July 27, 2012
I can do some really cool things with the new version that is now available for download. These new things all relate to working more closely with the ArcGIS System. I can connect to Image Services (a kind of map service that ArcGIS uses to provide better access to imagery used in map). I can extract data out of a geodatabase from a feature service which means I can use AutoCAD to extract GIS data into my CAD drawings directly from ArcGIS Server. I can even edit a geodatabase that my ArcGIS for Server administrator has enabled the feature service for editing capability for. This means that I can use AutoCAD to edit the geometry and attributes of my ArcGIS data managed in an ArcSDE enterprise geodatabase. The ArcGIS System is not new, but to many AutoCAD users like me the reality of the benefits of the ArcGIS system are only now accessible to me in AutoCAD.
I like the improved performance of the map services and the new table of contents that helps me manage the GIS data I have in the drawing and the GIS connections I have made over the internet. At first glance a rather small thing the new locator service, might be one of my favorite new tools in ArcGIS for AutoCAD. I can now access one of the world locator services directly from inside AutoCAD to navigate within my drawing using a single line address- type in my address and AutoCAD zooms to the coordinates of my house. Or perhaps more useful I enter my project site's cross streets and it zooms AutoCAD to that location.
The philosophy of the ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in remains the same, it connects people in AutoCAD to the ArcGIS System. Also, what it does is pretty much unchanged; it edits ArcGIS data in AutoCAD, and it allows me to connect to ArcGIS Server services. The new release just includes new services, and I can now edit both ArcGIS data that lives inside my .DWG file or data streamed over the internet from a feature service.