Release 9 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Layer transparency

What is Manifold Release 9?

Release 9 is a new GIS and spatial data engineering experience that blends spatial and non-spatial data to enable data discovery, analysis and management by experts and non-experts alike, together with superb GIS editing and presentation capabilities. Everything involves location and anything involving location is only as good as the quality of the spatial data you utilize. Release 9 provides the world's finest GIS for insuring that your spatial data unleashes your insights with superior quality, speed and bulletproof accuracy.

Image at right: A view of Monaco in Release 9. Layer transparency allows setting the buildings layer to 50% opacity so the Google satellite photo web server layer can shine through data layers imported from OpenStreetMap PBF format.

Connect to almost any data imaginable, from enterprise DBMS servers to file databases to web servers to file formats. Release 9 handles an almost unlimited range of data types in tables, vector data, raster data, drawings, maps and images. You can manipulate, analyze, visualize, discover and slice and dice your data within Release 9 or in-place in your preferred storage.

See for yourself: Try the free Manifold Viewer to get a hands-on look at Release 9 technology. Viewer is read-only but otherwise includes all Release 9 features. It's completely free, no nagware or adware, and runs forever. Super!

Select and Transform in a Neolithic Relics Database. See Release 9 technology in action Watch the Select and Transform in a Neolithic Relics Database YouTube video of Manifold Viewer enabling interactive selection and transformation using point and click dialogs, to help find Neolithic relics in France.

Access, clean, prepare, blend, visualize, analyze and transform data from many different data sources at once, including Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, DB2 and many more using point-and-click templates that preview the result before you commit. Use the full power of parallel SQL, asking Release 9 to write queries for you or writing your own. Pull data from your enterprise database, manipulate it in place or push a blend of data into your corporate database from other sources. Automate tasks with the most powerful array of scripting languages in any spatial data tool.

The images above show how a point and click Buffers template is previewed in blue preview color in a map. As we change buffer settings in the transform dialog the preview in the map automatically changes. Besides avoiding errors, that makes it easy to pick exactly the right buffer setting for what we want to do.

Apply the effortless, easy power of Release 9 point-and-click dialogs or the infinite power of automatically parallel Release 9 SQL. Release 9 unleashes the full power of all the CPU cores in your system and automatically launches massively parallel computations using thousands of available GPU cores for supercomputer computational performance unmatched by any other GIS or spatial engineering tool. Nothing else comes close.

How is Release 9 different from a Classic GIS?

Release 9 provides several revolutionary advances over classic GIS:

