Standardizing the ArcGIS Explorer for Desktop Experience

Blog Post created by randall_williams-esristaff Employee on Apr 19, 2012
ArcGIS-Explorer-for-Desktop-300x179.jpgRecently a user wanted to be able to standardize the ArcGIS Explorer for Desktop application for GIS clients in his organization. He found that once ArcGIS Explorer was configured locally on his machine, he was able to share the default .NMF map document file with users, but the .NMF only held the configuration information for layers in the table of contents - not for add-ins or geoprocessing tools.

The Application Configuration Manager could be used to allow or prevent the usage of specific ArcGIS Explorer functionality like the analysis tools or to add new functionality, but couldn't be used to persist a URL to a specific geoprocessing service. The user thought it would be great if ArcGIS Explorer could be provided to users in such a way that the references to add-ins and geoprocessing tasks remained in place for users installing ArcGIS Exolorer for Desktop thus saving clients the time it may take to set up the environment as desired.

There are two places that ArcGIS Explorer for Desktop keeps reference to data layers:
  1. The default .NMF document itself
  2. The add-ins folder

After saving the default document in ArcGIS Explorer, use these simple steps to homogenize the Explorer experience for all employees in the department.
  1. The admin should:
  • Copy the folder "C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingESRIarcgis explorerAddIns" to a place accessible to network users.
  • Copy the file "C:Users<username>DocumentsArcGIS ExplorerMy Default Map.nmf" to a place accessible to network users.

2.  The users should:
  • Install ArcGIS Explorer.
  • Copy the ad-ins folder referenced above to the corresponding location on their local machine.
  • Copy the 'My Default Map.NMF' to the corresponding location on their local machine.

When ArcGIS Explorer for Desktop is started on the user's machine, the experience should be identical to that of the application set up by the administrator.Randal W. - ArcGIS for Server Support Analyst