I'm a recent Computer Science graduate who prides himself in his knowledge of software development and problem solving, but has no idea how gis systems work. (Read: I'm a programmer)
I've been charged with developing (ie. coding) a new webmap from scratch using software called GeoMedia Professional Web Maps.
I am attempting to get support on developing the application, however it has been like trying to find gold in a pitch dark cave. I swing my axe wildly and sometimes get some gold dust (it's all trial and error, because of the lack of decent documentation).
So barring that my attempts to use this software succeed, what would be a very developer friendly GIS software I could use? I would prefer anything that does not lock me into software (ie. Prefer not Microsoft), however if people have found one GIS in C#/asp.net happened to be the most intuitive, I would bite the bullet. (Preference: PHP, C++, or Python) [Btw I do have a GIS professional working with me on the project, but they know nothing about programming]
A little more background:
The reason I'm thinking I may need to find new software, is that this GeoMedia stuff has all of their documented code as ASP/VBScript and only shows examples using access. I refuse to use ASP/VBScript (I already did some edits in it and I wanted to throw up as I was developing) and our data appears to be in oracle and in Geomedia's proprietary smart store DB. Surprisingly, Geomedia's documentation doesn't cover how to connect to there very own databases.
I tried to search for books, or online help, or documentation and found nothing. When I called there tech support, they referred me to the local help files and the demo, which I already looked at, which again uses access.
My only saving grace for this software is that it was written using COM objects, which means I can program in any language that has bindings to COM. So I've been writing in PHP, but still the COM objects returns errors that I'm not using them correctly, and the errors aren't descriptive enough to give me tips on troubleshooting the problems (The specific objects have issues, not using COM... I've gotten a bunch of the GeoMedia COM objects to work in PHP).
EDIT: Although unimportant to the question, I found out COM exceptions could be tapped into to get better formatted information using exception. So that last point is a little less correct [still the errors could be more informative].