  • True Parallel Processing - Only Release 9 provides genuine, automatic, always-on parallel processing to use all of the CPU cores and GPU cores in your system. No other GIS does that. Don't be fooled by "multi-core" claims from other packages when they can only run a single task in background on one core, with no ability to dispatch a big job to many cores running that same job in parallel at the same time. Only Release 9 delivers true parallel processing, automatically dispatching big jobs to many cores running at the same time on the same job for genuine parallel speed.
  • DBMS sophistication built into the GIS - Release 9 adds profound data-centric capabilities to the presentation-centric approach taken by classic GIS. Most classic GIS products are held back by unsophisticated and weak DBMS and data analytic capabilities, unable to deliver the DBMS sophistication required for modern spatial data engineering. Release 9 eliminates that weakness by integrating massively powerful, fully parallel, spatial DBMS as the foundation of the GIS itself.
  • Fresh start with modern code - Release 9 has been written entirely by Manifold from the ground up in a fresh start without recycling ancient code. The Radian database engine at the heart of 9 is a genuinely new and fresh implementation using the latest software techologies for producing reliable, high-performance and maintainable code. Classic GIS usually includes code going back decades that limits progress to superficial changes. There's no way to re-write millions of lines of spaghetti code to parallelize a classic package. You have to start fresh.
  • Genuine User Interface Advances - A classic GIS marketing strategy takes the same old program and gives it a facelift with new icons and a ribbon interface for exactly the same old commands, just rearranged to give the appearance of something new. Release 9 uses the phenomenal speed of parallel processing to introduce genuinely new and useful user interface advances such as always-on, automatic previews of what a command is going to do, non-modal panes for free-form flexibility instead of modal dialogs that capture your mouse, and many more advances to provide a genuinely faster and more effective user interface.
  • Never Crashes - Classic GIS packages sold into a captive customer base often leave quality as an afterthought: the flagship "new generation" GIS from one major vendor has such poor quality that some users report not being able to go more than a few days without crashes. The pressure to move a product along with insufficient resources also leads to practises like building a product on third party libraries, which call other libraries that in turn call yet other libraries, all of which were written by different, often unknown, authors of varying skill levels over many years. That results in a structure that becomes impossible to maintain without significant errors accumulating and which takes forever to repair when bugs are discovered. Release 9 was designed from the very beginning for exceptional quality, and built by a single, professional team to run for years without error, using unified internal structures that enable immediate fixes when any bugs are found. Release 9's investment into non-negotiable, total quality with zero bug tolerance is one major reason why Release 9 is so totally crashproof, unlike the constant crashes and weird problems that have become the new normal in classic GIS.
  • Superior Algorithms - Manifold emerged over 20 years ago from the mathematics crucible of one of the world's most advanced laboratories, the first product being a hyper-technical library encapsulating hundreds of graph theoretic algorithms, the math that underlies so many advances in parallel programming. Over ten years ago Manifold wrote the world's first massively GPU parallel commercial application for NVIDIA and AMD GPU processors, with automatic launch to thousands of GPU cores. Other vendors are just beginning, working out their first generation parallel algorithms, coding a handful of functions for what otherwise remain single-threaded applications that use 1980's architectures. While they are debugging their first dozen algorithms, Manifold has perfected thousands of totally CPU and GPU parallel algorithms, delivering fourth generation, military grade, brutally fast, fully commercialized and totally bulletproof parallel applications. No other GIS or DBMS product delivers the proven parallel mathematics and programming firepower you get with Manifold.

How is Release 9 different from Radian Studio?

Radian Studio is Manifold's spatial data engineering tool for GIS and DBMS that makes the parallel power of the Radian engine available to experts and non-experts alike. It has been deprecated in favor of Release 9 since Manifold Release 9 is a much larger superset of Radian Studio. Release 9 includes Radian Studio capabilities plus hundreds more capabilities required for GIS and more interactive use.

Between August and December, 2017, Radian Studio evolved into Manifold 9 in a community-driven process using the Manifold Future series of open beta builds. In less than four months over 300 cited release note items for various Future builds, which in turn incorporate hundreds of improvements, transformed the product from a DBMS-centric spatial data engineering tool into the opening phase of Manifold's next generation GIS product, Release 9. In the first two months of 2018 yet more improvements have been added, totalling to over 400 advances cited in release notes.

The community-driven process continues with two or three Cutting Edge builds per week, now known as Release 9 Edge, to add many more improvements per month as Release 9 expands with additional capabilities for interactive GIS use, cartography and presentation. Release 9 also continues to add more performance, even more richness in spatial data engineering, greater connectivity and interoperability and expanding support for standards and related technologies.

See the Recent Additions page for a list of over 300 release note items cited in Manifold Future builds between August and December, 2017. The list illustrates the rapid product evolution from Radian Studio to Release 9. See the Changes and Additions topic in the User Manual for even more recent additions.

How Does Stronger DBMS Capability Help?

Classic GIS products, like Manifold Release 8, ESRI products, or Pitney Bowes/MapInfo, tend to focus on presentation and visuals, but usually with weaker data capabilities. Of the major professional or enterprise GIS products only Manifold's Release 8 GIS has a full spatial SQL, for example. But even Manifold GIS at the Release 8 level is not a DBMS engine like Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server or Manifold's Release 9.

