posted: March 11, 2015 | author: Marianne Cardwell
This is by far my favorite conference. The content is great, we get an early look at what Esri has in store, and it’s in Palm Springs, CA in March! Living in the Midwest, that’s a big plus. This was the view this morning from the convention center. Hard to beat, isn’t it?
As I did last year, I will update this post daily with the highlights of the day. The conference started on a Tuesday this year instead of the typical Monday and runs until Friday (instead of Thursday). I highly recommend checking Twitter for additional news by searching for #devsummit.
This is the 10th year of the DevSummit and I’ve been lucky to attend
six seven of these. The conference has grown every year and there are about 1,800 attendees this year, plus 300 Esri staff. Lots of folks coming from other countries, as well. It’s fun to hear the many different languages being spoken!
Jack Dangermond spoke early on and skyped with Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas to talk about the work he’s doing using technology and STEM to help students in underserved areas. Here’s my favorite quote:
— Marianne Cardwell (@emmster07) March 10, 2015
While Skype was flaky and it was at times hard to understand what was being said, the message was indeed powerful. It’s great to see such different people (Will.I.Am & Jack Dangermond) connecting this way.
Here are the highlights of the Plenary and what I took away from it:
Web Development Tools
Throughout the sessions I’ve attended, there is definitely the assumption that:
I’ll admit that I’m not one of the cool kids. While I don’t program much anymore, I still like to think of myself as a programmer. And Visual Studio worked just fine for me. Having said that, there is a lot of functionality there that could really help you increase your productivity, especially through your build and test process. Yes, you will need time to learn all of these technologies, but there are some really good samples out there to get you started.
Speaking of samples, you *really* should look at Esri’s GitHub repository. There is a ton of code there that could save you a lot of headaches. It’s also a great way to learn from others.
As I mentioned above in the plenary notes, there are some significant language changes coming up in 4.0. Here are the biggest ones:
I don’t know (yet) whether these changes will be backwards compatible…
The 3D stuff looks AWESOME. And while it’s not yet officially available in beta, if you want to play with it, the URL is http://jsdev.arcgis.com/4.0beta1/. You’re welcome!
Here are the biggest things about 3D, once available:
Unfortunately, we still have to wait a bit. They are “hoping” to release beta 1 by the end of April, with updates through 2015 and a final release at the end of the year. Some of the improvements they hope to make include support for additional layer types, new 3d symbology features, improved performance and visual quality and more view options.
This one has a lot of potential, even though I am not a fan of the fact that it requires Portal or AGOL. But it does, and we should learn to live with it. In short, either install Portal (comes with Server at 10.3) or have an AGOL account (and however many named users you might need, depending on your scenario).
The customizing and extending session was incredibly popular with almost every seat taken and people sitting on the floor all around the room. And this was in one of the biggest rooms available!
You can use the Web AppBuilder through AGOL/Portal or download the developer edition to your machine. If you’re going to create custom widgets, you’ll want to download the developer edition. Note that the developer edition is not always updated at the same time as the AGOL one, so you might not always get the latest features.
Documentation is available for the AGOL version as well as the developer edition version (note the different links).
Esri will soon release a web course and has a live training seminar available.
GeoNet also has two different places for Web AppBuilder related discussions: Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS and Web AppBuilder Custom Widgets. It sounds like it has a pretty active community already.
If you’re going to build custom widgets, first check out the widgets the Esri professional services team has created and loaded into GitHub. Something there might work for you. You should also search GeoNet to see about any other ones developed by the community. Also check out the Web AppBuilder generator.
If you’ve developed custom Dojo widgets before, then creating custom Web AppBuilder widgets will most likely be a breeze. If you haven’t, then learn a bit more about Dojo widgets before you take the plunge!
AppStudio for ArcGIS
I have to admit that I went into the AppStudio session thinking it was too good to be true, but it looked quite good. AppStudio allows you to develop an application once and deploy it on Android, iOS and Windows devices. As native applications. You develop in Qt and then can create native builds you can submit to the respective stores.
You can sign up for the beta program by going to http://doc.arcgis.com/en/appstudio/. After you’ve downloaded and installed the software, you’ll end up with three applications:
I’ve only played with the software for less than an hour, but you can quickly see it’s not production ready. Tool-tips are missing, font sizes vary, scrollbars don’t always show up, etc. I haven’t done much more than just creating an app based on the Map Viewer template, which is extremely simple.
Despite my initial lack of enthusiasm using the application, I do still think this has a lot of potential. The output is a series of native applications, not hybrid apps as you would get with PhoneGap. You can create the builds yourself (although you’ll need the appropriate hardware), or you can request the builds to be created in the cloud.
AppStudio is currently available as an early adopter program. Beta 1 should be available March 23 and the final version should be available in July.
Licensing is of course tightly coupled with the ArcGIS Online named users. You can also go with the ArcGIS Runtime licensing. To be honest, though, I was a bit confused by the licensing, so do your research before exploring this further.