We often get asked “I’d like my students, staff or faculty to use ArcGIS Pro, what is the best way to distribute the executable to them”? This applies to any other Esri application that needs to be downloaded and installed, such CityEngine, ArcGIS Enterprise, etc. There are a few ways to accomplish this, and our recommendation is to use the institutional shared file system (same applies for distributing single use provisioning files, though the recommended way of licensing ArcGIS Pro is through a named user account in an ArcGIS Online organization).
- Use your institution’s shared file system – this could be Box, Google Drive, shared drives, whatever method is typically used to distribute files. Advantages are:
- One location for accessing the executables that can be used by everyone in the organization (this makes it easy for ArcGIS administrators, instructors and students).
- It can be behind the same single-sign-on (SSO) as your ArcGIS Online organization, LMS or other business systems – makes it easy for students, staff and faculty to simply login with their known enterprise credentials and download.
- Potentially faster download speed.
- Use My Esri – this could be an involved process if one wants to provide Download access to many students, staff and faculty. We generally discourage it for the reasons below – and of course exceptions apply.
- This involves an invitation to My Esri initiated by the administrator.
- Depending on whether the My Esri account is already in the system, there may be additional interaction to Request Permission (for Downloads in this case).
- There are a couple of notification emails that would go out to students, staff, faculty who are being given those permissions, such as “your permissions request has been received”, or “your request has been approved” notifications.
- This can be burdensome for administrators (to have to manage the requests), for instructors (to have to instruct their students where to go to download), and for students (to have to navigate My Esri to get to downloads).
- From Administrator standpoint, this does not scale well for increased number of users.
- Use trial downloads – we generally discourage this method, as it has users creating additional accounts that can be confusing with any other My Esri or ArcGIS Online accounts they already have.
Feel free to share feedback.