The state of the art in spatial work today is that to get the most out of your spatial data you need both worlds: a presentation-centric, classic GIS like Manifold Release 8 or ESRI plus a data-centric product like Oracle or PostgreSQL to handle data that is difficult or impossible to do in classic GIS. That is especially true for organizations using DBMS like Oracle or PostgreSQL to store spatial data, where spatial data engineering requires simultaneous GIS and DBMS power in a triangle of power between data storage, spatial engineering, and GIS presentation.

Classic GIS products are hobbled by having insufficient DBMS capability within the GIS to keep up with external DBMS servers or to provide the sophisticated interfaces required. By integrating the world's most advanced spatial data engine within the GIS itself, Release 9 can bring to bear the sophistication and raw power required either to do massive GIS and spatial work entirely within Release 9, or to keep up as a fully competent partner to take advantage of your organization's data stored in premium DBMS products such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, DB2, or to simultaneously do hybrid work within Release 9 and your enterprise DBMS, seamlessly and effortlessly mixing the best of both worlds.

Try LiDAR in Release 9 Now. See Release 9 technology in action Watch the Maryland LiDAR REST Server YouTube video showing the LiDAR data set illustrated below. Try it yourself with Manifold Viewer.

Going far beyond DBMS sophistication, Release 9 implements all capabilities using full CPU and GPU parallelism, providing astonishing speed far beyond what legacy GIS can accomplish, often accomplishing in seconds what even a premium legacy GIS like ESRI's ArcGIS Pro cannot do in hours. ArcGIS Pro is a fine product, but it is not a fully parallel product like Release 9. A non-parallel product like ArcGIS Pro will use only 1/8th of the power of a typical Core i7 computer. Fully parallel Release 9 will use all of the power of your computer to provide dramatically faster speed. When Release 9 unleashes the supercomputer power of GPU, Release 9 can run hundreds of times faster than non-parallel ESRI products. You need real parallel power to keep up with the demands of high performance data analytics and to be a competent partner with modern, enterprise DBMS servers.

Use Release 9 to manipulate, to analyze and to transform your data in ways a legacy GIS cannot accomplish. That's what spatial data engineering is all about, a data-centric workflow that combines spatial wizardry with DBMS muscle to ensure your spatial data provides the best possible platform for your success. Use Release 9 standalone or together with other GIS packages to present the results, to create wonderful cartographic displays or to serve to the web or to an endless array of mobile gadgets. Working together the result is the success you want.

LiDAR data from ArcGIS REST server with palette by Release 9

Above: LiDAR terrain elevation data for Charles County, Maryland, from an ESRI ArcGIS REST server. Palette and hill shading done on-the-fly by Release 9.

Is Release 9 Really New?

Yes. Release 9 has been created from the ground up as a single, unified, all-inclusive product. There is no need to buy anything extra or to play system integrator cobbling together third party packages. Release 9 includes everything you need in a single, hyper-modern package. Release 9 is not a fresh-looking GUI painted over older software. Instead, the Radian parallel database engine at the heart of Manifold Release 9 is totally new technology developed today using the latest advances in data science and massively parallel engineering. Neither Radian nor Release 9 has been cobbled together from third party code. Manifold's professional development team, with greater coding and algorithmic experience in massively parallel processing than any other spatial development team, created all of the Radian engine and Manifold Release 9 as a unified, powerful system providing "always on" parallel power for intense spatial and non-spatial data engineering.

Is Release 9 Reliable?

You bet. Release 9 is absolutely bulletproof, based as it is on the famously reliable and crashproof Radian engine. In years of beta testing followed by commercial use on four continents the Radian engine crashed just once. The flaw was repaired that same day for an immediate free update the next day. Since Release 9 was published to worldwide use only three crashes have been found, with fixes issued the next day in free updates.

