Thursday, January 11, 2007

On-line Smallworld resources (closed and open)

Have you ever wondered where you could find help on-line for your Smallworld questions? Actual Smallworld documents are scarce on the web, but there are some other online resources you can use to get your questions answered.

GE Smallworld
If you are a paying customer you may have access to on-line help desk support. You will need to contact your local Smallworld support organization to get registered for this. You can use the help desk to report bugs and request enhancements but also to request Smallworld related answers for questions that you cannot find anywhere else.

Recently, Smallworld announced two new Global Customer Forums (you will also need to be registered with GE ):
  • The Geospatial Forum consists of topics related to:
    • Gas
    • Water
    • Electric
    • Communications
    • Developers
  • The PowerOn Forum intends for PowerOn customers to discuss topics related to that product.
[I had wanted to post the URLs to these Forums, but I just read the Terms of Use for these sites (that I agreed to by accessing the Forums) and discovered that I cannot, without GE approval, give you links any deeper than]

I wonder if these new "paying customers only" forums by GE will spell the demise of such well-used forums as the Yahoo Groups' sw-gis? I doubt that they will for a number of reasons:
  • inertia. Developers are used to the sw-gis community.
  • legacy. The sw-gis group has a significant archive of technical questions/answers that have not been ported to the GE forums.
  • ease of use. I find it easier to use Yahoo's groups interface than the SupportCentral interface used by the GE forums.
  • fresh air. I suspect that many people prefer the "fresh air" of open discussion. I think this can be accomplished more comfortable in an open community of ideas rather than a closed environment that may be perceived as too closely tied to the product vendor.
My personal preference is to see the open groups continue and thrive. They introduce new users or potential users to the community (how will they find out about Smallworld if they need to be a paying customer first?). GE created the secure forums in response to customer requests for such a venue, but I think I need some enlightenment as to what purpose that serves that cannot be accomplished with open groups. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Enough of my editorializing. Now on to the open Smallworld communities.

Yahoo Groups
There have been a number of active Smallworld groups on Yahoo Groups and many not so active. Here is a list (sorted by registered members) of the ones that I could find. In my opinion, the first few are helpful and the rest are either very language/region-specific or have too little activity. You can find these groups by browsing to

  • sw-gis
    • The sw-gis list provides a forum for developers and system administrators working with Smallworld GIS. This list addresses technical issues concerning Smallworld GIS, such as Magik programming, CASE tool, interfacing to other systems, but also system and database administration.
    • 2356 members
  • sw-gis-announce
    • This list is for general announcements related to Smallworld GIS or other Smallworld related products or applications. Acceptable announcements include: New Smallworld-related products or new releases of existing products, Smallworld related job openings, New Smallworld partner companies or new offices of existing Smallworld partner companies
    • 624 users
  • sw-gis-users
    • This list provides a forum for users of Smallworld GIS and other Smallworld related applications to share information and knowledge about the use and configuration of those products and applications.
    • 312 users
  • swgis-indonesia
    • GIS / SIG Indonesia:FORUM Diskusi pengembang aplikasi Geographic Information System (GIS) di Indonesia. Untuk pengguna software GIS :GE SMALLWORLD, ESRI ARCGIS, ARCVIEW, ARCSDE, , MAPINFO, GEOMEDIA, AUTOCAD , SICAD, ORACLE SPATIAL, CADCORP, Bentley Microstation atau yang lainnya. Software Webgis :SIAS (Smallworld Internet Application Server), ARCIMS, MAPGUIDE, MAPSERVER dan yang lainnya Lowongan Kerja GIS
    • 191 members
  • mal-sw-gis
    • For intelligence users of Smallworld Systems
    • 98 members
  • SmallWorld-GIS
    • El pequeño mundo de los sistemas de información geográfica, tanto bajo SMALLWORLD como otros sistemas. Además tambien se pueden tratar temas de programación más genéricos.
    • 84 members
  • smallworld_tw
    • Taiwan - SMALLWORLD Developers Group. The Technical Transfer Discussion eGroup of the SMALLWORLD GIS Technology for all the Cradle internal and partner-ship developers in Taiwan and Worldwide!!
    • 53 members
  • SWConnector · Smallworld (.NET) Connector
    • This Smallworld (.NET) Connector group is used for the purpose of informing those interested in the advances of developing .NET applications over a Smallworld GIS database using SWConnector.
    • 6 members
  • smallworldgroup
    • Kindly help me with Process Methodology for Merge/Append Process in Smallworld ( Merge/Append of 2 different data sets with one case tool ), Workflow in this regard would also help. If we need to do merge/append in live database what additional precautions needs to be taken. Thanking You in anticipation.
    • 1 member
  • smallworld_GIS
    • This group is specifically for the users of GEsmallworld. You can post your query and problems. An online resource for all your query and doubts solved. This group provides a podium for GESmallworld Application, development and Programming.It emcompasses technical issues concerning GESmallworld, CASE Tool, Database Creation and Administration, Magik programming, interfacing with/to external systems. A Guide to usage and development.
    • 1 member
  • p_khoodaverdi
    • For GE Smallworld users in Middle East
    • 2 members
  • sw-gis-group
    • The GIS Professional discussion group for GE Smallworld, ArcGIS, AutoCAD and ESRI products.
    • 1 member
Google Groups
Google Groups also has some Smallworld resources, but they seem to have very low membership and usually require registering with the group owner before you can access the archives. Another interesting thing I noticed was that many of the groups had names similar to the groups listed in Yahoo Groups. I'm not sure the purpose of that, but I note that there do not seem to be cross links between Google and Yahoo with these groups. You can find these groups by browsing to
  • swgis-indonesia
    • Description: GIS / SIG Indonesia: FORUM Diskusi pengembang aplikasi Geographic Information System (GIS) di Indonesia. Untuk pengguna software GE SMALLWORLD, ESRI, MAPINFO, GEOMEDIA, AUTOCAD , SICAD, ORACLE SPATIAL, CADCORP, Bentley Microstation atau yang lain
    • 7 members
  • smallworld-gis
    • Description: Smallworld GIS Forum. neXgen Technologies International Ltd.
    • 4 members
  • Smallworld-Core
    • Description: Smallworld kullanıcıları ve uzmanları
    • 2 members
  • sw-gis
    • Group description: Smallworld GIS Technical Group
    • 2 members
  • sw-gis-users
    • Description: GIS users forum for discussion on Smallworld, ArcSDE, Mapinfo etc...
    • 2 members
  • sw-gis-announce
    • Smallworld Announce
    • 1 member
This is not a regular "groups" community, but it is a place where people with common interests and ideas congregate to discuss and then make tangible contributions. Have a look at It is an open contribution of Magik Components that others have found useful and want to share with the Smallworld community.

I have done a search for blogs related to general Smallworld discussion and have found no active ones. That is why I started the SWORLDWATCH blog. I hope you find it helpful.

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