At the ESRI Developer Summit there was news of the File Geodatabase (FGDB) API. Based on the tweets from the summit it appears: The API will be C++ only API works on Windows and Unix/Linux (specifically RedHat, Solaris, SuSE) operating systems Rudimentary support only—features such as annotation, relationships, topologies, etc. are lacking Since ESRI is releasing a targeted API and a not a specification, support for Mac OS X is out of the question.
The death of the shapefile has again been predicted—this time for 2010. The technical description of the format has been around for going on 12 years. In that time it has become a sort of lowest common denominator for data exchange. They’re everywhere. Making them go away is going to require a revolution of sorts. ESRI has been sounding the death knell for the shapefile for a while now. I agree that it isn’t a perfect format but it is nearly perfectly supported.