Today, there is no known way to crash the system using native Release 9 features. That's a tribute to the proven, absolutely bulletproof quality of the Radian engine, which has been running for over six years, steadily evolving and improving every step of the way. Manifold Release 9 may be the first version for you, but the Radian engine that powers Release 9 is now in the ninth generation of technology with over 170 major releases and hundreds of minor builds on the way. You can launch Manifold Release 9 every day for years without encountering a flaw.

"I had the pleasure to be part of the beta... The program was so bulletproof reliable that I had used it for production too..." - Beta tester

Even better, when bugs are found they are immediately fixed, typically in days, not months. Release 9's rapid cycle time using frequent Cutting Edge builds published to the user forum means that any bugs discovered can be eliminated in the very next build, usually within a few days.

Do in 1/10th Second what takes others 30 minutes. See Release 9 technology in action Watch the Gulf Bathymetry YouTube video of Manifold Viewer opening a project file in 1/10th second that the US Government website providing the data warned will take ESRI software 30 minutes to open in the equivalent ESRI native format. That's thousands of times faster for Release 9. Viewer effortlessly hill shades and styles and re-projects on the fly 7.5 GB of ultra-high resolution bathymetry data for the Gulf of Mexico. Re-projection can take hours in other packages but Viewer and Release 9 do it on the fly, instantly. Release 9 never fails.

Release 9 also includes fault tolerant technology for Release 9 file management to guard against Windows failures or hardware failures. Release 9 may well be bulletproof but it knows your Windows system and hardware could fail.

Is Release 9 a Superset of Release 8? How do they Compare?

Release 9 is not a new version of Release 8, Manifold's classic GIS package. Release 9 is a completely new product with dramatically different capabilities, much advanced and new SQL, and a completely new API. Both Release 9 and Release 8 have been created by Manifold, the nomenclature and concepts are often the same or very similar, and Release 9 has many capabilities aimed at helping Release 8 users migrate to Release 9, but 9 and 8 are very different products. Release 9 has many capabilities Release 8 does not have, and Release 8 has many capabilities Release 9 does not have. That comparison is changing rapidly as 9 expands beyond 8.

Release 8 is the most capable classic GIS there is, being the first GIS to fully implement spatial SQL, to provide a limited number of GPGPU parallel functions and so on. 8 is a truly fantastic product, but it does not have the parallel speed, vast capacity and power of 9. Release 8 does, however, have many thousands of features that facilitate interactive GIS use, cartography and presentation.

Release 9 comes from the more data-centric side of the art and has phenomenally greater capabilities than 8 for spatial data engineering, for working with very large data and for very rapid performance. However, compared to 8, Release 9 as of this writing has fewer features for interactive GIS use, cartography and presentation. 9 covers the basics in those areas but it does not yet contain as many features as does 8.

Release 9 is rapidly overtaking Release 8 in interactive GIS, cartography and presentation features. Already users report that in many key workflows, such as creation and printing of print layouts, 9 is significantly better than 8, delivering much easier and more efficient workflows and dramatically better results. The community driven engineering effort now aims primarily at interactive GIS features such as editing, cartographic features such as labeling and various other presentation features, so at the current rate of hundreds of improvements per month and dozens of new features every week it is clear a mild preference for 9 in those areas will soon become a very strong preference for 9 over 8.

The intent of that community effort, however, is not to clone a mature product like 8 but to use the lessons learned from 8 in creating the best possible product using new technology for 2018 and onward. Release 8 includes numerous features which are rarely used or which have been dramatically improved using newer technology made available in 9. A big focus of 9 is a clean, clear interface, and using the experience from 8 and other GIS packages to deliver those tools that people use all the time without clutter from buttons and features that are never used.

Experienced Manifold users report that 9 already has moved so far beyond 8 they much prefer to use Release 9 instead of Release 8. For all that progress there are still some tools in 8 not yet in 9 that a few users require. Community consensus seems to be that at the current rate of 9 evolution those tools will appear in early 2018 and even those few users will no longer use 8. However, 8 continues to be a phenomenally popular product and no doubt will continue in use for many years.

What is Planned for 9?

