What are the key differences (if any) between building apps using AppStudio versus the Qt Runtime SDK

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01-07-2016 05:57 AM
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So AppStudio is now officially out and most of us know that it leverages Esri's Qt SDK. What are the key difference that one should be aware of when trying to decide whether or build apps using AppStudio or to just do it straight up using the Qt SDK. What I mean by the latter is to just download and install the Qt SDK, set it up and then get to work in Qt Creator, completely bypassing AppStudio.

It seems to me that AppStudio is a bit of an abstraction of the Qt SDK in that Esri is trying to make building cross platform Apps a little easier by layering AppStudio over Qt Creator. Granted, you still can and often do build your app in Qt Creator with AppStudio, but it's not where you start out. With AppStudio, you start out in this kind of template and configuration application which is just an abstraction that is modifying your Qt files. I could certainly be wrong on whether or not AppStudio is a true abstraction but hopefully you understand what I'm saying.

I''d just like to know what the implications are of using AppStudio or skipping that and using the Qt SDK exclusively. IE. Are there certain functionalities or capabilities that a developer could only implement if they were using the one or the other?

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Hi John,

AppStudio is designed to make developing cross-platform apps easier. This includes providing a cross-platform app building service and easy-to-configure templates. There is no need to invest in multiple development environments - you can configure and build apps using the AppStudio website.

For those who want to use AppStudio to develop their own apps, we have included the AppStudio Framework to simplify cross-platform issues, such as scaling displays and accessing files.

If you use the SDK, there will be C++ involved. AppStudio is a QML only development environment.

Hope this helps,

Hannah

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Hi John,

AppStudio is designed to make developing cross-platform apps easier. This includes providing a cross-platform app building service and easy-to-configure templates. There is no need to invest in multiple development environments - you can configure and build apps using the AppStudio website.

For those who want to use AppStudio to develop their own apps, we have included the AppStudio Framework to simplify cross-platform issues, such as scaling displays and accessing files.

If you use the SDK, there will be C++ involved. AppStudio is a QML only development environment.

Hope this helps,

Hannah

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Thanks Hanna, that makes a good amount of sense.

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Occasional Contributor III

Where is the documentation on AppStudio Framework?

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Esri Regular Contributor

The AppStudio Framework help is installed with AppStudio on your desktop and is accessed from inside Qt Creator on the Help tab.

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Great question, and great answer from Hannah. In addition to Hannah's reply, I would like to add that the SDK is more of a developer kit that would allow you to take our location library (ArcGIS Runtime) and add it into an existing app. For example, a user may already have a Qt/QML app that does several things, but they need a location component, so they pull in our API and build on that. These types of developers are just looking for a location API- they aren't necessarily looking for all of the additional tooling that you get with AppStudio (like templates, cloud builders, configuration files, storage in AGOL, etc), as they already have their own existing workflows. This is where I see the main distinguishing factor - if you are looking for an all together app building solution that includes ArcGIS functionality (AppStudio for ArcGIS), or if you are a developer looking just for a location library that they can plug into their apps (ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Qt). Hope this helps.

-Luke

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That makes a lot of sense Lucas. Thanks for the response!

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