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The AppStudio team is hard at work on the next version of AppStudio for ArcGIS (version 4.0). As always there will be technical updates to the software, but with this new version there will also come some significant changes to how we license the software.

 

More details about the new technical features and capabilities coming with AppStudio 4.0 are detailed in this blog post, but here is an overview of the highlights.

  • New 3D Scene Viewer template
  • AppStudio extension for Visual Studio Code (open VS Code from AppStudio, write QML)
  • Support for opening a permission dialog while app is running
  • Preview file before sharing
  • Change language while app is running
  • Updates to JavaScript environment (ECMAScript 7)

If you want access to the AppStudio 4.0 beta visit the AppStudio for ArcGIS Early Adopter Community.

 

Licensing Changes

 

AppStudio is a powerful suite of tools that provides our users an easy to use, yet extremely robust cross-platform app development experience. We want more ArcGIS users to experience the full power of AppStudio, and have access to more templates, layouts, samples, and tools. To give access to more of what AppStudio has to offer, we have decided to make some changes to the license levels.

 

Name Change

First things first, we are changing the name of the licensing levels

 

Original NameNew Name
AppStudio for ArcGIS BasicAppStudio for ArcGIS
AppStudio for ArcGIS StandardAppStudio for ArcGIS Developer Edition

 

Just as before, every ArcGIS organization member with a user type of Creator or GIS Professional will have access to AppStudio for ArcGIS (we’ve dropped “Basic” from the name). If you have an AppStudio for ArcGIS Standard license it will be renamed to AppStudio for ArcGIS Developer Edition. We are also working on making an easier experience to purchase and provision an AppStudio Developer Edition license to the ArcGIS organization of your choice.

 

 

What comes with an AppStudio for ArcGIS license?

 

Previously, the AppStudio Basic license lets you create a native app from one of three templates on appstudio.arcgis.com. This online template experience offered minimal configuration options and required that maps and data be public. At version 4.0 all AppStudio for ArcGIS licenses now includes the AppStudio Desktop application. AppStudio Desktop lets you configure an app from a template, build an app from a layout, or add functionality to an app using code from one of our 70+ live samples. Speaking of code... also included is the ability to write custom code for your app using Qt Creator (installed with desktop) or Microsoft Visual Studio Code (using a new AppStudio extension).

 

After you have created an app using AppStudio Desktop you can upload it to your ArcGIS organization and share it with others in your org using AppStudio Player. An AppStudio app stored in ArcGIS Online is just another item in your organization. And just as you share data, maps, and web apps with others, you can share your AppStudio apps and then run the app using AppStudio Player (more about AppStudio Player below).

 

Note: The app building experience on appstudio.arcgis.com will be retired on August 15th, 2019, see the Q&A below for more information.

 

What comes with an AppStudio for ArcGIS Developer Edition license?

 

The Developer Edition license adds a few key components for more advanced developers or those who want to distribute their apps as a standalone installed app via a public app store or an enterprise deployment. The Developer Edition includes a set of Enterprise templates such as Survey123, AuGeo, and AppStudio Player. Access to the AppStudio cloud Make service is also included with the Developer Edition so you can generate app installation files for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux.

 

This table highlights the capabilities of AppStudio editions at version 4.0:

AppStudio
for ArcGIS
AppStudio
Developer Edition
Download and use AppStudio DesktopXX
Convert your ArcGIS web maps into mobile appsXX
Build apps with no coding, using configurable app templatesXX
Extend apps built using the configurable app templatesXX
Create custom apps using your developer skillsXX
Share apps within your ArcGIS organization using AppStudio PlayerXX
Use Cloud Make to build install executables
(Android, iOS, Windows, OS X Linux)
X
Publish to the Apple and Google Play app storesX
Use Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems to share in an EnterpriseX
Access to AppStudio enterprise app templates
(Survey123, QuickCapture, AuGeo, more...)
X
In the future - Create add-ins for Survey123 for ArcGISX

 

We are excited about these new changes to AppStudio and the opportunity to share more of the great tools in AppStudio with a larger audience. We understand that these changes may be disruptive for some of our existing users who have been using the web experience to build apps. Please reach out to us (appstudiofeedback@esri.com) so we can better help you through this license transition.

 

Below is a Q&A to help with some of the common questions we think people might have. If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments section below.

 

Thank You – The AppStudio team


Q & A


What will happen to the app building experience on appstudio.arcgis.com website?

The template based app building tools on appstudio.arcgis.com will be shutdown August 15th, 2019 with the release of AppStudio 4.0. Going forward you will use the tools in AppStudio Desktop to configure an app based on one of the standard templates (Map Viewer, Map Tour, Quick Report). AppStudio Desktop offers many more settings for these templates, so you have more control configuring the look and feel of your app... without writing any code. Some of the settings you can configure in AppStudio desktop include the app color, text color, custom fonts, feedback email, offline map package, and more.

If you have already created apps using the website tools those apps will not go away, you can download and further customize those apps using AppStudio Desktop.


What AppStudio license level has access to generate a build? (access to cloud Make)

A significant change in the licensing is that to generate a standalone install build (suitable for submitting to the app stores) for an app will require an AppStudio Developer Edition license.
Those users who have created apps from the website experience using an AppStudio Basic license will no longer have access to generate a standalone build of their app after August 15th, 2019.


How do I share my app with others using AppStudio Player for ArcGIS?

AppStudio for ArcGIS Player is an amazing tool that can transform how you distribute apps in your organization. Using AppStudio Player is like having a private app store, which you control. You can determine who has access to what apps in your organization and when they get updated.

