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Implementing ArcGIS

7 Posts authored by: MMarino-esristaff Employee

Every time a new version of ArcGIS is released I receive one particular question more often than any other.  The exact words can change but it's always something to the effect of "How am I going to move all of my users from ArcGIS Desktop to ArcGIS Pro"?   

 

A big part of my role at Esri is helping customers implement and configure the ArcGIS platform, and that extends to upgrading to the latest version of ArcGIS and installing the newest products. So when someone asks me this question they are usually expecting me to talk about a technology migration path for desktop users. But a straight path like that assumes users will perform a 1 for 1 swap of ArcMap for ArcGIS Pro over time, and that's often not the best way to address the underlying question. 

 

Instead of a need for migration I like to think of this as an opportunity for modernization. Migration generally focuses on the technology. Upgrades, patches, installing the latest product. Modernization may involve upgrading and new products but that's only a means to an end. It's really about moving to a new pattern. A paradigm shift. In our conversation about ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro that pattern is Web GIS. As we move from Desktop, to Server, to Web and eventually Distributed GIS new options present themselves that were previously unavailable. ArcGIS Pro and all of the other Web GIS native applications allow for new and powerful functionality that we can only leverage if we shift the way we look at using GIS. 

 

When working with users on modernization I almost always start by asking three simple questions: 

 

  • Who are the users? 
  • What location information do they value? 
  • What answers are they after? 

 

Everyone that is using ArcGIS is trying to solve a problem, ask a question, or get an answer using spatial data. That problem, question, and answer come together as a workflow and the workflow, not the technology, is what we want to focus on.  Once we answer those questions we start reviewing the existing workflows and making a workflow by workflow recommendation on how to modernize each using one of three options. 

 

  1. Desktop to Pro Workflow Transition: A one-to-one swap of technologies by rebuilding workflows in Pro using only out-of-the-box (OOB) functionality. If you can do it this is it's the preferred approach because it has the smallest learning curve, requires less change management and can likely be accomplished with minimal changes to data. Although you may be accessing data differently (i.e. through services instead of direct GDB editing) in many cases. This is your easy button but don't expect you can use it in every case.  
  2. Desktop to a Web GIS Enabled Product Transition: When a one-to-one swap isn't an option (or an OOB app is a better fit than Pro) you can adjust the workflow you're using in Desktop to another Esri product.   Examples could range from something as simple as using collector for offline data collection rather than an ArcGIS Desktop with checked out data on a Toughbook, to more complicated changes that effect the underlying system architecture, like using a web app template and ArcGIS services to review and approve data changes rather than using a multitude of versioned databases and spending hours reconciling the edits. This option is often the most over looked. After years of comfortably working in ArcGIS Desktop our instinct is that we either need to move a workflow to Pro or build a plugin for Pro. But with the vast ecosystem of Esri Apps that leverage Web GIS we can often find a suitable (if not preferable) replacement for a desktop workflow using an OOB app that is fully supported and maintained by Esri. Sometimes changes like these require architectural or data adjustments, so while they may not be minor changes to a GIS administrator if done properly they can provide a very simple transition for the user.  
  3. Desktop to Custom Technology TransitionIn the past 10 years I've seen a great swing from customization being the default approach to any problem, to COTS over custom at all costs. But in the past few years we've seen the pendulum settle somewhere in between, and while configure first is still a great rule, customization is no longer frowned upon when needed. With the Developer tools available with ArcGIS this custom technology can take many forms. So think about your userbase when you are deciding how to go about building your new custom app, tool, or plugin. Think about what else the user of that workflow will be doing. Is this their only workflow? If so maybe a JavaScript app that's easy to maintain and can be built quickly is best. Do they have several workflows and most of them will be moving to a mobile app? Then maybe building with AppStudio makes sense so you limit that user's need to switch devices. Or are 99% of their workflows staying in the desktop with ArcGIS Pro? If so maybe a custom Pro plugin is worth the investment. It all depends on context.  

 

As you modernize your GIS and help your users make the paradigm shift to Web GIS keep these steps in mind so you can help them understand their options, and that a whole new ecosystem of tools and products are available to help them achieve their mission. 