In the near term the main focus is expanded feature set for interactive GIS use, cartography and presentation, using Cutting Edge builds in a cycle of improvements to each area.

A typical cycle of Cutting Edge builds focuses on a given operational theme with each new build, for example, with one build focussed on editing and interactive selection tools such as a wider range of snap options, more editing tools for object building and a wider range of selection tools, the next build focussed on formatting such as label and object styles, the next build focussed on cartography with features for things like improved label overlap resolution, and the next build focussed on presentation with things like advances in print layouts. After a cycle providing 20 or 30 improvements in each such area another cycle begins with a series of builds returning to each such area in turn to add yet more capabilities. That approach is easier for the community to digest and to comment on than a single mega-build every three weeks with hundreds of new features in many areas at once.

In addition are hundreds of improvements and features such as new formats, new data sources, new classes of web servers, bug fixes, new interchange capabilities and much more. In addition to the areas above, on deck in the near future are significant expansions in raster processing such as parallelized countour generation and other raster capabilities. The community driven engineering process tends to deliver a healthy mix of more technical features such as query advances along with more general items that everyone enjoys, such as point and click spatial selection tools. Rich commentary from the Manifold community and spirited debate on the user forum drives implementation of the many wonderful things the raw power of Release 9 technology makes possible.

Looking further into 2018, Release 9 will likely evolve additional major capabilities including IMS for web publication and massively distributed editions that can run on thousands of computers at once. It's all good!

I use ESRI today and have massive amounts of data in Oracle. Can Release 9 help?

Yes. Release 9 has been designed to play well with and to enhance whatever technology you currently use for spatial data. Storing your spatial data in ESRI geodatabases? Cool. Release 9 will make it better. Using Oracle or SQL Server for your spatial data? Release 9 will bring a wealth of analytic power ease to increase the value of your investment while making you look like a hero for the effortless improvement in quality and productivity. Choosing a stack with PostgreSQL and open source tools for users and the web? Release 9 will enhance that experience and make life easier for you. Release 9 is completely agnostic: whether you store your data in the hyper fast Release 9 engine or within whatever storage you now use, the same capabilities are cheerfully there at your fingertips.

Is Manifold Release 9 a Database Server?

Layer control

Desktop users often use Release 9 as a personal DBMS, but IT users of enterprise products like Oracle or PostgreSQL would describe Release 9 as a very powerful client database engine. Release 9 has its own built-in, parallel database engine, the better to keep up with enterprise DBMS servers like Oracle to which Release 9 connects, but Release 9 is not intended as a replacement for an organization's database server. Instead, Release 9 enhances the value of existing servers.

Image at right: Many layers from many sources. Enjoy lightning fast visualization of data from many sources at once with on-the-fly reprojection and formatting to make even complex data immediately understood, and beautiful as well. Lavishly illustrated documentation makes it easy to master.

Release 9's value in IT comes mainly from exceptionally easy ability to connect to and integrate with brand-name DBMS servers, faster analysis using built-in parallelism including parallel SQL, extensive scripting and unmatched sophistication and ease of use working with spatial data, whether the task is a massively complex spatial engineering query involving many functions and millions of objects, or just a simple Extract/Transform/Load operation transferring data from one source to another. Release 9's database engine has constraints and Release 9's SQL is genuinely superb with many advanced features such as the ability to define and use functions, but Release 9 does not provide transactions or some other features expected in a major database server like Oracle.

On the desktop many users will employ Release 9 as a DBMS. Release 9's native storage provides high speed and huge capacity on the desktop, with pass-through nesting of project hierarchies that can provide easy access to a vast array of formats and petabytes of external storage through a single Release 9 project. Users will often employ Release 9 either as a file database system or will connect to Release 9 via the Release 9 ODBC driver to gain capabilities which some other application may lack. A package which cannot connect to some format or data source that Release 9 can access can form an ODBC connection to a Release 9 project that includes that data source.

