First Look - Manifold Server - Introducing Manifold Server, Manifold's new, high speed, fully parallel, multiuser spatial database. Covering in the first 15 minutes the essentials of launching Server, using Server to share data, and connecting to Server from Manifold, the video continues to show different options and key advantages of using Server.
See how to make multiple, simultaneous connections to Server, to share the same data between multiple users at the same time. Launch multiple Server instances on the same machine to share different constellations of data and databases.
Launch queries for server-side execution for breathtaking speed and performance. Connect to databases within Server through automatic tunneling. Connect from the same client to multiple Server instances on different machines to use dozens of threads on different machines for parallel computation and rendering. Amazing!
I heard Manifold already is a database system. How is Server different? - Every Manifold session, including the free Viewer, is a fully parallel database system as well, but Manifold desktop sessions are oriented towards single-user connections to projects through the Windows file system. More than one desktop Manifold session can connect to the same .map project at the same time, so long as the connections are read-only, with significant limitations compared to Server that result in lower performance for multiuser connections.
When desktop Manifold sessions connect to a Manifold project as a read-only data source, multiple users on multiple different machines can use data and layers from the project at the same time, but they would have to connect to that project through Windows, using Windows file system shares to reach projects on a different machine. All processing would be executed locally within each user session, including the entire rendering pipeline and execution of all queries. For a query involving a big table, that would require sending the entire table from the host machine to each desktop session. No caching or other optimization is done between different user sessions when desktop Manifold sessions connect directly to .map projects.
Server is desighed for multi-user connections and is reached through an IP address, which allows connections between clients and Server for locations anywhere in the world, without being limited to local Windows file system shares. Server also provides vastly better peformance by executing queries server-side, setting up rendering server-side, and caching and optimizing between client sessions. A query involving big tables only sends results through the network, which are typically much smaller than the big tables involved in the query. That greatly reduces the amount of data that has to be sent through networks and greatly enhances performance when incorporating data shared by Server into client projects.
Server also provides data source tunneling, while ordinary Manifold sessions always must form direct connections to all data sources. Data source tunneling allows use of data sources that otherwise might not be reachable in a direct connection. Tunneling also allows Server connections to only those databases desired within a project hierarchy that could involve many nested levels and thousands of components and databases.
How many Manifold client sessions can connect to a Server instance? - That depends on the projects involved, what the users do, the speed of the network connections between clients and Server, and the hardware used for clients and Server. For example, Server running on a Threadripper machine that has plenty of RAM and 64 CPU cores will be able to handle many more clients than Server running on a four core Ryzen 3 machine. Organizations with a few dozen users and Server instances running on typical desktop computers with eight to twelve cores and SSD storage in typical GIS work should expect good results from Server. Organizations with many users, or with users running many intensive jobs simultaneously should consider more powerful hardware and taking greater care to run Server instances on multiple computers.
Can I launch Server as a service? - Not yet, but that is planned for upcoming builds.
Super fast speed brings a new level to "ease of use" - GIS is way easier when everything happens fast, even with bigger data, and you don't have to wait around for many seconds or minutes for jerky web interfaces or slow desktop software to do what you want. Do in seconds what takes minutes or hours in other GIS packages. Life is too short for slow GIS!
Manifold provides hundreds of vector and raster geoprocessing tools that with a point and click run ten, fifty, or even one hundred times faster than Spatial Analyst or other Esri toolbox equivalents. Manifold plays well with Esri to make it easy to add Manifold speed to your GIS workflow, or to use Manifold as your primary GIS for even greater productivity.
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