Clarification on installing development tools

11-08-2018 07:14 AM
Occasional Contributor III

According to ESRI documentation:

If you want to make stand-alone apps on your development machine, you need vendor-specific development tools installed in addition to AppStudio for ArcGIS


The installation of development tools is not required for all AppStudio users. Most users can create app installation files using cloud Make. Creating app installation files with local Make(and hence the need to install development tools) is only required under the following circumstances:

  • Organizational requirements prohibit you from using the ArcGIS Cloud Make service.
  • You want to customize the installer that is created for your app.
  • You want to add custom C++ modules to your app.

This is a little misleading to me. Do you need to install development tools, ie Visual Studio, in order to extend, or create apps using ArcGIS App Studio Desktop on a local machine? Also, if I wish to create an app on my local machine, do I have to use Local Make, or is Cloud Make still an option?  

Thanks in advance to any clarification!! 

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Esri Regular Contributor


First of all, just to put it in context, this is the link to the documentation page from the statement above, Install development tools for local Make—AppStudio for ArcGIS | ArcGIS 

That statement in the documentation link is specifically for AppStudio for ArcGIS users who want to do "Local Make" instead of "Cloud Make" when building their apps, that would require another development tools (IDE) that would support this, for example, Enterprise version of the Qt Creator. 

The AppStudio Desktop installation comes with an IDE which is Qt Creator (non-Enterprise version), that supports Cloud Make workflow when building your apps that are built in AppStudio Desktop on a local machine.

In my experience, most of our users when creating and extending apps in AppStudio Desktop are using the built-in Qt Creator IDE and using the Cloud Make to build the app. 

Building the app using Local Make is an option, but using Cloud Make is very convenient where you don't need to do all the settings required to prepare your build machines for every platform you want to build to, where we already have all the setup available in the Cloud Make, and it is one of the  perks using AppStudio for ArcGIS to build your cross-platform apps. 

And also we have a cool testing (and could be distribution) tool before building your app, called AppStudio Player, that you can download it from the Apple AppStore, Google PlayStore, or download it here for Windows/MacOs/Linux. Using AppStudio Player you can "play" your AppStudio app before building it, to see how it works on the targeted platforms (iOS, Android, etc). 

Here are some video tutorials that might be useful for you,

I hope this clarifies things a little bit more.

Thank you,


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