Esri's 2017 Partner Conference and DevSummit
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of checking out Esri’s Partner Conference (EPC) and DevSummit in Palm Springs, where Esri shares their plans and technology direction for the year ahead. Latitude Geographics has attended the EPC and DevSummit for the past 13 years; although I have been with Latitude for 16 years, this was the first time I took part. As the lead Business Analyst on our ArcGIS Implementation Services team, it was a particularly great year for me to be there and take in all of the information Esri had to offer.
I took some time to go through my notes from this year’s event, and wanted to share with the Geocortex community what I saw as 2017’s main themes.
Unification of the ArcGIS message
One thing that stood out immediately to me was that the ArcGIS message has consolidated under the umbrella of the new ArcGIS Enterprise terminology (introduced at ArcGIS 10.5). In recent years, I’d heard about individual components of the ArcGIS platform – Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS for Server, and the rest of the individual stack components; while all the individual components are still there and still very powerful, the updated messaging around ArcGIS Enterprise has simplified things and brought everything together. Each “piece” feels much more like contributing technologies to a cohesive whole, rather than individual software components.
Maturity of the ArcGIS platform
Related to the unification theme above, there is a noticeable increase in maturity of the complete ArcGIS platform. Some exciting capabilities have started to come into their own over the past year (e.g. ArcGIS Insights and ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server), and this maturity makes the ArcGIS platform an even more compelling, comprehensive GIS solution. Single-user, high-power desktop GIS isn’t exactly what I’d call a dinosaur just yet, but it’s sure looking grey compared to the new distributed and connected GIS computing paradigm Esri has introduced.
On-premises options for ArcGIS Enterprise
During the DevSummit this year, it seemed to me that there was a heavy focus on on-premises options for ArcGIS Enterprise. ArcGIS Online was still a focus, but I expect that the attention towards on-premises installation, configuration, tuning and management is reflective of the number of organizations that simply need to host their GIS infrastructure themselves. I probably shouldn’t use the term ‘on-premises’ -- quite often ArcGIS Enterprise is best implemented inside Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure – ‘self-hosted’ is perhaps better terminology.
Discovering useful tools and tactics
Finally, I must say that so much of the value for me at this year’s Partner Conference and DevSummit was all the bits of information I picked up related to many different areas of the Esri ecosystem. From learning about tools that I wasn’t aware of (like Koop), to valuable brainstorming and UX wireframing techniques, to tips and tricks for working with Geodatabases (hello extracting coded value domains!), this year’s event was a treasure chest of useful nuggets of information.
I can’t wait to see what else Esri has in store for us, and I look forward to working with our customers on more successful ArcGIS and Geocortex implementations as the year continues to unfold!
Geocortex Essentials 4.6, Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.7 & Geocortex Mobile App Framework 2.1
Latitude Geographics has released Geocortex Essentials 4.6, alongside Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.7 and Geocortex Mobile App Framework 2.1.
While we’ve made some major upgrades to Geocortex Essentials to help you manage and configure your applications, many of the exciting features in this release can be found in our viewer and its offline capabilities.
- Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.7 has a new Time Slider control to filter data on your maps to only show features in a chosen time extent. This version also offers users the ability to change the rendering of layers on-the-fly with new Dynamic Symbolization controls. They can also add layers from a predefined list of catalog layers – controlled by administrators – and can search for services and layers by URL or keyword. On the management side, this release empowers administrators to edit all context menus in the viewer, configure feature highlight colors, control measurement symbology, and more.
- Geocortex Mobile App Framework 2.1 versions for iOS, Windows, and Android have been improved, and continue to use Esri’s geodatabase replica format to store feature data on a device; this enables search with more advanced spatial intersections offline, and a smarter sync mechanism. This version introduces support for taking layers from dynamic map services offline. We’ve also made a handful of improvements for users with Windows devices, such as a configurable storage location for data. (As a reminder, we shared information with Geocortex customers at our last release regarding licensing considerations for Geocortex Mobile App Framework. If you are a Geocortex customer and haven’t had a chance to review it, yet, check out our post in the Geocortex Support Center).
As always, there are also numerous minor features, various bug fixes and user experience enhancements included as part of this release. We recommend you consult the release notes for more detailed information.
Note: There is interdependence between Geocortex Essentials, Geocortex Mobile App Framework, and our HTML5 viewer; implementing some newly-introduced features will require the latest versions.
Current Geocortex customers: Installers, release notes and supporting documentation can be downloaded by licensees with an active maintenance agreement from the Geocortex Support Center. If your account is handled by an authorized Geocortex Reseller, please contact your local representative for access to installers and documentation.
Customers interested in learning more about some of the new features being introduced can watch a set of new feature videos that will be available for viewing in the coming weeks in the Geocortex Support Center.