New TerraFlex Desktop add-in Compatibility – Caution

As per the announcement last week, a new version of the Trimble TerraFlex Desktop add-in (v3.5) was posted today. This version contains some important new functionality: support for auto-collected fields, support for standalone geodatabase tables, and the ability to upload features outside of a task. These have been high on the list of customer requests and we’re happy to finally be providing them.

Unfortunately, we do not expect this new version to be compatible with Trimble Positions Desktop add-in v10.3.0.2 the way previous versions were (when installed side-by-side). Because of limitations in the way the .NET Framework loads dependent assemblies, the two add-ins will effectively share dependencies that have the same name even though they are registered with ArcMap from different folders. As there have been a few significant changes in some of the underlying components, an attempt by the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in v10.3.0.2 to use the newer components, or an attempt by the Trimble TerraFlex Desktop add-in v3.5 to use the older components, would likely fail at some point in the workflow.

In addition, there have been changes to the configuration structure. Instead of both add-ins sharing a common configuration folder (typically <user>\AppData\Roaming\Trimble\Positions\10.1), the Trimble TerraFlex Desktop add-in now has its own configuration (typically <user>\AppData\Roaming\Trimble\TerraFlex\3.2). For dealers and other advanced users who have a requirement to run both add-ins side-by-side, there are options for sharing configurations, assuming the add-in versions are compatible.

Rest assured, we do intend to include all of this new TerraFlex workflow support in a near future release of Trimble Positions.

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ArcPad 10.2.3 not (yet) supported

Within the last week, Esri released ArcPad 10.2.3 into their customer portal. At present, we do not support this version in Trimble Positions. In fact, installing Trimble Positions ArcPad extension 10.2.2.1 will cause ArcPad 10.2.3 to stop functioning. It is our intent to support this version in a future release.

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2-Point Offsets in ArcPad using the Geo 7X Rangefinder

ArcPad has long supported 2-point offset constructions (bearing-bearing or distance-distance) for points and line/polygon vertexes. When using an optical rangefinder (e.g., LaserAce or TruPulse), the rangefinder button can be used to populate the data for Reference Point A then Reference Point B in succession. This is partially enabled through ArcPad changing control focus after the first reference point is shot.

In the Geo 7X Rangefinder workflow, pressing the rangefinder button on the device launches the rangefinder app. After a point is shot (by pressing the device button again), you click the checkmark icon to return to ArcPad. This should populate the data for Reference Point A and move the control focus to Reference Point B. Unfortunately, when you then try taking the second shot and returning to ArcPad, control focus is no longer on Reference Point B because of the application switching. The result is that Reference Point A gets replaced with the new shot and there is effectively no way to populate Reference Point B automatically from the rangefinder on the Geo 7X.

We are discussing this issue with Esri and will update our user community when we have something to share.

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Geo 7X Firmware

Earlier this year, an operating system update (6.7.16) was released for the Geo 7X handheld. Support cases submitted to both Trimble and Esri have indicated that ArcPad users with complex projects are running up against memory problems with increased frequency after upgrading their devices to this new OS version. Customer and dealer testing indicates that there is ~4MB less memory available to the application compared to the old OS version.

This issue is being investigated internally. Initial testing suggests that any high-memory use application could be affected including ArcPad and ArcGIS for Windows Mobile + Trimble Positions. At this time, it is recommended that Trimble Positions users with larger field projects stay at the previous operating system version (6.7.15) until further notice.

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Support for ArcMap 10.3.1

We’ve been asked on several occasions about support for ArcMap version 10.3.1 in the latest version of the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in (version 10.3.0.2). Initial testing indicates that upgraded installations will generally work (i.e., ArcMap was upgraded after Trimble Positions Desktop was installed) but that new installations on ArcMap 10.3.1 will not see a properly registered add-in.  There are 2 workarounds:

  • Manually add a registry entry to mimic what the installer is supposed to be doing. This will preserve the proper uninstallation behavior of the app. The name of the new registry key should be:
    HKLM\SOFTWARE\ESRI\Desktop10.3\Settings\AddInFolders
    (or if x64, HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\ESRI\Desktop10.3\Settings\AddInFolders)
    …and then you’ll create a new string value that points to the path c:\program files\trimble\trimble positions desktop add-in\addins.
  • Manually register the PositionsDesktopAddIn.esriAddIn by double-clicking the file in c:\program files\trimble\trimble positions desktop add-in\addins. This will copy the .esriAddIn to Esri’s staging area (c:\users\<user>\documents\arcgis\addins) and ArcMap will pick it up there. In this case, an uninstallation of Trimble Positions Desktop using the Control Panel will not remove it from ArcMap and you’d have to use the menu options within ArcMap to remove the add-in.
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Windows 10 Support

Just wanted to put up a quick post on this as we’re starting to see questions in Support. At this time, no components in the Trimble Positions Software Suite are supported on Windows 10. For one thing, Esri has not certified any of their products on Windows 10.

