Internet Map Server FAQ

Questions and Answers

Manifold® Internet Map Server

Manifold IMS

See the Manifold Internet Map Server (IMS) page for an introduction to Manifold IMS. This page provides frequently asked questions and answers related to Manifold IMS. Manifold IMS is a built in part of Manifold® Release 8 Ultimate.

Do I need a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license for each web server?

Yes. Every web server you use requires a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license to run IMS on that web server.

Do I need a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license or any Manifold software on client machines?

No. Visitors to your IMS-enabled website can use ordinary Internet browsers, such as Microsoft's free Internet Explorer browser, to visit your web site.

Does Manifold IMS run in Linux?

No. Manifold products are sold for use on Windows operating systems only.

Can I use PHP or other non-IIS technology?

Yes, although if you choose to do so you are on your own as regards support. Theoretically, you can use IMS within any dynamic HTML-serving technology that can instantiate and work with objects. There are many users who employ IMS in Windows via PHP and other non-Microsoft technologies and who talk about their experiences in forums like - That's fine if you want to do it, but Manifold Release 8 Ultimate is tested with IIS and standard Microsoft technologies and all Manifold examples and technical support resources are aimed at Microsoft technologies.

Do I have to write programs to use Manifold IMS?

Not if your application can make use of one of the standard templates built into IMS. Experienced web programmers of course will want to program IMS applications to whatever level of customization they want.

How Fast is Manifold IMS?

It's fast! Users who are familiar with legacy map servers sold by old-fashioned GIS companies like Esri tell us that Manifold IMS is faster than legacy map servers. In many applications, Manifold Release 8 Ultimate running 64-bit in a typical multi-core web server machine running 64-bit Windows will absolutely crush legacy Esri IMS software running 32-bits, single core. Because at one low price Manifold Release 8 Ultimate includes enterprise features, such as direct connections to extremely fast spatial DBMS, even the most humble Manifold IMS user can often take advantage of performance-oriented enterprise features that are beyond the reach of legacy map servers. For example, even individual users can afford to use free, fast spatial DBMS like SQL Server to store even very large images for extremely fast IMS performance.

Are Manifold prices annual license fees, or are they fully paid up licenses?

They are fully paid up licenses. No need for annual license fees or maintenance fees. Yes, really.

Does Manifold IMS run in Windows 10?

Of course! Manifold Release 8 Ultimate has been supported in Windows 10 since the earliest Microsoft betas.

Does Manifold IMS run in 64-bit Windows editions?

Yes. Manifold Release 8 Ultimate licenses (normally used for IMS deployment) run native 64-bits when installed in x64 64-bit Windows systems.

Is there any limit to / do I have to pay more for the number of processors or cores a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license can use?

No. One Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license is all you need per web server. For example, if you have a web server that uses a motherboard with four processor sockets and each socket hosts an eight core processor (for a total of 32 cores) you need only one Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license for that web server.

Is there any limit to / do I have to pay more for the number of web sites a Manifold IMS license can host?

No. There is only one Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license required per web server no matter how many web sites are served. That web server can host one web site or many dozens of web sites, as Manifold IMS servers often do.

Is there any limit to / do I have to pay more for the number of pages served?

No. There is only one Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license required per web server no matter how many pages or users are served. There is no extra charge if your server serves millions of hits per day.

What Manifold licenses should I acquire?

Get a Manifold Release 8 Ultimatelicense for each developer who will be working on your web site. In addition, get a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license for each web server that will be running Manifold IMS. At $95, Manifold Release 8 Ultimate is so inexpensive there is no cost barrier to entry for IMS.

Can't I develop and deploy with the same license?

As a practical matter, no. Manifold Release 8 Ultimate will not run interactively at the same time it is running as IMS. It is theoretically possible to start and stop and restart between interactive and IMS mode on the same machine, but as a practical matter this tends to drive developers nuts and loses too much productivity. It is simply cheaper to buy a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license so that development can be done on one machine and deployment on a dedicated web server. It is true, though, that for limited tinkering in a hobby way it is both fun and possible to launch Manifold IMS on the same personal machine used for interactive usage - that's a great way to become aware of how easy it is to create web sites using Manifold IMS.

Do I have to pay extra to get IMS?

No. Manifold IMS is a built-in part of every Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license.

Can a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate x64 license operate in 32-bit Windows?

Yes. Manifold licenses are installed using either the 32-bit or the 64-bit Manifold installation package. A Manifold Release 8 Ultimate x64 serial number can activate either a 32-bit or 64-bit installation.

Can I use IMS with a hosting service?

Yes, if you have a dedicated server, managed hosting or co-location, where a particular machine at the hosting service becomes your machine to use as you like.

Can I run IMS on virtual servers?

That is theoretically possible but not recommended, because doing so will usually use up all available activations too fast. As virtual machines pop into or go out of existance activation status is lost, requiring a new activation.

Do client machines ever need a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license to use an IMS application?

That depends on how your application is written. If the client machine requires a Manifold installation, then yes, it will need a Manifold license. Most IMS applications are written to use a free browser like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or some other browser, so there is no Manifold license required. Let's compare four different scenarios:

Case 1: John creates an IMS-enabled web site running on one web server machine that visitors can visit using only a bowser, like the Live IMS Examples John needs only one Manifold license for his one web server. He uses a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license x64 for $95.

John makes tons of money as his business grows. He adds another web server to handle all the traffic, buying one more Manifold Release 8 Ultimate x64 license for that second machine.

Case 2: Trisha likes to tinker with open source. She creates an application that utilizes clients to connect to WFS-T data emitted by Manifold IMS in a web application. Because Trisha has no Manifold software installed on the client machines she only needs a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate license on her web server machine.

Case 3: Eric develops a sophisticated application for his local county. They run Manifold IMS on their intranet server to serve out custom imagery using WMS. They have a Manifold Release 8 Ultimate x64 license on each server machine. Their client machines each have a Manifold Release 8 Ultimatelicense as well. They use the client machines to work with projects where some of the layers come in on WMS (using Manifold's ability as a client to connect to a WMS server) and some of the layers are vector layers coming in from their Oracle DBMS servers (using Manifold's ability to directly connect to Oracle Spatial databases). Because they are using Manifold itself on each client machine they need a Manifold license on each client machine.

Case 4: Geena works for a large organization where the employees must access geospatial data but they have very low tech skills. The organization's architecture is very similar to Eric's application in Case 3, but the employees are so unskilled that the Manifold user interface cannot be used. Instead, everything must be encapsulated within a fully custom GUI that has a limited number of dialogs. Geena writes the GUI and utilizes the programming capability of Manifold to GIS-enable her application. Because they are so inexpensive, she still uses Manifold Release 8 Ultimate licenses on the client machines, with the application written using the Manifold API. That lets her leverage in her application Manifold's ability to direct connect to Oracle Spatial.

More Information

Visit the following pages for additional, detailed information on Manifold IMS:

  • Internet Map Server - Manifold IMS home page.
  • IMS Requirements - Hardware and software requirements for running Manifold IMS.
  • Top 10 IMS Advantages - The top ten advantages reported by Manifold users over using old-fashioned, archaic IMS products.
  • Live IMS Examples - Live examples of IMS running on servers, with links to complete source code for examples.

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Illustration, left: The Manifold Internet Map Server can serve a vast variety of data, including CAD drawings. The illustration shows detailed plans of a theater in New Zealand, used by theater professionals to plan performances. Using a Runtime License the cost of such capabilities is effectively zero.