Manifold Delivers first 64-Bit Windows GIS with over 630 New Features
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Manifold Delivers first 64-Bit Windows GIS with over 630 New Features

10 August 2006 - Carson City, USA: manifold.net today announced that Manifold System Release 7x has been issued as the world's first 64-bit GIS for Windows. 7x is available immediately and runs on Windows XP x64 as well as Windows Server 2003 x64 on AMD and Intel x64 64-bit processors. The new product supports multi-core and multiprocessor motherboards and is quad-core ready for immediate use on AMD's "4x4" quad core processor initiative as well as on Intel Core 2 Duo family 64-bit processors. 64-bit Manifold versions are priced $50 higher than standard 32-bit Manifold versions, which will be continued for sale as a 32-bit implementation of the new Manifold 7x internal architecture.

The new Manifold 7x product line allows very low cost utilization of 64-bit processors for enhanced performance and vast memory spaces, especially critical in image processing, large vector drawings and Manifold IMS usage in high-end server applications. 64-bit Manifold editions start at only $295 for Manifold 7x Personal x64. Manifold 7x Enterprise x64 is only $445 and delivers complete 64-bit enterprise capabilities, including enterprise server applications, direct concurrent multi-user connections to Oracle Spatial and also includes 64-bit Manifold IMS for Internet Map Server applications at no additional cost.

"We are very pleased to be the first to offer true 64-bit GIS for Windows," said Dimitri Rotow, product manager for Manifold System. He continued, "Manifold users can take advantage of modern technology to get better performance at a lower price. Everyone is moving to 64-bit, multi-core processors for professional work because 64-bit hardware now costs no more than old-fashioned 32-bit hardware. If your GIS doesn't provide true, 64-bit native operation you are stuck in the dark ages. With Manifold you can immediately take advantage of true 64-bit performance and memory capacity as well as the latest advances in Microsoft Windows and in modern processors from Intel and AMD."

The Manifold 7x release is a continuation of the recent update to Manifold 7.00. Manifold 6.50 licensees may upgrade to 7x at no charge and thus gain the benefits of over 630 improvements at no additional cost. Highlights of Manifold 7x include:

7x Highlights

Native Oracle Spatial Read/Write/Edit - Manifold Enterprise editions and above can now connect directly to Oracle Spatial DBMS using Oracle's own native Oracle Call Interface for read/write/editing of drawings in SDO_Geometry or images or surfaces in GeoRaster storage types. Manifold now offers the most sophisticated connection to Oracle Spatial of any GIS, including direct, seamless connections to Manifold IMS for web access at no extra charge. Manifold spatial facilities also work with the "Locator" feature now bundled into regular Oracle DBMS products as well as with Oracle Spatial. Manifold supports all Oracle projections and automatically on-the-fly matches projections during all export/import functions.

Concurrent, Multi-User Editing - Thousands of Manifold users can now simultaneously work with the same drawing stored in a centralized DBMS such as Oracle, SQL Server or IBM DB2. Using Area of Interest windowing with Oracle DBMS, enterprises can have thousands of simultaneous users working with the same drawing that could be terabytes in size. Manifold also allows storage of formatting in centralized DBMS stores. Manifold 7x's new enterprise capabilities confer spatial DBMS centralized storage on virtually any enterprise DBMS, including SQL Server, IBM DB2 and regular Oracle editions as well as with traditional "spatial" DBMS versions such as Oracle Spatial.

User Friendly Enhancements - It's a great benefit to centralize geospatial information within an enterprise DBMS, but it's also a challenge for IT administrators and users. Manifold 7x provides a wide variety of user-friendly enhancements to make it easy to administer such storage and easy for non-expert users to use such a geospatial store. Innovations such as the Database Administrator Console and Batch Export greatly reduce the workload for IT staff while advances such as friendly names make it a snap for users to use data with a point and a click.

(Illustration at right) Live edits using a streamed Virtual Earth background via the Manifold 7x Image Server Interface.

Free Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 - The Manifold DVD now delivers fully licensed installations of Oracle Express, Microsoft SQL Server Express and IBM DB2 Express-C editions at no additional charge. There is no limit to the number of users in any of these DBMS installations, and in addition the IBM DB2 installation allows unlimited sized databases as well. The three DBMS installations have been provided to make it possible for any Manifold user to immediately take advantage of Manifold's enterprise-class DBMS capabilities.

Multi-core, Multi-processor Capabilities / Quad Core Ready - Manifold 7x includes numerous subsystems, such as image library rendering, DBMS connectivity and IMS, that automatically take advantage of multiple processors or multiple processor cores. Most 64-bit systems procurements use dual-core processors such as dual-core AMD Opterons or Athlon 64x2 or Intel Core 2 Duo processors so it is essential that a GIS be able to automatically take advantage of multiple processor cores. In addition Manifold is the first GIS that is quad-core ready, so when quad-core chips such AMD "4x4" become available to the general public Manifold will automatically take advantage of the additional cores.