Esri FAQ:  Is Windows 10 certified with Esri’s ArcGIS products?

In addition, there are some issues in getting Windows Mobile Device Center to work properly on the desktop.

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New TerraFlex Desktop add-in

Some of you may have noticed that a new version of the Trimble TerraFlex Desktop add-in was released last week. This version introduces support for the data update workflow whereby existing features can be uploaded to InSphere as a task creation step in the add-in. Typically we’d also release an updated version of the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in that has the same level of functionality for TerraFlex workflows. However, we have not yet been able to do so.

Although it is technically possible to install the new TerraFlex add-in alongside the existing Trimble Positions add-in (10.3.0.2), you may run into problems in certain workflows. Although most of the underlying components are the same between those versions, some of the InSphere dependencies have changed and so functionality may depend on in what order ArcMap loads the add-ins (and hence what version of the dependencies get loaded to be used by both).

Thus for the time being, the recommendation is to not run both add-ins side-by-side in production workflows unless you have thoroughly tested it and know what works and what doesn’t.

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Using a Geoid GGF File in ArcPad (Windows)

In an earlier blog post, we discussed how to specify a GGF file for use by the Trimble Positions ArcPad extension in calculating mean sea level (MSL) elevations in the field. This is done through a registry entry. The blog post also included a simple utility application (with source code) for creating this registry entry. At the time of that release, the solution only pertained to Windows Mobile. However, in the latest (10.2.2.1) release of the Trimble Positions ArcPad extension, this functionality now exists in the Windows version as well as the Windows Mobile version. The necessary registry entry is the same on both platforms. The simple utility application is available for both platforms:

Note: The download links in the original blog post have also been updated to include the Windows files.

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Announcing the March 2015 release of Trimble Positions

We are extremely pleased to announce the March 2015 release of Trimble Positions. This release adds support for the Trimble R1 GNSS receiver in both real-time and post-processed workflows using the Trimble Positions Mobile extension or Trimble Positions ArcPad extension.  This release also includes several bug fixes and incorporates the items discussed in this earlier blog post.

  • Support for the Trimble R1 GNSS receiver. Trimble Positions can now be used to collect data on devices paired with a Trimble R1 GNSS receiver via Bluetooth® wireless technology. Both real-time and post-processed workflows are supported.
  • Esri ArcGIS for Windows Mobile 10.2.1 support. Trimble Positions now supports Esri ArcGIS for Windows Mobile 10.2.1. The mobile cache synchronization geoprocessing (GP) tools can be used with either Esri ArcGIS for Desktop 10.1, 10.2, or 10.3.

Additional information is available in the release notes:

Note: If you have issues upgrading the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in and the old version still appears, it may be worth manually cleaning the entry in ArcMap’s AssemblyCache after uninstalling the old version and before installing the new version.  It’s generally in the following location on Windows 7 (AssemblyCache is a hidden folder):

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\ESRI\Desktop<version>\AssemblyCache\{53B8FB5F-6061-4667-84B8-ADE5C76D6BE3}

Another Note: Please be aware that this release of the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in requires a schema upgrade in the office database. After uninstalling the old version and installing the new version, please run the Trimble Positions Desktop Configuration tool and click ‘Test current configuration’ to upgrade the schema.

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Esri Releases ArcGIS for Windows Mobile 10.2.1

Our friends at Esri have been working on a 10.2.1 maintenance release of ArcGIS for Windows Mobile.  The English language version of the application (and SDK) was released this week and other languages will follow.

New versions of the Trimble Positions Mobile extension and the Trimble Positions Mobile Project Center extension will be required to support this new release. Until those versions are available, you should stay on ArcGIS for Windows Mobile 10.2.

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