SQL for ArcGIS® Pro Requirements
- Esri ArcGIS® Pro, version 2.8 or greater, must be installed.
- True PC compatible hardware, running on the actual physical machine.
- Available user TEMP space should be three times the size of the largest data set to be processed.
- Recent Windows edition - All Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and recent Windows Server 20xx editions are supported in SQL for ArcGIS Pro product downloads. Manifold guarantees compatibility with Windows 10 and Windows 11
- Microsoft's .NET Framework 4.0 or more recent. See details below.
- SQL for ArcGIS Pro requires Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable. See details below.
- GPGPU operation requires 64-bit Windows and Fermi or more recent NVIDIA GPU.
SQL for ArcGIS Pro will take advantage of better software and hardware:
- Windows 10 or Windows 11.
- Multicore CPUs with 8 or 12 cores (16 to 24 threads!) have become inexpensive.
- Install plenty of RAM. 24, 32, or more GB of RAM is better.
- Install an NVIDIA GPU of Fermi class or more recent. No need to overspend: a good mid-range card is plenty.
- Multi terabyte-sized disk drives are cheap: give yourself ample free space for data and projects.
- SSD drives have become very inexpensive: Get a terabyte SSD.
- Two or three monitors provide more room for your desktop. They allow you to keep many windows and panes open at once.
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0+
.NET is already installed on newer Windows systems. Windows Installer (.exe) installation packages for SQL for ArcGIS Pro will automatically install the required .NET Framework if it is missing. Portable installations may require manual installation of .NET Framework if not already installed. If your Windows system does not have .NET installed, download and install .NET Framework from these Microsoft links:
Web installer:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53345 Offline installer:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53344
Microsoft Visual C++ for Portable Installations
Portable (.zip) installations of SQL for ArcGIS Pro require installation of Microsoft's Visual C++ Redistributable package. This is not necessary for SQL for ArcGIS Pro .exe installation packages, which include the C++ Redistributable package and will install it if required. Many modern Windows systems will already have this installed. If not yet installed, portable installation users should download Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable installation files from the Microsoft VC Downloads page.
On 64-bit Windows system, install both vc_redist.x64.exe (64-bit) and vc_redist.x86.exe (32-bit). On a 32-bit Windows system, install vc_redist.x86.exe (32-bit).
Tech tip: Windows Installer (.exe) installation packages for SQL for ArcGIS Pro will automatically install required Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual C++ Redistributable packages if they are missing. Portable (.zip) installations do not automatically install required Microsoft components if they are missing. When using portable installations a quick and easy way to ensure Microsoft requirements are installed is to at least once install SQL for ArcGIS Pro from a Windows Installer package. You can then go on to use portable installations knowing all requirements have been installed for you.
Run Windows 10 or Windows 11
Users are strongly advised to utilize Windows 10 or Windows 11.
SQL for ArcGIS Pro is not supported for use in Macintosh or any other non-native PC environment using Windows emulators. Some users report successful use with emulators on Mac, but that is not offically supported. SQL for ArcGIS Pro is only supported in true PC compatibles with direct access to the PC hardware not mediated by middleware such as virtual machines, emulators, remote consoles, timesharing console servers, attempts to allow "floating" use of SQL for ArcGIS Pro installed on one machine to be used by a variety of client machines and the like.
SQL for ArcGIS Pro runs in 64-bit mode on 64-bit Intel or AMD x64 processors running 64-bit Windows editions. SQL for ArcGIS Pro is not supported for Itanium or other non-x64 architectures.
SQL for ArcGIS Pro serial numbers will enable SQL for ArcGIS Pro installations to run in either 64-bit or 32-bit mode.
Advice on Hardware Configurations
Some suggestions when assembling a system:
- Go 64-bit and run Windows 10 x64 or Windows 11 x64. You'll have to do that anyway to run ArcGIS Pro. 64-bit Windows is essential to gain reliability in large processes that 32-bit Windows editions do not have.
- Run a multi-core processor. The more cores the better: SQL for ArcGIS Pro does an especially good job of running parallel on multiple CPU cores. AMD's new Ryzen processors with 12 or 16 cores (24 or 32 threads!) are a fantastic buy, but Intel's Core i7 and Core i9 are still great multi-core processos as well.
- Get an NVIDIA GPGPU-capable card using a Fermi GPU or more recent. Modern NVIDIA graphics cards use massively parallel architectures to provide supercomputer speed for rendering. GPGPU is a technology that enables applications to upload general computing tasks into those massively parallel processing architectures for fast computation. SQL for ArcGIS Pro uses GPGPU automatically for massively parallel computations, and not just for rendering.
