The .163 update for Radian Studio and Viewer marks the boundary between Radian Studio and the transition to GIS-oriented Cutting Edge builds.
Previous announcements in the forum have discussed how future Manifold GIS products will be based on Radian as a superset of Radian Studio. Using the same Radian platform for new GIS products provides many advantages, such as fast and durable formats, shared localization files, and massively reliable, proven, spatial SQL.
Evolution based on Radian also allows a better transition to the new generation of GIS products, by continuing the same Cutting Edge process that has worked so well with Radian Studio.
Cutting Edge builds from now on will introduce a few GIS-oriented features with each build. Changes at first will seem minor. They will rapidly accumulate to transform the current DBMS-centric tool into the next generation of Manifold GIS.
A public transition using Cutting Edge builds has several advantages:
- It becomes a large, open beta program in which anyone can participate, either via a Radian license or by using a free Viewer download. That will provide more feedback from a wider audience than a closed beta program.
- Users can immediately put new features and product enhancements to work on the job as soon as they appear. Radian technology is so reliable we believe that the addition of GIS capabilities such as editing tools will not risk data integrity or system reliability.
- It allows anyone at any time to see what is going on with no need to qualify for advance disclosure or confidential engineering programs.
- It will allow any Radian user to continue with the current Radian Studio product while experiencing the GIS product. Users can decide as they judge best if an upgrade to the GIS is right for them.
- Until the new GIS product is officially published, Radian licensees can experience the new product at zero extra cost.
Questions and Answers
When? - On 21 August, the next Cutting Edge build will be the first to include new features beginning the transition to GIS. 21 August is also the date of the great total eclipse of the Sun that will cross the entire United States.
What? - Cutting Edge builds from 21 August will be named "Manifold Future" builds and will continue the build numbering sequence from Radian.
How Long? - Numerous features are ready to be merged into builds, to be issued in sequence rapidly at a steady pace. At some time in the weeks ahead a critical mass of features will accumulate to where suddenly all will agree the product has become a profoundly powerful GIS. Participate in the Cutting Edge process and you will be the first to know when that happens.
Licensing? - Manifold Future builds will require a Radian license to function. Until the final product is published, from an activation perspective the new builds will be just another Cutting Edge build like all previous Radian builds. They can be installed and used side-by-side with existing Radian, Viewer and Release 8.00 installations.
What happens when the next Manifold GIS is published? - Manifold Future builds released through the Cutting Edge process will time out. When the next Manifold GIS product is published for sale, Radian licensees will have an option, for a fee, to upgrade to that next Manifold GIS product. If they choose not to upgrade they can continue using their existing Radian license with Radian Studio as it is today.
What will the upgrade fee be? - We do not know, as that will depend upon what product configurations will be introduced. In the past such upgrades have been in the $100 to $300 range, depending on product options selected.
Will Radian Studio builds continue to be released? - Not while the Manifold Future campaign runs. All bug fixes, enhancements and new features will appear in Manifold Future builds. Any Radian licensee can use those builds with their existing Radian license. During the campaign it is inefficient to maintain two build streams so only the Manifold Future stream will be published. At the end of the process the new product can be trimmed to produce a Radian Studio subset for those who do not want to upgrade to the GIS superset.
Will Manifold continue to offer Radian Studio after the next generation of Manifold GIS is released? - We do not know, as that depends upon future product evolution. It could be that a completely new constellation of products will be introduced as a result of user feedback, changing options for both Radian Studio and the GIS. Participate in the process and you can help guide the outcome.
If I am a DBMS person and I like Radian as is will I be forced to upgrade to the new GIS? - No. Nothing about your current license to use Radian will change. You will be able to continue using Radian and activation servers will continue to support your Radian licenses.
How about Viewer? - Viewer will continue tracking Cutting Edge builds. As Manifold Future builds appear in the Cutting Edge program, Viewer builds will incorporate Manifold Future features. Viewer will provide a way for people who are not Radian licensees to participate in the Manifold Future Cutting Edge process. When the next generation of Manifold GIS is published, Viewer will continue to be available at no charge.