I usually don't complain in general, but this time I've had it up to my eyeballs with the inability to work with the ESRI geodatabase without using their proprietary SDK's. I've developed with ArcObjects for over a decade now so it's not a matter of "complexity", it's simply an issue of total lack of interoperability!
The "marketecture" on thier website speaks of interoperability and IT standards yet they don't allow anybody to access the data that they store in their PROPRIETARY storage format...say one thing, do another.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the FEATURES of the geodatabase, but I've had it with having to use ArcObjects to work with what should simply be free flowing GI.
So there is supposed to be a published specification for the "file" geodatabase in the 9.4 release. Great...but what about the DB persisted "enterprise" geodatabase? It must only be "simple" feature specification as all the behavior of objects is in the application tier?? I'm looking forward to implementing the real "simple feature specification" on top of whatever specification they provide....ughhh.
The "marketecture" should read, "We are totally interoperable...with ourselves only"!!!! (note the very small typeset caveat disclaimer said that under my breath reality check).