64-bit Native Windows Capability - Manifold 7x runs in 64-bits in Windows XP x64 and Windows Server 2003 x64 using either AMD or Intel 64-bit x64 processors. Each Manifold edition is available in a regular, 32-bit version or, for $50 extra, a 64-bit x64 edition. All Manifold runtime editions are 64-bit licenses and allow either 32-bit or 64-bit operation. The pricing of Professional Runtime at $100 and Universal Runtime at $225 includes full 64-bit operation. Manifold 7x Universal Runtime, which delivers full IMS functionality including HTTP serving, OGC WMS, OGC WFS-T and image server functionality like Virtual Earth, is only $225 per server despite all of the new additions, perhaps the most astonishing bargain in enterprise GIS ever.

Virtual Earth and other Image Servers - Manifold has long enabled instant fetch and automatic mosaics of TerraServer imagery. The new Image Server Interface (ISI) published in Manifold 7x makes it easy to instantly browse and use imagery from any image server desired by using open source interfaces. The Manifold user community has already published ISI modules for Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo! Maps and Google servers among others. See www.manifold.net/tutorial for an example that uses Microsoft Virtual Earth to create KML for export to Google Earth. Journalists who have not experienced this have to see it to believe it, one of the coolest and most convenient capabilities ever offered in GIS. Using ISI interfaces, Manifold can simultaneously browse a wide variety of geographic data servers including OGC WMS, NASA World Wind, Google, Microsoft Virtual Earth and Yahoo.

Google Earth KML/KMZ Export and Import - Manifold 7x exports any drawing to Google KML/KMZ format for astonishingly cool publication in Google Earth. It's the fastest and easiest way to grab data from over 80 different GIS formats and publish to Google Earth. See the www.manifold.net/googleset.html page for examples as well as links to fun KML files to try out. Manifold 7x also reads KML and KMZ formats as well.

(Illustration at left) KML export includes "extrusion" for 3D effects.

OGC WFS-T and other IMS Capabilities - Manifold has long included IMS capabilities. Release 7x extends and deepens Manifold IMS to include OGC WFS-T (feature server with transactions) to enable OGC compatible WFS clients to interact with the Manifold IMS server and edit data back on the server. Because Manifold also includes extensive enterprise DBMS capabilities, ordinary OGC WFS clients can interact with a Manifold IMS server to view and edit data, even changing data on the fly back in the DBMS. This extends to all DBMS products with which Manifold 7x is commonly used, such as Oracle Spatial, SQL Server, IBM DB2, MySQL and others. Manifold IMS also supports OGC WMS, generic image server capability and traditional HTTP IMS.

Geocoding Data Servers - Manifold has long been able to provide street address geocoding using a three-way choice of geocoding data sources. Release 7x adds full support for web-based geocoding servers using an open source geocoding server API. Users can choose from a wide variety of free or paid web-based geocoding data sources.

New Manifold Editions - All Manifold System editions are now offered in 64-bit x64 versions. In addition, several new editions have been published:

Database Administrator Edition at $795 ($845 for x64 version) bundles features of interest to DBA's working within larger organizations using enterprise DBMS and GIS.
Ultimate Edition at $895 ($945 for x64 version) bundles a Database Administrator license together with the Manifold Option Pack of Business Tools, Surface Tools and Geocoding Tools.
License Server Edition at $1995 provides a server for administering floating Manifold licenses. Created in collaboration with a major US armed service, the License Server greatly simplifies administration and lowers IT cost of ownership for organizations using hundreds or thousands of Manifold licenses.

Benefits of 64-Bit Operation

Old-fashioned GIS products like ESRI run on 64-bit processors in 32-bit mode, requiring the processor to emulate an old-fashioned 32-bit processor. That's stupid. Manifold 7x can run in full 64-bit mode to make full use of the processor. It wastes no time on emulation and it allows the processor to use 64-bit wide memory fetches for higher bandwidth to memory as well as a larger, 64-bit memory addressing space. This means that the processor can use far more memory and use that memory more efficiently. Because many GIS tasks require lots of memory, especially those involving rasters and those operations involving complex spatial analytics, the ability to use more memory and to use that memory more efficiently means that the task can be accomplished faster.

The ability to use more memory and to more efficiently use memory in 64-bit systems ripples throughout the internal architecture of Manifold 7x and also provides opportunities for Manifold to leverage enhanced capabilities in 64-bit Windows. For example, many data structures are used throughout the system for stacks, buffers and other needs, and these data structures can be made both larger and implemented more efficiently in 64 bits. Windows itself in 64-bit editions has immensely greater capabilities for the capacity of important architectural components such as virtual memory, paging file size, hyperspace, paged and non-paged pools, system cache and system Page Table Entries (PTEs).