For example, some GIS packages cannot handle a mix of object types (areas, lines, points, etc.) within the same layer. Release 9 can, and Release 9 can connect to a data source that contains such mixed object types. A Release 9 query could on the fly extract separate objects types and present that on the fly extraction through ODBC for the more limited GIS to use, as if the data source did not contain a mix of object types.

Is Manifold Release 9 a GPU DBMS?

Yes, as most people use the term. A GPU DBMS is a DBMS that uses many GPU cores in parallel to increase the speed of database operations such as the speed of an SQL query engine. Release 9 certainly does that, with the added distinction of providing a more complete and more sophisticated SQL than some other GPU DBMS products.

Release 9 also differs from some other GPU DBMS packages in that Release 9 is not only GPU parallel but also simultaneously runs manycore CPU parallel as well and Release 9 will automatically shift execution back and forth between massively parallel GPU and manycore parallel CPU. Depending on the number of CPU cores available, some operations can run faster when parallelized to manycore CPU than dispatched to GPU cores: Release 9's on the fly parallel architecture optimizers choose what is the best mix of GPU parallelism or CPU parallelism or both to use for each task and subtask as it runs.

Some GPU DBMS products run exclusively as in-memory databases and thus require specialized hardware. Release 9 runs on standard Windows desktops, using parallelism to increase performance even when disk storage is involved, as it is in real life for most applications. Release 9's mix of manycore parallel CPU plus massively parallel GPU helps achieve maximum speed in real world applications on standard systems.

Is Manifold Release 9 based on Hadoop or Spark?

No. Release 9 is entirely original work from the ground up. Systems like Hadoop and Apache Spark are wonderful software to which Release 9 is happy to connect in various settings but Release 9 does not use either for parallel computations. To extract maximum performance on desktop systems Release 9's internal architecture has to integrate manycore CPU parallelism and GPU parallelism with all other parts of the system, such as parallel data access and optimizations for very fast visualization of big data that reach across the system.

Does Release 9 apply DAG or MapReduce for Internal Parallel Execution?

Layer control

DAG, given the generality of the term, Directed Acyclic Graphs. Release 9 parallelizes big jobs by splitting them into parts so different parts can be done by different computing nodes. Those nodes are connected to each other so they do indeed form a graph and can be analyzed as a graph. Those connections ("edges" in graph theoretic nomenclature) are not symmetric in that info getting passed in either direction over an edge is different: the graph is directed. Last, there are no loops in how Release 9 uses that graph so the graph is acyclic. Describing how Release 9 internally directs parallel computational flow as anything other than a directed acyclic graph or DAG is inaccurate. But it may not be as useful as a simple description in ordinary language:

Release 9 has a sophisticated query engine with a very high degree of modularity. Big tasks get split into small tasks, which get sent to different computation nodes. Some of those nodes, potentially many thousands of nodes, can be GPGPU cores, and those GPGPU cores can be different types of cores from different GPUs. Some of those nodes, also potentially thousands but more likely only a few dozen or few hundred, can be CPU cores. Computational nodes also can be external databases like PostgreSQL. The query engine can split the work between any and all such nodes so that they run in parallel. In addition to the query engine's fundamentally parallel SQL capabilities, Release 9 has a big roster of built-in SQL functions, both spatial and non-spatial, which all work within that parallel scheme. 9 also provides a rich set of facilities to add very involved custom functions for execution within SQL using scripts in .NET or V8.

Manifold has very rich experience at graph theory: Manifold's very first commercial product 25 years ago was the General Graph Facilities (GGF) library providing hundreds of programming functions for working with graphs.

Can Release 9 Parallelize and Stabilize Third Party Products?

