801.410.2532

We think frameworks are the future of GIS web apps. No more developing web apps from the ground up, but leveraging existing structures. We have looked at a number of frameworks and, in this blog post, made a comparison with our own GeoAppSmart.

GIS Web App Frameworks Compared

Let’s start with some context. In the old days of GIS there were a number of popular and excellent GIS engines. Then we were talking servers, not platforms. At that time good applications, and in particular good web apps, were badly lacking. ‘Too many engines, and not enough cars’, was how some saw this state of affairs. Custom web apps were popular, but they were costly and tough to extend or modify. Some recognised a gap in the market and created commercial out of the box (COTS) frameworks. These provided a cheaper alternative to custom web apps. Users could configure their own web apps.

The world of GIS web frameworks has expanded. In the table below we compare a number of frameworks (grouped together under ‘existing frameworks’) with a new open framework which is a more flexible version of Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS. Note, GeoAppSmart is an extended version of this open framework.

Existing Frameworks GeoAppSmart
Type Web mapping framework which generates all device web apps Web mapping framework which generates all device web apps
Classification Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Custom Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS+)
Customization Difficulty Medium/High Low/Medium
Dojo Style Legacy (in many cases) Modern Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD)
Custom Modules In-house developed MVVM  (in many cases) Generic MVVM pattern
Module Development JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, Legacy dojo, Proprietary JS SDK, GIS JavaScript API, Proprietary modified MVVM, TypeScript, supporting Proprietary framework, Python JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, Modern dojo, Generic MVVM, GIS Engine, Python
Custom Development Resources Commonly limited/Poor documentation Comprehensive and detailed documentation with live examples
Cost of Customization by Professional Services Medium/High Low/Medium
Third Party Widgets Limited Comprehensive
Focused Extensions Yes Yes
Offline Capability Yes, but many not reliable Yes
Performance Slower due to legacy Dojo Fast due to AMD
3D Enabled No, in may cases Yes
GUI based App Builder Commonly yes Currently no. Simple file configuration
Layout Options No. Many need custom coding Yes. Multiple options available
How licensed Often part of a wider license Stand-alone license
License Cost Medium/High Low/Medium

We classify many of the existing HTML Viewers generated from frameworks as COTS solutions. Meaning they offer out of the box functionality which is easy to configure, but is a generic not custom solution. In other words ‘you get what you get’. These frameworks may well save customers time and money, as long as the out-of-the box widgets do exactly what you need. If they don’t, in many cases customization can be challenging and expensive. Some framework providers have started building more focused widget suites.

GeoAppSmart is a COTS+ solution. Meaning it is easy to configure, modify and extend. Unlike many of the existing frameworks it is built on open web technology, so no proprietary code. It also uses the most current Javascript toolkits (Dojo) and specifications (AMD). That has many benefits including performance and compatibility with Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS. Widgets can be ported to and from Web AppBuilder. We believe simplicity is key. GeoAppSmart is easy to configure. There is no complex install required, simply unzip the web app on your web server, configure and you are done. GeoAppSmart can be used on all devices and is a robust online and offline solution. We are also building out focused suites using GeoAppSmart as the flexible foundation. In short, GeoAppSmart is open, simple, flexible and a cost effective solution.

We are big fans of GIS web frameworks, and think developing focused widget suites makes much sense. But we believe open is important, as is easy customization. Unlike in the past, today there are a number of good solutions to choose from in the GIS web app universe, powered by frameworks. The best option for your organization depends on both your budget and need.

Contact us to learn more about GeoAppSmart.

 

4 Ground-Breaking New Ways to Better Manage your Assets
Download our free eBook on the exciting new world of asset management apps: simple, flexible and affordable. Learn about how to better manage, monitor, track and plan your physical assets.

Author: Staff Writer

S
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Our newsletter is filled with news, tips, tutorials and lively discussion focused on the exciting, rapidly evolving world of GIS. Join over 2000 of your peers.
     
WebMapSolutions
Schedule Free ArcGIS Consultation
Our goal is to help you successfully apply ArcGIS to solve your business problems. Conducted by an ArcGIS expert, our free 30 min consultation will help move you forward.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Our blog is filled with lively discussion, news, ideas. We take a fresh perspective on the rapidly changing world of GIS. Don't miss a post ... join over 1000 of your peers.
Do you want massive traffic?
Dignissim enim porta aliquam nisi pellentesque. Pulvinar rhoncus magnis turpis sit odio pid pulvinar mattis integer aliquam!
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia montes
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den lacus
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum quis
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix digit
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat turtulis
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
WebMapSolutions
CONTACT US
Are you looking for advice or help with ArcGIS? We are happy to share with you our thoughts and expertise to move you forward. Fill out the form below and we will be in contact soon.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
WebMapSolutions
WORKSHOP SIGN UP
Our goal is to help get started and maximize GIS ROI. Conducted by on of our GIS experts, our free 1 hr Discovery Workshop will provide you a GIS road-map.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
WebMapSolutions
Schedule a GeoAppSmart Demo
GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS we have designed with flexibility in mind. Let us show you how the app works. Fill out the form below, and we will contact you to set up a demo.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Request a Demo
Learn more about GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS. Schedule a demo. We can show you the features of this is a new breed on super flexible ArcGIS apps..
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Our blog is filled with lively discussion, news, ideas. We take a fresh perspective on the rapidly changing world of GIS. Don't miss a post ... join over 1000 of your peers.
Discounts!
Subscribe now to our free daily newsletter and get special offers and 20% discount.
More than just MOBILE .. All device ArcGIS apps are finally HERE!
GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS is one of a new breed of web based ArcGIS apps which:

  • Runs on any device - PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet
  • Can be used anywhere - Online or offline
  • Infinitely flexible - Built using plug-in tools
  • Easy to set up, configure and use

Download our new eBook, and learn more about these new super flexible web apps.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
New to ArcGIS Online and wondering how to GET STARTED?
Our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS: Your Roadmap' will walk you through the critical success elements:

  • Defining the problem
  • Evolving the story
  • Building the runway
  • Solution implementation

If you are looking to JUMPSTART your deployment and use of ArcGIS Online this eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
S
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Our newsletter is filled with news, tips, tutorials and lively discussion focused on the exciting, rapidly evolving world of GIS. Join over 2000 of your peers.
     
Wondering about Mobile GIS?
Our free eBook 'Your Guide to Mobile GIS' will help you get started and move forward with this exciting technology. We cover:

  • Your mobile GIS options
  • Provide case studies
  • Discuss best choices
  • Look ahead

If you are looking to improve how your mobile staff get their work done. This free eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
Want to get the most out of ArcGIS Online?
Our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS Online' will walk you through the critical success elements including:

  • The Why
  • The Who
  • The How
  • The Where

If you are looking to get started or maximize your ArcGIS Online ROI, this eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
4 Ground-Breaking New Ways to Better Manage your Assets
Download our free eBook on the exciting new world of asset management apps: simple, flexible and affordable. Learn about how to better manage, monitor, track and plan your physical assets.
Want to get the most out of ArcGIS Online?
Download our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS Online'. The eBook walks you through the key success elements: the why, who, how and where. Get started or maximize your ArcGIS Online ROI.
Sign up for our free GIS Discovery Workshop
Wondering how to get started or maximize your GIS ROI? Our free 1 hour workshop is designed to provide you a road-map to success with GIS. Sign up for it today.