Webinar Q&A from "Creating Apps for Web and Mobile"

12-01-2021 03:29 PM
Esri Contributor
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The ArcGIS AppStudio and ArcGIS Instant App teams at Esri recently (Nov 17th, 2021) hosted a webinar titled "Creating Apps for Web and Mobile With ArcGIS Instant Apps and ArcGIS AppStudio".  This blog post will cover some of the questions we received from webinar attendees.
You can watch a video recording of the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EfyJvpEbSw


  • Question: What accounts are required to create these apps?
  • Answer:
    • Both ArcGIS Instant Apps and ArcGIS AppStudio are included as part of the “Essential Apps” bundle.  To get the Essential Apps bundle you will need an ArcGIS account with an user type of Creator or GIS Professional.  See more about user types and the Essential Apps bundle on this page. https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/user-types/explore/creator
    • ArcGIS AppStudio Developer Edition license is included with a paid ArcGIS Developer Subscription (builder or above). 


  • Question: I have a GIS professional basic license - does that include the AppStudio developer license?
  • Answer: No, the GIS Professional Basic user type includes an AppStudio license, but it does not include an “AppStudio Developer Edition” license. View this video for more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRxv_Zonc5M 


  • Question: Are there options to add credentials/api keys for subscriber content in either Instant Apps or AppStudio?
  • Answer:
    • AppStudio: Apps built with ArcGIS AppStudio can accept an ArcGIS named user account credentials to unlock premium content. Also, you can set a API Key for your AppStudio app to access premium content.
    • ArcGIS Instant Apps: In Instant apps, you are able to proxy subscriber content during the publish process. The credentials of the org user who is creating the app will be used to access the premium content.


  • Question: Is it possible to build custom app where we can integrate authentication in our mobile app before accessible to the home page and more custom feature?
  • Answer:
    • AppStudio: Yes, it is possible to require authentication in an AppStudio app when the app is launched. Most of the AppStudio templates (such as the Map Viewer) have an option to require the user to sign into the app.
    • Instant Apps: The source code for the instant apps is available in the Esri GitHub repo. You can download the source code, make all the updates you’d like then host it on your own web server behind an authentication login.


  • Question:
    • Instant Apps: This is a great option, wondering if requires an Organization account for the Instant Apps development, or can do it on a public account (ie developing the trails network map for a township without Esri Account).
  • Answer: If you are creating an app for noncommercial use then you can create an instant app with a public account. See the “Can I use ArcGIS Online free’ question in the FAQ here: https://doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/reference/faq.htm 


  • Question: Can I write my own apps with AppStudio? Or Just use the templates?
  • Answer:  With AppStudio you can easily configure an app using a template, you also can write custom code to extend a template or create an app from scratch.


  • Question: If we update information on ArcGIS online (web map), will it automatically update on the app? Or do you have to re-publish the app?
  • Answer: If you update the web map the changes will automatically appear in any Instant app or AppStudio app that uses the web map. For example, if you modify the popup content those changes will be seen in the web app.


  • Question: Do you know when the VSCode editor functionality for AppStudio is going to reach feature parity with Qt Creator. Currently, code navigation doesn't appear to work nor does using the debugger.
  • Answer: The Visual Studio Code extension for AppStudio is for users who prefer to use the Visual Studio Code to editor their AppStudio QML code. There are no immediate plans to add debugging or other advanced features to this extension.  If you require full debugging it is suggested that you use Qt Creator as your IDE.


  • Question: What about apps that allow users to edit data or submit data? Like Collector but easier.
  • Answer: With ArcGIS AppStudio you can create your own data editing app. The AppStudio Quick Report template offers a simple user experience for collecting data in the field, it can be used by an organization or the public.  The Map Viewer and Attachment viewer templates also include the ability to edit attributes for existing features.


  • Question: Attachment viewer - Can these images be seen offline?
  • Answer:
    • Instant Apps: The Attachment Viewer Instant App does not support offline mode so the map, features, attachments etc. cannot be viewed offline.
    • AppStudio: At this time the images (attachments) can only be viewer with an internet connection.  Offline images will come in a future release when we add offline maps to the Attachment viewer template.



  • Question: If you are using ArcGIS Enterprise, what is the alternative to the Cloud Make process?
  • Answer: If you have ArcGIS Enterprise and you would like to take advantage of the Cloud Make service, you will need to upload your AppStudio app to an ArcGIS Online account to perform the Cloud Make build process. Even though the app installation files will be built using Cloud Make the data and maps can still come from your ArcGIS Enterprise organization.  Alternatively, you can set up a Local Make to build your app locally without Cloud Make.


  • Question: Can you build all at once or different devices separately?
  • Answer: The apps built with AppStudio are truly cross-platform, this means that when you create an app can be built for all platforms at the same time without changes to the app. 


  • Question: If AppStudio builds native apps, why do you need to download the AppStudio viewer (player) app?
  • Answer: AppStudio Player lets you instantly view mapping applications created with ArcGIS AppStudio without creating a native install executable.  If you would like to publish your app to an app store (Google or Apple) you will need to do a native app build for each platform.  When creating apps for your organization you may want to try AppStudio Player which allows you to deploy apps quickly and easily by letting the end-user download the app from your ArcGIS Organization and then run the app inside AppStudio Player.