No. For interoperability Release 9 uses products from other companies, such as ESRI's GDB geodatabase SDK, Microsoft's MDB drivers, optional use of GDAL and so on. None of those products are parallel like Release 9 and the technologies they use in general are not as bulletproof as Release 9 technology and native Release 9 formats. For example, because ESRI's GDB code is not thread safe Release 9 cannot parallelize use of ESRI GDB geodatabases the way Release 9 data stores can be parallelized. Likewise, connecting to ESRI GDB requires using an ESRI product, the ESRI SDK, to connect to an ESRI format - resulting in ESRI levels of stability. Release 9's reputation for never crashing applies to Release 9 code, not to third party products used with Release 9.

Does Release 9 Require GDAL?

No. Manifold's ability to connect through GDAL is purely an optional capability that adds to the vast collection of data sources 9 already knows. Release 9 has hundreds of file formats, file databases, DBMS servers, web servers and interoperability standards built into 9 using native, parallelized 9 code with no need to use GDAL. For a partial list, see the Data Sources page. In addition to the many formats built into 9, 9 can connect through GDAL to any format GDAL can reach. That capability adds a few more formats not yet in 9. Adding the hundreds of choices built into 9 plus all formats known to GDAL results in both the widest connectivity range of any GIS plus the benefit of getting a "second opinion" on many formats that both 9 and GDAL know. Users have a better chance of getting more data from some rare, quirky or poorly defined formats with two different mechanisms to extract data. While GDAL is a great thing, having virtually all known formats and data sources already built into 9 provides far greater reliability, immediate turnaround on any bugs found in formats, and superior performance.

Must I download third-party libraries or products to use 9?

Not for native Release 9 features, and not to connect to almost all formats and commercial DBMS servers, including ESRI GDB, Lizardtech MrSID, Oracle, SQL Server, IBM DB2 and many others. To connect to MYSQL, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, and GPKG/SQLite/Spatialite you must install the .dll packages Manifold provides as downloads in the Downloads page.

Is Manifold Release 9 a desktop, mobile, or web app?

Manifold Release 9 is a Windows application that installs and runs on your desktop computer or portable computer or tablet running Windows. It is not a web-based application that requires a subscription or that requires you to connect to a web server to run Release 9. See the Requirements page for hardware and software requirements.

Is the price an annual rental or a fully-paid license fee?

The price is a fully-paid license. For current pricing see the Products page.

What are the licensing requirements?

Release 9 is licensed similar to standard Microsoft and other desktop applications. One license allows use on one desktop machine plus a portable computer. see the Licensing page.

When will Manifold Release 9 be Available?

Right now. You can buy a Release 9 license on the Online Store right now and be running Release 9 within minutes. All Release 9 licenses are full-power licenses that authorize use of all Release 9 pre-release builds, all Cutting Edge Release 9 builds, all official releases, and all free Release 9 updates to come.

What is the status of Radian Studio?

Radian Studio is the spatial data engineering product built on the Radian engine and released in early 2017. It's a perfect product for DBMS-centric users who need Radian power for their spatial data engineering. In the second half of 2017 in a series of community-driven "Manifold Future" builds the Radian Studio product morphed into Manifold Release 9 as hundreds of more GIS-centric improvements were added. Release 9 now is a superset of Radian Studio, a tremendously improved product that includes all Radian Studio spatial engineering features plus many hundreds more GUI and other features essential to GIS. Radian Studio has been deprecated in favor of Release 9. If you have a Radian Studio license you should take advantage of special offers to trade in your Radian Studio license for a Release 9 license.

How did Release 9 come to be created?

In the DBMS world there are plenty of integrated servers like Oracle or PostgreSQL, but all have been created as the basis of their own DBMS ecosystems, not as tools for working with other DBMS environments as much as their own. Existing DBMS products have also been created for superior performance with very many, relatively small transactions. They don't do as well with the huge transactions typical of spatial work, and given their focus on their own worlds they don't work particularly well as instruments for general purpose spatial engineering using other data sources. None of the existing DBMS products has anywhere near the spatial capabilities of Release 9

Even worse, for all their highly evolved capability and indisputable power and quality, traditional DBMS platforms are built on older technology. None were created from the ground up for total parallelism handling dozens of CPU cores and many thousands of GPU cores on a desktop. That technology did not exist decades ago when the flagship DBMS products were created. None of them have Release 9's automatic, always-on CPU and GPU parallelism to handle the computationally "fat" analytics typical of spatial work. You can't glue that technology onto an old core. It has to be built in from the very beginning.

