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2016

Off-Site with Web Access

In Part 2 of this blog, we assume there are users in your organization who are working remotely, have access to the web and that their work impacts other jobs being performed by other team members in your organization. Some examples include:

 

  • A QC officer validating edits performed in a GIS web viewer
  • An editor making simple web edits
  • A field crew collecting data through ESRI's Collector and Workforce applications
  • A manager reviewing active jobs online, checking status reports etc.

 

In each of these situations Workflow Manager can help improve the efficiency of that experience and tie it in with your larger business process.

 

Web Viewing and Editing

A simple editing workflow is for a technician to update some feature data, for a QC officer to validate the edited data and send it back if it isn't up to specification. In Workflow Manager that may look like the following:

 

 

A user defines the location of the work, a version of the data is automatically created and then passed over for editing and QC.

 

This is a very common workflow in desktop but did you know that Workflow Manager can help implement this workflow for the web as well? The steps are actually easier than you might think using Workflow Manager’s out of the box token system and Launch URL step.

 

  1. Publish the source map with feature services enabled if you would like to edit on the web
  2. Setup a web viewer. A simple one to start with is http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html
  3. Define a Launch URL step in the workflow (replacing Edit Data and/or QC Data above)
  4. Configure the step argument to open the viewer with your map and or feature server. Then append additional items to switch the data source to your version and zoom you to the location defined for the work
  5. http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?url=http://server:6080/arcgis/rest/services/SampleMap/FeatureServer?source%3Dsd%26gdbVersion%3D[JOB:VERSION]&extent=[JOB:AOI_ENVELOPE]

 

The [JOB:VERSION] token will be populated by the correct job’s version name when the step is run and the [JOB:AOI_ENVELOPE] token will be populated with the job’s spatial extent. By replacing the Edit Data and QA/QC steps with one of these web editing or viewing steps you have just created your first web editing workflow, seamlessly passing from one entry point to the next!

 

Collecting Feature Data and Assigning Field Crews

 

Using the Collector App for ArcGIS, field personnel can quickly collect and update data from most mobile devices, but setting up the service, tracking the data and merging it into a production workflow can take time.

 

Workflow Manager can improve this process by aiding in the creation and distribution of a Collector feature service by automatically versioning feature data (when required), launching Tasks (or a python script) to quickly author the feature service and then using notifications to send the URL to the field.

 

If a Collector feature service is already defined then the URL can be modified using Workflow Manager tokens to switch the data version in the transmitted email to the field crew. Example:

http://utility.arcgis.com/usrsvcs/servers/de93380a235e4d9bb22f144dee642714/rest/services/WMX/ToilettenBeheer/FeatureServer/0?gdbVersion=DATAOWNER.EDITS_7201&source=sd

 

Using the Workforce App for ArcGIS you can assign and prioritize fieldwork assignments on mobile devices. Did you know that Workforce Assignments can be generated from a Workflow Manager step automatically? All you need is the Workforce feature service, the job ID, the dispatcher ID and the assignment type and from there you can author an Execute GP or Launch GP to run a python tool we've configured to generate the Workforce Assignment.

 

The script is available on Github: https://github.com/Esri/workflowmanager-samples

 

Workflow Manager for ArcGIS Server

Not everyone has the option to run Workflow Manager from ArcGIS Desktop, either because they’re working remotely or because their job doesn’t require them to use desktop. For these users there is Workflow Manager for ArcGIS Server and the Workflow Manager JavaScript API.

 

These products are extensible and allow users to run workflows, check on the status of jobs, create reports and many other things online. Out of the box this can be performed from the Javascript sample viewer. After publishing a Workflow Manager service, this viewer can be deployed in your organization to allow more access.

 

For field users they can also interact with the Javascript viewer or a custom viewer or app made off the REST API.

 

One trick though to provide off-site staff easy access to marking assigned work as done is to directly send them an email notification with the appropriate REST call embedded inside. In this fashion they can just click the link in the email when they’re done their work and don’t have to access an additional mobile app or website. An example of what would need to be configured is as follows:

 

  • Configure a new email notification type in Workflow Manager Administrator
  • In the body include a statement like

http://sampleserver/arcgis/rest/services/Workflow/WMServer/jobs/[JOB:ID]/workflow/steps/12/markAsDone?user=[JOB:ASSIGNED_TO]

 

 

For a more information on Workflow Manager for ArcGIS Server:  http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgisserver/extensions/workflow-manager-extension