions:

  • ArcGIS Pro 2.8 (also compatible with 2.9).
  • ArcGIS Pro 3.0 and up.

This means that GeoCat will not support ArcGIS Pro 2.7 or older. 

Software Features

Migrated Features

For the first stable release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro, GeoCat will migrate the following features of Bridge for ArcMap to the new product:
  • GeoServer support:
    • PostGIS and file-based datastores
    • Vector (GeoPackage, Shapefile, PostGIS) and raster (GeoTIFF) layer publishing
    • SLD/SE 1.1 map styles with symbols and/or fonts
  • GeoNetwork support:
  • GeoCat Live support
  • Other features:
    • Offline publishing (exporting) of (meta)data and styles
    • Proxy server support
    • Basic authentication and/or JSESSIONID support
See the planning further down to find out which features will come (partially) available in which pre-release. 

New Features

Besides the migrated features above, the first stable release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro will also get a couple of new features:
  • GeoServer support:
    • Workspace viewer/explorer (see and manage what has been published)
    • Easier access to published web service layers (add to map)
    • Vector Tile layer publishing (MapBox/MapLibre)
  • Other features:
    • Publish layers from TOC (context menu)
    • Redesigned user experience (UI/UX)
    • OAuth2/OIDC authentication support
See the planning further down to find out which features will come (partially) available in which pre-release. 

Postponed/Deprecated Features

Some features of Bridge for ArcMap will not be available in the first stable release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro:
  • MapServer support will be added back in a future release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro (to be announced).
  • Metadata contact and data license management: ArcGIS Pro has a powerful albeit somewhat hidden metadata editor that is very flexible, and which will already be adopted by Bridge for ArcGIS Pro in the first release. However, GeoCat still needs to determine the best approach to improve and extend the usability of the existing ArcGIS Pro metadata editor for its users.
  • Oracle support will be dropped, unless one of our Enterprise customers requires it. Please let us know if you happen to be one of those customers.
  • The Bridge Command Line Interface (CLI) will not be migrated. For automation purposes however, GeoCat would like to include a Bridge geoprocessing tool in the future as part of the add in that can be used in an ArcGIS ModelBuilder workflow for example. 

Release Schedule

Alpha Release: December 2022

The first pre-release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro is scheduled for the first half of December 2022. It will feature:
  • GeoServer support:
    • PostGIS by reference publishing
    • Raster publishing to file-based datastores (GeoTIFF)
    • SLD/SE style support for all common ArcGIS Pro styles and supported geometries
    • Workspace viewer/explorer
  • GeoNetwork support:
  • GeoCat Live support (Basic Auth)
  • Other features:
    • Redesigned user experience (UI/UX)
    • Offline publishing (exporting) of SLD styles
    • Basic authentication and/or JSESSIONID support

Beta Release: February/March 2023

The second pre-release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro is scheduled for the end of February or beginning of March 2023. It will feature:
  • GeoServer support:
    • Vector publishing to file-based datastores (GeoPackage, Shapefile)
    • SLD/SE style support for more advanced ArcGIS Pro styles
  • GeoCat Live support (OAuth, SSO)
  • Other features:
    • Offline publishing (exporting) of (meta)data
    • Publish layers from TOC (context menu)
    • OAuth2/OIDC authentication support

Release Candidate: May/June 2023

The final pre-release before the first stable release later in 2023 will be in May or beginning of June. This pre-release adds the following features:
  • GeoServer support:
    • Vector publishing to PostGIS (using Importer extension)
    • Easier access to published web service layers (i.e. add to map)
    • Vector Tile layer publishing (MapBox/MapLibre)
  • Other features:
    • Offline publishing (exporting) of (meta)data and styles
    • Proxy server support

Stable Release: Q3 2023 (to be announced)

Depending on the feedback we receive for the Release Candidate, we expect to deliver the first stable release of Bridge for ArcGIS Pro in the third quarter of 2023.

  • ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap
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