- No need to overspend on GPU. It's really cool that a very high end card like an RTX 3090 can provide over 10,000 GPGPU cores, but such cards are far and away overkill for almost all GIS work. A mid-range GPU card, costing $250 or less, is plenty. Sub-$200 cards now have over 1000 GPU cores, and when SQL for ArcGIS Pro puts all those to work on computations that already is so much power that it makes little difference adding another few hundred cores, let alone thousands more cores. Even a $100 card will absolutely crush computations compared to a non-GPU system. As a practical matter, anybody with even a slight interest in gaming will have an NVIDIA GPU card for gaming that is more than enough for GIS.
- For larger tasks, such as intensive geoprocessing using SQL for ArcGIS Pro, invest in a CPU that provides many cores. This can easily give you 24, 32, 48 or more cores at a low price. SQL for ArcGIS Pro will automatically parallelize everything to as many cores as you have, so usually the more cores the better if you are running more demanding tasks in SQL for ArcGIS Pro.
- RAM is very inexpensive and can be used effectively with 64-bit Windows. Install as much RAM as you can afford. RAM has become so inexpensive that most professional users will automatically install 24 GB and many will max out their motherboards with 32, 48 or 64 GB of RAM.
- SSD drives have become cheap. Get a terabyte-class SSD drive for your primary, C: drive, and run faster.
- Large disk drives are very inexpensive. Get lots of space - several terabytes - to hold the maps, images and data sets you will be using.
- A typical entry level system will use Windows 10 or 11, 16 GB of RAM, a four to eight core processor and have at least 1 TB of disk. Even entry level machines will often use SSD, at least 512 GB. Entry level systems will use one inexpensive NVIDIA GPU card.
- A typical professional office system will use Windows 10 or 11, 32 GB or more of RAM, a 12 core processor such as an AMD Ryzen and 1 or 2 TB SSD plus 4 to 6 TB of archival storage on disk. Professional systems will use a mid-range NVIDIA GPGPU card.
- A typical high end system will use Windows 10 or 11, 64 GB or more RAM, a seriously multi-core single processor (think AMD Threadrippers) and 2 TB of SSD backed up by several TB of hard disk for archival storage. Systems intended for number crunching will often be equipped with a higher end NVIDIA GPU card or dual mid-range cards.
SQL for ArcGIS Pro is designed for people who are familiar with Windows and with ArcGIS Pro and who expect that learning to do amazing things with a sophisticated application will require study. Average intelligence is all you need, but what is more important is being willing to read documentation. As one long-time Manifold user put it, "Manifold is software for grown-ups." That's true of SQL for ArcGIS Pro as well.
A typical new user also feels comfortable with SQL from prior experiences with databases or other settings where SQL is used. Although prior expertise with SQL is helpful, what is more important is the ability to read documentation diligently in the recommended order. Most beginners who read documentation and work through examples as recommended by Manifold are comfortably productive at beginning levels in one or two days of attentive study. It doesn't take months or years of study but it does take a couple of days. Expertise builds rapidly with use.
Although SQL for ArcGIS Pro uses Windows style and Windows nomenclature to make it easier for most people, ordinary use of SQL for ArcGIS Pro is fairly easy to learn even if your "home" environment is Mac, Linux, or some other non-Windows system.
Tips for Learning SQL for ArcGIS Pro
The primary resources for learning SQL for ArcGIS Pro are the User Manual and, for Advanced mode, Videos. The user manual contains thousands of pages providing general introductions as well as numerous detailed topics, and hundreds of step-by-step examples and procedures. Videos are very helpful to get started, but they are no replacement for the detailed learning you get from reading user manual topics.
To save time it is essential to not skim topics but to actually read them attentively and to apply them with care. Folks who try to save time by neglecting the recommended reading will encounter unnecessary frustration and will end up taking longer to learn the product. The learning curve initially is very steep: there is lot of power and capability in SQL for ArcGIS Pro, especially given the thousands of capabilities available in Advanced mode. But if you hang in there for the first day or so you'll find very quickly it all starts coming together. That first day or so of nearly vertical learning curve will long be forgotten when you have years of incredible power and convenience at your fingertips.
Surprisingly, you don't need to have prior SQL experience to do well with SQL for ArcGIS Pro. SQL is extremely easy to learn from many websites and books that teach basic SQL. Beginners who attentively read an introductory book on SQL, and then follow through by reading the SQL for ArcGIS Pro user manual in the recommended order sometimes will learn faster and easier than SQL experts who refuse to read any documentation or who just skim. Of course, experts who do read documentation as recommended will become even more productive at advanced tasks at a faster pace than beginners. But those experts who don't invest time into learning a new, sophisticated tool will encounter totally unnecessary frustration.
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