It looks like a Smallworld CST application, acts like one, you program in Magik just like one, and you access data just like one, but..... There is NO VMDS! You read this correctly, there is no VMDS. OGRES is 100% VMDS free, which allows you to reduce the amount of administrative costs of a typical Smallworld installation.
What is OGRES?
OGRES is a Geographic Information System that allows you to incorporate geographic data into your decision making process. Built upon the GE Smallworld Application Framework (SWAF), OGRES gives you the same development environment, core functionality, and tools available in the GE Smallworld Core Spatial Technology (CST). Tool development is transportable from OGRES to a CST with VMDS. There is no need to purchase or use other GIS applications to view or manipulate small areas.
No Database Administration
Smallworld's Version Managed Datastore (VMDS) technology is the best geospatial database technology in the GIS industry. It is scalable to 10's of Terabytes of data with thousands of concurrent users. However it is a database technology, which requires a certain level of database administration and expertise. OGRES is built to be used without the need for any VMDS. All the data is stored as flat files, such as ESRI Shape, and all the configuration data for styles, bookmarks, and object visibility are stored in XML files.
Entry Level GIS Application
OGRES provides a lower entry level cost into the Smallworld technology. This is perfect for smaller projects or newcomers into the GIS industry. This platform allows you to learn Smallworld on a limited budget, and when you need to support larger datasets or multiple users, you can move very easily to the full Smallworld CST with VMDS database technology. Any development done within OGRES is 100% compatible with a real Smallworld CST application.
OGRES is built on top of core Smallworld CST code, and it implements core object functionality. This gives you the ability to use any tools developed on OGRES in a Smallworld CST application using VMDS. The reverse is true also. If you have current tools on your Smallworld CST application, those tools can be included in an OGRES application.
Potable GIS Application
Since there is no VMDS, the administration of portable OGRES applications are minimized. To move the data to a portable device, all you do is install OGRES and copy the files to the device. That is it; done; finished; have a nice day!
OGRES is delivered with functionality to export VMDS objects to Shape data that can be used by an OGRES application. The Shape file contains attribute fields from the VMDS objects and when OGRES updates update flags are stored back into the Shape files. When you import the changed data back into VMDS, these flags are queried to only update the records that were modified by OGRES. The querying and bookkeeping is all delivered with OGRES, so you do not need to develop that functionality. Since all of this is done via Magik, you can extend the functionality to meet your needs.
Unlike most entry level GIS applications, OGRES comes with network traceability functionality included. Again, we have built upon the core Smallworld technology. So you can modify the traceability functionality just like you would in a real Smallwolrd VMDS application. The algorithms you create can be easily converted to support your Smallworld VMDS application and vice versa.
OGRES comes with a GPS module that allows you to view your position on the OGRES application. There is no additional cost for this functionality!
Thematic Mapping and Labeling
OGRES allows you to easily create thematic mappings for your data. The mappings are stored in the configuration XML files so you do not need to reproduce the mappings every time you load the data. Automatic labeling is also supported. You can label features based on any of the object's attributes. Again, this is written via Magik so you can modify the algorithms to meet your requirements.
Support for Core Functionality
As you have probably deduced from reading the above features, OGRES is written on core Smallworld functionality. So this brings you many of the core functionalities within Smallworld. Here is a non exhaustive list of core functionalities that are supported by OGRES: coordinate systems & reprojections, plotting, object control, queries, construction geometries, and trail interactions.