An ArcMap User's Wishlist for ArcGIS Pro

Discussion created by gmattis_visalia on Sep 8, 2017
Latest reply on Jan 23, 2020 by

The other day, I decided to start a list on the whiteboard at work of what ArcGIS Pro would need to have before we would be able to consider adoption of ArcGIS Pro in our current environment.


So here are some disclaimers about our environment. We are currently running with 2 - ArcGIS 10.2.2 Server Enterprise Standard (1 for GIS and 1 for Spillman) and we are currently running 10.3 ArcGIS Desktop. We have not deployed Portal and we are only using ArcGIS Online for our Public Mapping applications that are being fed from Map Services hosted on our ArcGIS Server.


So here is our list of items that we would need in order to adopt ArcGIS Pro


  1. Support of Parcel Fabrics (I know that this is on the road map)
  2. Hyperlinks within Pop-ups to PDF files being user friendly - This is a combination of two enhancements ENH-000107706 and ENH-000107704. Our issue here was that when opening a hyperlink in ArcGIS Pro, it disregards your default web browser settings and opens up IE. If you have Acrobat Pro and Adobe Reader installed on your computer and you are trying to open a PDF via a hyperlink, it can take up to a minute to load the PDF even if the PDF is store on a local file share. Make ArcGIS Pro honor system's default web browser when clicking links 
  3. Arcade Expressions being allowed in Pop-ups.  Pop-up Arcade Expressions in ArcGIS Pro 
  4. As we are using Spillman and we are publishing to ArcGIS Server directly, we would need to either have ArcGIS Pro be able to publish to ArcGIS Server directly (ArcGIS Pro Publish Services To ArcGIS Server) or figure out a way to still support our Spillman implementation.
  5. Support of Attribute Rules and the creation of Dynamic ID's for features (In road map). It would also be great for this to work in a versioned environment as well.
  6. We currently have a nightly process that runs every night populating Flood Zone, Zoning, General Plan, and other attributes to our Production Parcel Feature Class that is outside of our Parcel Fabric. As this relies heavily on VB Scripts in Field Calculate, it would be great to have it support VB Script and not only Python. To change our scripts would take many man hours that we just do not have.
  7. We currently deploy mxd's across the city and if we were to move to ArcGIS Pro and build the database connections, we would have multiple local database connections floating throughout the city. We would like to be able to access .sde geodatabases how we currently do within ArcMap when adding items to the map in the file explorer window. ArcGIS Pro: Allow connection to .sde files in folders
  8. Being that we have many people using ArcMap that don't know our instance name or authentication method, they have no way that when they are creating new projects to build a new connection every single time they create a new project. So this goes back to the above idea as another use case for allowing connections to SDE Geodatabases within the file structure and not through adding new connections. ArcGIS Pro:  Allow connection to .sde files in folders 
  9. Finally, if Esri insists on connecting to SDE Geodatabases through a database connection in the project then it would be helpful to name the SDE Geodatabase connections based upon the database name and not the instance by default. We have many SDE Geodatabases point to a single instance (Production, Staging, and Development) and if we add the more than one connection from the same instance, it would be named by default instance.sde, insance(2).sde,etc. ArcGIS Pro Database Connection Naming based upon Database not Instance 


This is just my first pass after about 2.5 weeks of testing our ArcMap workflows against ArcGIS Pro. I am sure that as I play with it more, I will find more things that I miss from ArcMap. But overall, I see ArcGIS Pro as a huge step forward in the walk with Desktop GIS software. 


Since I don't want this to only be a rant about what I don't like. Here is a list of features that I love in ArcGIS Pro.

  1. Multiple layouts! We used to have multiple ArcMap files for print jobs based upon the size of the print. Now I can have one file for one type of print job and have all my layouts in there! HUGE SPACE SAVER!
  2. Dark mode/light mode!
  3. 64-bit Multi-threaded Application allowing me run a tool and continue to interact with the map.
  4. ArcGIS Solution Deployment Tool (add-in)
  5. Tool Ribbon is now more User Friendly
  6. Editing workflows are so much easier