With Geocortex Mobile now widely available for everyone to try, the new release of the 5.1 update which saw various performance enhancements, and a keynote presentation at the Esri Partner Conference that generated lots of applause from Esri’s partner network, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide more insight on just how powerful this next-generation mobile framework is.
We sat down with Geocortex Mobile’s Product Manager and technical expert, Cam Carmichael, to ask a few questions about this exciting new technology.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning, Cam: What is Geocortex Mobile and what can I do with it?
Cam Carmichael [CC]: Geocortex Mobile is a framework that is part of the Geocortex Essentials 5-Series family. It’s a native app for iOS, Android, and Windows devices, and it’s built with the latest version of Esri’s ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET. Combining this with Geocortex Mobile Designer — a browser-based configuration tool designed to simplify the experience, we have our eyes set on making this a world-leading framework for configuring and building mobile offline-capable apps on Esri’s ArcGIS platform.
As for the second part of your question, Geocortex Mobile has a vast array of features. You can build cutting-edge apps from inside your web browser and optimize them for mobile, offline environments; leverage this technology alongside Geocortex Workflow to build guided end-user interactions for any business process you can dream up; run Geocortex Mobile apps in both connected and disconnected states; and apply changes made in the field via an online sync option.
Q: Can you tell us about Geocortex Go, and how it supports Geocortex Mobile?
[CC]: Geocortex Go is a mobile application that can be downloaded on either the Android, iOS, and Windows apps stores completely free of cost. We like to think of this as the companion app for Geocortex Mobile because it enables GIS application developers to easily preview their mobile apps during the development stage. It can also be deployed to workers in the field, giving them the ability to load mobile apps created in Geocortex Mobile.
Q: What are some of the features end-users can experiment with?
[CC]: We really want people to feel like they can create amazing mobile applications that span across a wide amount of mobile activities, so understand that we’ll be releasing more features over time. However, as of right now, Geocortex Mobile generally supports common field data collection activities, like enabling users to add/edit ArcGIS features and perform inspections, collecting photos and other attachments while in the field, panning and zooming the map automatically using geolocation, managing visible layers to make sure only pertinent details are included, quickly adding or deleting features and related records, and of course – utilizing the popular “I want to” menu, which contains all of the most important functions for your users!
Like I mentioned above, with its ability to integrate with Geocortex Workflow, there’s really no ceiling in terms of how the end-user can be using this application, assuming a workflow is built that addresses the business challenge they’re faced with.
Q: How do I create an app that my field workers can use if I’m not connected to the Internet?
[CC]: This can actually be done in two different ways. Firstly, via ArcGIS Online Map Areas – a feature that was released back in July 2018 by Esri – which gives administrators the flexibility to create pre-packaged areas in the web map, which Geocortex Mobile can easily download and use.
Those who are unable to take advantage of ArcGIS Online web maps can use Geocortex Mobile to define a custom area and level of detail, download it to their device, and then use it offline.
Q: Is it possible to try Geocortex Mobile out with our field workers before purchasing?
[CC]: Yes! We want you to have a chance to kick the tires before outfitting your field workforce. Those who want to try a Geocortex Mobile app out on their device can download Geocortex Go (like I said earlier – it’s free). From there, users will be given an option to “try the sample apps,” which can be used to test Geocortex Go without actually needing an ArcGIS Identity.
Q: How is Geocortex Mobile licensed?
[CC]: Geocortex Mobile is included with all licenses of Geocortex Essentials Enterprise Edition. It’s also available as a standalone offering. By itself, it can be licensed on an annual subscription basis, or on a perpetual basis with ongoing maintenance.
As for pricing, that’s based on the number of ArcGIS Identities that are activated in the licensing organization. Larger organizations can pursue custom ELA licensing, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if this is something you’re interested in.
Those who want to use the SaaS version of Geocortex Mobile are required to pay via subscription
Q: What’s on the roadmap? How often are you releasing new updates?
[CC]: We have many new features on our roadmap – but in these early stages we are totally interested in listening to customer feedback and adjusting our development priorities accordingly. A good example of this came after our initial 5.0 release when we got feedback that customers needed to be able to side load tile packages and have Geocortex Mobile use those tiles. We adjusted our development schedule, built out support for these side loaded TPKs and released an update two months later with that support.
We are currently planning to release every two months and each release will include new capabilities, improvements to existing functionality, and of course – we’ll fix any issues that we identify.
Q: Before we wrap things up, where can people go to learn more about Geocortex Mobile?
[CC]: There are lots of resources already available for those who want to learn more about Geocortex Mobile. Firstly – the Geocortex Mobile Community page and the Geocortex Documentation Center are great sources of information, so I recommend bookmarking those. Earlier this year, I put together a webinar which is available on demand and provides an introduction into how this technology can streamline mobile operations, so if you’re looking for a more interactive tutorial, give that a watch. We also have a Geocortex Mobile playlist on YouTube, which has all of the latest Geocortex Tech Tips we’ve done on the product, so keep your eyes on that channel as well. And finally, this blog is always a prime source of new information – so stay tuned for more Geocortex Mobile updates right here too!
Interested in getting a personal demonstration on Geocortex Mobile? Click the button below to learn more, or to schedule a demo.