What a great user conference! Many thanks to all of you that attended. I hope you found it beneficial and informative, but most of all, I hope you had a good time. We’re already looking forward to next year.

Those of you who attended the plenary session at this year’s conference will recall that I spent some time talking about Cityworks 2010.1 and 2011. I’d like to summarize in this article because we know there are important decisions that have to be made when it comes to upgrading Cityworks. As an enterprise system, Cityworks touches many users across many departments, so it’s important to make the right decision for your organization.

What You Need to Know about 2010.1

As many of you may (or may not) know, Cityworks 2011 was released in May. This is a huge milestone because 2011 is the version that provides support for Esri 10.0, which we know many of you have been looking forward to. But it’s equally important to talk a little bit about 2010.1 as well because we know some of you may not be in a position to upgrade from your current Esri 9.3.1 platform. Since 2010.1 supports 9.3.1, it will continue to be supported. It will continue to receive critical bug fixes. In fact, we are currently undertaking an initiative to close functional gaps between Server AMS and Desktop. And to the extent possible, we will look to put some of those initiatives into 2010.1 as well. Cityworks 2010.1 has a number of new features including the new user-defined Inbox, the Dashboard (same as 2011), drag-and-drop calendar items, as well as a whole host of functional and performance improvements for Desktop, Anywhere, and Server AMS/PLL. Those of you running version 4.5 or 2010, might consider placing 2010.1 in your development environment, especially if moving to Esri 10.0 and Cityworks 2011 is still a ways away.

What You Need to Know about 2011

Cityworks 2011 Server AMS is the most significant release since 4.5. That says a great deal because 4.5 was the first commercial release of Server AMS! And so it goes without saying that there are a few things to note….

As mentioned above, Cityworks 2011 runs with Esri 10.0 (sp1) exclusively. From our experience, we’ve noticed the hardware specs for 10.0 are a little higher than those of its predecessor. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will need new hardware, but it is something to be aware of because, as the technology continues to evolve, it will require more substantial resources.

Related to Cityworks 2011 AMS and PLL, there is a brand-new Silverlight map. This means all computers accessing Server AMS/PLL must have the Silverlight browser plug-in (available through Windows Updates). With this plug-in, Server AMS/PLL is now able to leverage Esri’s Silverlight map editing tools, which are very rich and quite robust. But to realize all the benefits these tools offer, your GIS data must reside in SDE. 2011 also supports the optimized MSD map service, which may require some reconfiguration to your existing map services, to see the performance gains.

And there are a whole host of new features in 2011: the integration to OnBase Document Management; the Condition Assessment tool; dynamic Labor Costing, which calculates labor cost based on the type of labor performed; and the one that I think is most exciting, support of any Esri online map or image service.

So with all these changes and new capabilities, how would it be best to proceed? Well, we think it’s prudent to place 2011 in your development environment to start with. In fact, this should be the case with all of your software updates. Cityworks 2011 is a great piece of software, but it wouldn’t hurt to spend some time getting acquainted. The same goes for Esri’s 10.0. Keep in mind that 2011 involves an upgrade to your Esri environment, so it’s important to see how other non-Cityworks users might be affected by that change. You might consider conducting some end-user testing as part of this effort—you’d be surprised how helpful it can be. I also recommend running through the upgrade process a few times for both Cityworks and Esri. This will better prepare you for when you do move the system into production. It’s also a good idea to engage us or one of our experienced partners to help you. Cityworks 2011 is not rocket science, but some assistance might be in order.

Cityworks 2011 is available to anyone wishing to explore it further. Feel free to contact any of the customer or implementation support staff, and we will make it available to you through MyCityworks.com.

By George Mastakas, Executive Director, Enterprise Solutions, Cityworks