Release 9 was created from the ground up for today's world where location information is as important as a flow of many small transactions. Today, it's not just about processing a small-data credit card transaction quickly in a flow of millions of small transactions. Today we want more, to data mine the location knowledge of where those transactions occur and what the spatial relationships inferred from transactions tell us about our customers and our opportunities.

To build Release 9 the Manifold engineering team built from the ground up the world's first CPU and GPU parallel database engine, the Radian engine, to use modern, always-on, automatic parallelism to handle the large, complex, big data transactions of spatial engineering. Given years of experience creating GIS products, including creating the first commercial application of any kind to deliver automatic GPU parallelism, the Manifold team knew the unique and challenging requirements of spatial data. To support spatial engineering, Release 9 includes the world's most sophisticated, most powerful and most reliable Spatial SQL, delivering an unmatched breadth and depth of functions, all within an SQL query engine that automatically parallelizes queries for dispatch into multiple CPU cores and thousands of GPU cores.

At the same time, Manifold's experience in GIS taught the importance of connecting to hundreds of different data sources, DBMS servers, file databases, web server sources and an endless array of file formats, from an Excel spreadsheet created yesterday to Department of Defense military data encoded decades ago. Manifold ensured that Release 9 can connect to virtually any data source on the planet. If the data exists, you can get at it with Release 9. Run Release 9 and leverage everything.

Experience Release 9 Power in a Free Tool

See Manifold Viewer in Action. Manifold Viewer is a read-only subset of Manifold Release 9. Although Viewer cannot write projects or save edited data back out to the original data sources, Viewer provides phenomenal capability to view and to analyze almost all possible different types of data in tables, vector geometry, raster data, drawings, maps and images from thousands of different sources. Manifold Viewer delivers a truly useful, Release 9 technology tool you can use for free to experience Release 9 power firsthand. See Viewer in action Watch the Manifold Viewer Introduction YouTube video.

Get Manifold Viewer

Special Offers

March madness! Manifold special offers end at midnight GMT on 31 March 2018:

  • Buy Manifold 9 Universal before 31 March 2018 and get a $200 discount off the regular price of $595 for a total price of only $395. Your Release 9 Universal license runs 64 bits and 32 bits and never expires, allowing immediate use of Manifold Release 9 and all Release 9 Cutting Edge builds at Universal level now and in the future.
  • Buy the two product bundle of Manifold 9 Universal plus Manifold 8.00 Universal x64 before 31 March 2018 and get a $245 discount off the regular, combined price of $840 for a total price of only $595.
  • Trade in an unbundled Radian Studio serial number on a Manifold 9 Universal license before 31 March 2018 and save $420 off the regular price of $595 for a total price of only $175.
  • Acquired your Radian Studio license in a bundle with Release 8.00 Universal? Trade in a bundled Radian Studio serial number on a Manifold 9 Universal plus Manifold 8.00 Universal x64 bundle before 31 March 2018 to acquire the bundle for a total price of only $175. The new Release 9 license will replace your old Radian Studio license, and the new Release 8.00 Universal license will replace the old Release 8.00 Universal license.

Buy the gisadvisor online Big Data and GIS training course on before 31 March 2018 and get 75% off the regular price. Click here to use the special discount code. The gisadvisor training courses have a 95% user rating, 4.7 out of 5. Wow! This is a third party training course not affiliated with, but recommended by Manifold. This offer ends at midnight GMT on 31 March 2018.

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Release 9

Portions of Baltimore city in Maryland, LiDAR data served in ESRI ArcGIS REST protocol by a web server run by Salisbury University.

About Manifold

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