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ESRI Australia's annual OZRI Conference was held in Darwin, Australia on Monday 31st August 2009. Members from ESRI Australia presented "The Road Ahead for ArcGIS 9.4" - a session which discussed and demonstrated the key functionalities being planned for ArcGIS 9.4. This document lists some of the key functionalities demonstrated.

As ArcGIS 9.4 is still in development, the information below is by no means definitive and is subject to change without notice. A special thankyou to ESRI Australia for their very informative presentation.

ArcGIS 9.4


  • can be installed in parallel with previous versions of ArGIS
  • Optimised install so it will be faster to install
  • New Licence Manager with the ability to “check in” and “check out” licences ( handy for laptops or mobile devices). No more dongles are needed 


  • ArcCatelog will be visible within ArcMap as a new floating window. XTools will no longer be needed (currently, some NRETAS users XTools to view ArcCatelog within ArcMap)
  • Ability to create “Basemap” Layers (one or a group of layers which are static vector or raster datasets that provide a geographic frame of reference and/or can be reused in other applications)
  • All windows within ArcMap are now floating and docable. Some windows will “autohide”
  • Layers tab is within the Table of Contents
  • Improved Reporting Capabilities (grouping and sorting of data and page layout)


  • new undo and redo buttons
  • 90 new tools in ArcTool box ( big focus in the areas of Visualisation and 3D)
  • Geoprocessing execution now happens in the background, which means you can continue working whilst the modelbuilder/python/custom tool is processing
  • Better interaction between Geoprocessing tools ( python/model builder) and ArcMap
  • More ways to customise toolbars


  • Template based editing – can control editing environments for users
  • New editing tools
  • Improved stretching tools
  • New snapping model
  • Improved selection methods
  • Improved attribute methods

ArcGIS Server

  • The native database spatial data types are now the data source, therefore no ArcSDE is required
  • Supports native SQL
  • “New Query Layer” window in ArcMap
  • Supports OGC WPS (Web Processing Service)

Comes with a “Clip and Ship” Delivery Service. This means users can clip out an area in a published map (on a website) and request to download the clipped area as shapefiles (within a zip file) 

Editing of attribute data is now “on the fly”. That is attribute changes are now saved in .mxd file. The .mxd file pushes the change back into the Geodatabase on ArcGIS Server

Image Server

  • Handle BigTiff formats
  • Serves Mosaics and JP2000 (as JPIP)

ArcGIS Future Platforms

  • Windows 7 supported
  • New generation Java server (ESRI are rewriting it)
  • 64 bit native server version
  • Multi-core support

ArcGIS Mobile

  • Compatible with Tablet PCs (made for touch screens, Day/night operation modes
  • Improved Mobile Project Centre for GIS Administrators
  • ArcGIS mobile will be available for iphone and other “touch” experience based devices.  Will be available via Apple’s itunes application store. This means that you will have access to ArcGIS published web via 3G network (REST service on ArcGIS server). Only works if you have ArcGIS server

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