Here how it works:
1. Create an app using AppStudio Desktop
2. Using AppStudio Desktop upload your app to ArcGIS Online or Enterprise
3. In your portal set the sharing property to share your app with others in your ArcGIS organization. Share it with a group of users, the entire organization, or even the public.
4. The end user of the app downloads AppStudio Player onto their device from the app stores or from the AppStudio website.
5. They login using their username/password for their ArcGIS organization.
6. Next, they download the shared app to the device
7. Now they can run the app as a native application right within AppStudio Player

The goal of AppStudio is to bring native app creation tools to all ArcGIS users. As you know AppStudio provides productivity tools for building, testing, and distributing apps that can be used by both developer and non-developers...and everyone in-between.  If you peel back the technical layers of the AppStudio stack you will find various components such as the Qt SDK, Android SDK, Apple Xcode and ArcGIS Runtime that enable things like cross platform development and geospatial mapping tools.  These components are development projects in themselves, each with release timelines and feature updates. This blog post is to update you on some the current state of AppStudio versions and upcoming important dates and dependencies for different platforms.

 

AppStudio for ArcGIS 2.1 Deprecation and ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.6 Retirement

The ArcGIS Runtime is the core mapping component that gives AppStudio access to various mapping and geospatial capabilities. The initial 1.0 release of AppStudio was built on earlier 10.2.x version of the ArcGIS Runtime, and at AppStudio 2.0 we included support for both the 10.2.x Runtime as well as introduced the new 100.x Runtime.  In April of 2018 AppStudio 3.0 was released and the 10.2.x Runtime was removed completely form the AppStudio product.

The 10.2.6 ver of ArcGIS Runtime for Qt that was included in AppStudio 2.1 is now in Mature Support. This means that it will no longer receive updates, patches, or platform testing and certification.

AppStudio for ArcGIS 2.1 has been in Mature Support since April 2018 and will be retired starting April 1 2019.

Because of the support status of ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.x and issues with submitting to app stores (see the next sections), AppStudio 2.1 is being deprecated and it is recommended that users move any current development projects to a newer version of AppStudio. The apps you have already created and/or published to the app stores will continue to work, but your ability to support and enhance these apps will be limited (see next section about Android and iOS support). The AppStudio 2.1 Desktop download has already been removed from our website, if you require access to download AppStudio Desktop 2.1 for app maintenance purpose please reach out to the AppStudio team directly at appstudio@esri.com.

 

Android API Level 26 Requirement for the Google Play Store

At the beginning of November 2018 any Android app submitted to the Google Play Store (new app or update to existing app) needs to be built to target the Android API Level 26 (Android 8.0) or higher.  The AppStudio Cloud Make servers have been upgraded to support API Level 26 Android builds if you are using AppStudio Desktop 3.0 or higher.  If you have apps built with AppStudio 2.1 earlier you will not be able to submit an apps (new or update) to the Google Play Store.

Xcode 9 / iOS 11 SDK Requirement for the Apple App Store

The Apple App Store currently requires that all new apps and updates are built with Xcode 9 (iOS 11 SDK). AppStudio 2.1 and the ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.6 are use an older verion of Xcdoe and thus are not capable of creating iOS binaries (IPA files) that meet the App Store requirement.

 

April 2019 Xcode 10.1 / iOS 12 SKD Requirement for the Apple App Store

When you request an iOS build using the AppStudio Cloud Make service your AppStudio app is compiled using Apple’s Xcode tools to create a binary (ipa) file suitable for distribution.  In March 2019 Apple Inc will require that all apps (new and updates) submitted to the Apple App Store are compiled using a XCode 10.1.  This timing of the requirement is problematic because support for XCode 10 in the Qt SDK is a recent addition and the ArcGIS Runtime for Qt is still working on support for this version of the Qt SDK.  What does this mean for the AppStudio Developers? Starting in March of 2019 you will not be able to submit AppStudio app to the Apple App Store using any version of AppStudio, including the released 3.2 version of AppStudio.  We will release a beta version of AppStudio 3.3 in the beginning of March that supports Xcode 10 so you can develop and test your apps in preparation of the final release. In April we will release AppStudio 3.3 with support for Xcode 10.1 and providing a way for you to submit apps to the Apple App Store on a released version of AppStudio.  We are providing this information so you can plan accordingly with any iOS releases that may be scheduled for March or April 2019.  If you have questions or concerns about the timeline for iOS / Xcode 10.1 support, please contact the AppStudio Team appstudio@esri.com.

 

 

Ref links

https://support.esri.com/en/Products/Developers/native-runtime-sdks/arcgis-runtime-sdk-for-qt/10-2-6#product-support

 

https://support.esri.com/en/Products/Apps/app-builders/AppStudio-for-ArcGIS/3-1#product-support

 

https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2017/12/improving-app-security-and-performance.html

 

https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=05072018a

 

https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=09122018c

Synopsis: The Cloud Make service for AppStudio has been updated to include a new libpng library that fixes a security vulnerability on the Android platform.  To update your AppStudio Android apps with this fix simply run a another build process for Android from the online "Build App" web page or using the "Make" tool in AppStudio Desktop Edition

 

  

 

Background: Earlier in the year a security vulnerability was discovered in the popular Open Source libpng libraries, and the Google Play store flagged any apps with include the un-patched libpng library with a "Security Alert" notice. The AppStudio Cloud Make servers have now been updated with a new Qt Runtime SDK that addresses the libpng security vulnerabilities. This update allows AppStudio Android apps that are published to the Google Play store to be updated and any new published apps to comply with Google Play’s Malicious Behavior policy. You can read more about this vulnerability in CVE-2015-8540.

Again, to update your AppStudio Android apps with this fix simply run a another build process using the Cloud Make service to generate a new Android APK file.