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Using ESRI's MapObjects to Build Database Client Applications
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Topics Covered

  • Support Files and Resources
  • Setting up Visual Basic to use MapObjects
  • Performing Spatial Queries
  • The Shapefile
  • How a Spatial Query is Produced
  • Generating SQL
  • Clause to Generate a Recordset from a Spatial Query
  • Using AddRelate to Generate a Recordset from a Spatial Query
  • About the AddRelate Method 100 records and indexing
  • Table 1 - Summary of AddRelate behavior with Northwind Database Tables
  • Creating a new Shapefile from an existing Table and MapLayer
  • Events In Generating Shapefiles from an Existing Table and MapLayer
  • Conclusion

Technology: Visual Basic 5 with Service Pack 3, MapObjects 1.2 (or MapObjects 1.1 with service pack 1 installed)

I apologize for the broken link to the downloadable sample code. You should be able to get to it now. Since this article is so popular, I updated the links.

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This was an article submission offered to ArcUser magazine in 1998. Since the article was not run, I figured I would allow access to it on our web site so as not to allow my time and effort to go to a total waste.

This article offers information based on my experience performing AddRelates and Spatial Queries. Based on the amount of AddRelate questions presented on the MapObjects forum hosted at the ESRI web site, I thought this may be very useful to many individuals.

If you discover any errors or have any suggestions, then please feel free to let me know at scott@mapobject.com.

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ESRI's MapObjects is an effective tool to build database client applications used to view, analyze and edit spatial data and data with spatial relevance. Using MapObjects, the developer has many of the functional features of ESRI's ArcView through an ActiveX control that provides a set of programming objects. These objects contain properties, events and methods which may be filled, referenced and called using existing programming platforms like Microsoft's Visual Basic or Borland's PowerBuilder.

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Before MapObjects became available, database client applications consisted of QBE (Query By Example) and table grid type interfaces. Although the QBE interface offered the user insulation from working with structured query language (SQL), the user must have an understanding of the database structure. The table grid control provided a logical means for displaying data but often the user cannot arrive at any conclusions about the data without placing the data within the context the data belongs. Both these tools provided excellent controls for analysts who need to manipulate and display data in the context of the tools themselves. The analytical tools however, were designed to accommodate the deficit which existed between reality and the ability of computer technology to model reality. MapObjects bridges this computer technology deficit by offering the developer a control that not only insulates the user from the complications of SQL but provides the user a forum for analyzing and displaying data within a logical context that metaphors reality.

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© Copyright 2000 Scott Hofmann. All Rights Reserved. Distribution of this document unedited in it's entirety is encouraged.