Many people have been excitedly anticipating the release of Microsoft SQL Server Spatial, and the wait is now over. Because Microsoft holds such a large database market share (some sources state that Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft make up 83% of the market), this move means that the three most widely used database formats now unequivocally support spatial data.
Attending various focus groups over the years, I’ve seen that there’s a clear appetite for spatial data within SQL Server – in fact, people had come up with ways to store spatial data within SQL Server already, but since these methods were not widely accepted they didn’t gain significant traction in the market place. The official support for spatial data within SQL Server will make it easier to introduce GIS in markets where it hasn’t previously been front of mind or practical to implement.
At Safe Software, we try hard to quickly add support in FME for database formats as they emerge because we understand how important it is to for potential users to be able to move their existing data in and out of the new system. We’ve been supporting Microsoft formats for many years now here at Safe, and so it was logical to quickly introduce SQL Server Spatial to FME’s supported formats list last year, well before the updated database was officially released. On a personal note, Ed Katibah and his team provided great support throughout the development process which helped to make the resulting read/write capabilities so crisp.
We’re looking forward to seeing the many projects that FME and SQL Server Spatial will be used in together now that the database has officially hit the market. Johannes Kebeck has already posted one concept on his blog Hanne’s Virtual Earth Blog. Take a look at his workflow involving FME, SQL Server Spatial, and Virtual Earth.
Do you already have plans to use FME together with SQL Server Spatial? Let me know in the comments what you’re planning to do.