Product Manager Dimitri Rotow commented, "At manifold.net we thought it was absurd that a 14 year old teenager could expect to have a choice of 64-bit computer games for his or her new 64-bit desktop, but the GIS industry had not yet managed to deliver true 64-bit capability for GIS users. We therefore moved up implementation of full 64-bit capability for Manifold. Over one and a half million lines of code in thousands of modules were reviewed with new code or edits in hundreds of thousands of lines of code to make the quantum leap to full 64-bit operation. The campaign for 64-bit operation was originally planned as part of the 7.5 or 8.0 product evolutions scheduled for late 2006 and early 2007; however, given the very strong quality of 7.00 it was decided to bring 64-bit functionality forward into a 7x release issued this summer."

Manifold 6.50 or 7.00 users wishing to upgrade their 32-bit licenses to full 64-bit capability can order a $50 upgrade to x64 capability via the Manifold Online Store. Users of Manifold 6.50 or 7.00 runtime editions, such as Professional Runtime or Universal Runtime can upgrade to 64 bit operation at no charge by using the free download of 7x. Users of Manifold extensions such as Business Tools, Geocoding Tools, Surface Tools and the Option Pack automatically get full 64 bit operation for their extensions at no additional charge when upgrading their main Manifold license to 64-bits.

Comments on Oracle Spatial and DBMS Capability

Manifold's new enterprise level support for geospatial centralization on DBMS provides support for the world's largest GIS users using a DBMS-centric model that is avoids the "silo" problem introduced by old-fashioned, GIS-centric approaches like ArcSDE. Within Manifold, very large organizations can standardize first upon their DBMS and second upon a wide variety of tools and processes that interact with that DBMS without getting trapped in a "silo" run by any one GIS vendor. Manifold.net supports Oracle Spatial directly, without need of any proprietary middleware layer like ArcSDE. We believe that avoiding vendor-proprietary traps like ArcSDE is the key for an organization to share its DBMS data throughout the entire organization in as interoperable a manner as possible.

Manifold's superb support for Oracle was made possible through the assistance of Oracle's DBMS and Spatial engineering teams, who provided first rate support, encouragement and advice to manifold.net engineering. Progress was so rapid that many features originally not planned for initial release, such as full support for GeoRasters, were brought forward and included within Manifold. In addition, all Oracle and other DBMS features have been implemented in Manifold 7x as fully 64-bit code. Manifold 7x is therefore the only professional Windows GIS system that can interoperate seamlessly with 64-bit Oracle implementations in 64-bit Windows systems using fully 64-bit code at all times.

Manifold 7x also includes dedicated multiprocessing facilities to provide fully 64-bit multithreading and multiprocessing to take full advantage of however many processors or processor cores are available when connecting to Oracle or other DBMS. The same low Manifold price applies regardless of how many processors or processor cores are used in a system.

Although the highly successful collaboration with Oracle has yielded many special features within Manifold System that take advantage of Oracle's proprietary spatial technologies, manifold.net seeks to provide equal support for SQL Server and IBM DB2 whenever possible. Many new enterprise capabilities within Release 7x, such as concurrent multi-user editing of drawings linked from centralized DBMS storage, have been implemented in an agnostic manner to allow transparent function with SQL Server and DB2 and other DBMS products. Manifold users can simultaneously link, edit, and copy/paste vector drawing objects within the same project between multiple different DBMS providers at the same time. Users can edit a drawing resident in Oracle Spatial, copy objects from that drawing and paste them into a drawing resident in SQL Server or DB2. Manifold will automatically resolve all projection and precision issues on the fly.

Support for Journalists and Reviewers

Journalists wishing a review package of Manifold System Release 7x or to visit the Manifold Partners center should contact Dimitri Rotow at Email Contact or 800-556-5919 [Pacific Time Zone]. Journalists may use any image from any manifold.net web site when reporting on Manifold products.

Journalists visiting the San Francisco Bay are are encouraged to arrange a personal demonstration at the Manifold Partners center in San Mateo. Conveniently located near major airports and within a few minutes' drive of Oracle, IBM and Microsoft Silicon Valley facilities, the Partners center is easy to visit and a great way to see Manifold in action.

Interesting Links

Manifold Home Page www.manifold.net

Manifold News Page - This page includes numerous links to detailed descriptions of new releases.

Manifold Page for Google Earth Users

Tutorial for Google Earth Users

Manifold 7x User Manual

About manifold.net

manifold.net is a privately held company that creates cool GIS software, database software and software for 3D data visualization. It is best known for Manifold System, one of the most sophisticated GIS software packages ever developed. Manifold is the world's most rapidly evolving GIS product, with new releases delivering an average of over 1000 improvements per year. Manifold uses modern technology to deliver greater capability at a lower price than legacy GIS. For example, Manifold 7x Enterprise is only $395, yet it delivers more capability and works better than an ESRI bundle of ArcGIS + ArcSDE + ArcIMS + ArcObjects while costing far less and being easier to use. No wonder Manifold is emerging as the world's most popular professional GIS!

Contact: Dimitri Rotow, 800-556-5919 / Email Contact

Manifold Net Ltd.
1805 North Carson Street
Suite 700
Carson City, NV 89701


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