This is a guest post by Tripp Corbin, CEO of eGIS Associates and an instructor with Geospatial Training Services. Esri has just released ArcGIS 10.4. This includes updates for ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS for Server, ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS. Next month, Esri is expecting to release an update to ArcGIS Pro as well which will include some big changes for their newest app including a big change on how licensing will work which many users have been asking for. So what are some of the changes or enhancements included in this newest release of Esri Software. Well below I have identified some of the ones I think are key and will be most useful This is by no means a complete list. Esri has added several new tools to ArcGIS for Desktop and its extensions for 10.4. This includes new tools for working with Lidar data. They have also updated several existing tools. Here are several new or updated tools you will find in 10.4. In addition to these new and updated tools, ArcGIS for Desktop 10.4 now supports Python 2.7.10. Plus, additional third party libraries have also been added such as SciPy, pandas, Sympy and nose. These further increase the capabilities of Python Scripts used with ArcGIS. To see the complete list of updates to ArcGIS for Desktop go to – http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/get-started/introduction/whats-new-in-arcgis.htm Esri has also made many changes to ArcGIS for Server at the 10.4 release. Here are a couple I thought were important. Again this is by no means a complete list. To see all the new functionality and changed made to ArcGIS for Server 10.4 go to http://server.arcgis.com/en/server/latest/get-started/windows/what-s-new-in-arcgis-10-4-for-server.htm. Esri continues to add new functionality to ArcGIS Online. 10.4 is no exceptions. Here are some of the new features I feel are key that were added. To see a complete list of all the changes made to ArcGIS Online go to – http://doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/reference/whats-new.htm Esri has been focusing a lot of attention on their newest desktop application, ArcGIS Pro. For those that may not be familiar with ArcGIS Pro, it is a new 64 Bit GIS application that makes use of a modern ribbon interface similar to what you now use in Microsoft Word or Autodesk’s AutoCAD programs. Its 64-bit architecture allows it to take full advantage of all the resources a new computer has to offer such as multi-threading across multiple processor cores and use as much RAM as you can throw at it. This all means it will often perform operations and processes much faster than ArcGIS for Desktop. So here are some of the key enhancements that Esri says will be included in ArcGIS Pro 1.2 when it is released next month. I have been using the beta version of ArcGIS Pro 1.2 for a while now. It seems to be a very stable. Given the lack of support for topologies and geometric networks, its use as a full time production application is still limited. So there you have it. Some of what you can expect with Esri’s latest releases. As always you should test each new version before you put into your production environment. Make sure all your key operations and workflows continue to work before you upgrade. Also remember that Esri no longer releases service packs. So the old method of waiting till the first service pack comes out no longer applies. Source.