MMarino-esristaff

Are you 10.6 Ready?

Posted by MMarino-esristaff Employee Jul 24, 2018

If you attended the Esri User Conference earlier this month you may have taken the opportunity to fill out an ArcGIS 10.6 readiness assessment to help you identify potential areas for improvement, and options to investigate prior to implementing or upgrading to ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6.

 

If you weren't able to make it down to the Implementing ArcGIS area of the Esri Showcase and take the assessment with one of our SMEs you can still take it on your own here

 

The results of this assessment are based on the high level information you provide and while it doesn't represent the in depth requirements gathering needed for many complex environments it does provide general recommendation and guidance most users will find helpful when planning a migration and it's a great way to start the conversation about upgrading to 10.6 either internally or with your Esri Account Representative.

Deciding when you are ready to upgrade and implement the latest version of ArcGIS can be a daunting task. One thing I really enjoy doing each year at UC is talking to users about how to get ready to upgrade and modernize their GIS. If you’re interested in talking to an Esri expert about moving to 10.6 come by the Implementing ArcGIS area in the expo and ask about our ArcGIS 10.6 Readiness Assessment. It’s a quick survey you can take that will provide some recommendations and suggestions on steps you can take to make yourself ready to implement 10.6.

I spent about 5 minutes on the topic of configuration vs.customization vs. development in my presentation this morning. To really learn about this in depth make sure you go to the App Configuration, Customization, or Development at 3:15 today in room 17A. Ben Schaub and Justin Turco will provide valuable insights on what method is appropriate for you based on the your needs.

 

Make sure you check out the content section for the group. Many of our presenters will be adding copies of their presentations to this site for you to download.

Please join me tomorrow at 8:30am in Room 7A/B to hear about some of the best practices Esri uses to help users achieve initial operating capability. You'll hear about all the steps at a high level and I'll also point you towards other session, expo areas, and Esri publications where you can learn more.

After the session come by the platform enablement area at the expo to talk to some of the same experts that created these best practices.

MMarino-esristaff

Rent-a-Tech @ UC

Posted by MMarino-esristaff Employee Jun 28, 2016

If you are interested in learning some of the best practices Esri's Rent-a-Tech team uses to establish initial operating capability be sure to check out some of these sessions lead by our experts.

Title

Day

Time

Location

Identify the Location Value in Your Business

Tuesday

10:15am - 11:30am

14B

Discover the Location Dimension of Your Business 

Tuesday

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

P.E. 

Web GIS Architecture Deployment Options

Thursday

1:30pm - 2:45pm

06E

Architecture Best Practices

Tuesday

10:30 am - 11:00 am

P.E. 

Planning an Enterprise Geodatabase

Tuesday

10:15am - 11:30am

09A

Design a Geodatabase

Tuesday

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

P.E. 

Designing an Enterprise GIS Security Strategy

Tuesday

3:15pm - 4:30pm

32A/B

 

Thursday

3:15pm - 4:30pm

14A

Building Security into Your System

Tuesday

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

P.E. 

ArcGIS for Server: An Introduction

Tuesday

8:30am - 9:45am

20D

 

Wednesday

8:30am - 9:45am

6F

Administering Your GIS Server

Tuesday

1:30pm - 2:45pm

03

 

Thursday

3:15pm - 4:30pm

02

Portal for ArcGIS: An Introduction

Tuesday

10:15am - 11:30am

02

 

Wednesday

10:15am - 11:30am

07 A/B

 

Friday

9:00am - 10:15am

05A

Portal for ArcGIS: Administration

Wednesday

1:30pm - 2:45pm

31 B/C

 

Thursday

10:15am - 11:30am

02

App Configuration, Customization or Development

Wednesday

3:15pm - 4:30pm

17A

Web GIS: Unlock the Power of Maps Across Your Organization

Tuesday

11:30am - 12:00pm

P.E. 

Maximize Value using ArcGIS Web App Templates

Wednesday

1:30pm - 2:00 pm

P.E. 

Get a Second Opinion: Enterprise GIS Health Checks

Thursday

12:30pm - 1:00pm

P.E.

Performance and Scalability for Web GIS

Thursday

10:15am - 11:30am

17A