Custom ArcGIS development is dead. Today we live in a world of configurable apps.

I’ve thought long and hard about this statement. Particularly when working with customers during project planning sessions. And you know my conclusion?

ArcGIS custom development is alive and well

Let’s discuss.

ArcGIS Custom Mobile Development is Alive and Well

As was covered in yesterdays blog post: Simplifying Asset Management with GIS, we are big fans of Workforce for ArcGIS. It is simple and elegant: a super nice way to generate, manage and share work orders. For remote staff there is linkage in the mobile Workforce app to Collector, Survey 123 and Navigator. For those new to asset management looking to get started, this combination of apps sets the stage nicely.

Getting Started = Configure First

In fact we offer customers a free Workforce Introduction and Workforce Jumpstart to help move organizations forward. Configure first means low cost and fast set up. Perfect.

So is that it? For some yes .. for others… no.

Configurable (COTS) apps are simply the beginning. Why would I say that?

COTS apps set the stage by providing a starting point leveraging a pre-built generic solution. But every organization has unique workflows. A generic COTS app may be all one organization might need. But for another a COTS app might only be a ‘70% solution’. For a complete solution:

That means customization

Customization can take 2 forms:

  • If possible extending an existing COTS app
  • Building a new custom app

Let’s consider Workforce for ArcGIS. This forms a nice base for other complimentary apps. We have begun to extend WebApp Builder to provide custom functionality for some of our customers, in particular to integrate with other asset management systems like Cityworks.  For field staff who need functionality not provided by Collector or Survey123, since neither of these apps can be significantly extended, we have been building custom solutions. Thankfully today a custom solution does not mean starting from ground zero. With frameworks like AppStudio for ArcGIS and our own GeoAppSmart, custom development is now both easier and cheaper.

There you have it. Custom ArcGIS development is indeed alive and well.

Need help getting started or need a custom ArcGIS solution: Contact us on 801.733.0723.

 

Read our free white paper ‘ArcGIS Deployment Guide’, which provides a road map for getting started and moving forward with ArcGIS Online.

Author: Matt Sheehan

Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter:

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