Experience Builder woes

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01-07-2022 09:55 AM
JoshWhite
Regular Contributor III

I am really struggling here.  I am a Web App Builder hold out because the Experience Builder still lacks the functionality that I need.  I need a search widget that gives me more options on what to do.  The current search widget gives me a result but doesn't actually do anything, it won't pan to the result.  It does add something to the url which when submitted will redirect.  That is certainly less than ideal.  There is also still no way to print a map which my users still want.  I would love to be able to move to EB because I really need the grouping functionality that WAB does not offer, but I cannot make the move without these widgets.  Its been several years now since the EB was developed and widgets are always promised.  What ends up happening is these advanced widgets end up getting updated like Elevation Profile, Suitability Modeler which are great features if you need them but still not very helpful if the basic widgets are not working.  Why are features like WAB that actually work not getting updated instead of developing new features like EB?  

Josh White, AICP
Principal Planner

City of Arkansas City
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
jcarlson
MVP Honored Contributor

To answer that last question, it's because WAB is built on the ArcGIS JS 3.x API, which is in the process of being phased out in favor of tools built on the 4.x API. You can think of EB as not so much an alternative to WAB as the 4.x version of it.

That said, EB is very different in how widgets interact, particularly because EB allows from any number of different maps (including none!) to be added to the same experience. To get things like the Search widget to "talk" to your other widgets like maps and lists, you need to add triggers. For instance, I have a search widget that, upon selecting a record from the search results, will automatically send a "Zoom to" message to my Map widget.

uosl_0-1641580817726.png

I can easily set additional triggers to apply to other maps, or non-spatial widgets.

I don't have any useful information about the Print widget, except that it's supposed to be on the roadmap for the "near term" 2022. We've just been giving our users a tutorial of how to take screenshots on their computer, and that seems to have alleviated some of the "print the map" requests for the time being.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS

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13 Replies
jcarlson
MVP Honored Contributor

To answer that last question, it's because WAB is built on the ArcGIS JS 3.x API, which is in the process of being phased out in favor of tools built on the 4.x API. You can think of EB as not so much an alternative to WAB as the 4.x version of it.

That said, EB is very different in how widgets interact, particularly because EB allows from any number of different maps (including none!) to be added to the same experience. To get things like the Search widget to "talk" to your other widgets like maps and lists, you need to add triggers. For instance, I have a search widget that, upon selecting a record from the search results, will automatically send a "Zoom to" message to my Map widget.

uosl_0-1641580817726.png

I can easily set additional triggers to apply to other maps, or non-spatial widgets.

I don't have any useful information about the Print widget, except that it's supposed to be on the roadmap for the "near term" 2022. We've just been giving our users a tutorial of how to take screenshots on their computer, and that seems to have alleviated some of the "print the map" requests for the time being.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
JoshWhite
Regular Contributor III

Josh,

I appreciate that response.  I didn't realize that a trigger had to be set in this case.  The terminology used is not very intuitive.  Even after finding the help, I still just guessed which trigger was the best and "record selection changes" is what I landed on.  I'll keep working on this map and see if I can get it to do what I want.  I actually have used EB for some other apps but this particular one just has extra requirements.  To be honest, my post was more venting than anything because I feel that Esri is not as responsive to user requests as they used to be.

Josh White, AICP
Principal Planner

City of Arkansas City
DanMallett
Esri Contributor

Worth pointing out that the incredible @RobertScheitlin__GISP  has 2 custom ExB widgets including a Print (and more to come):

https://community.esri.com/t5/experience-builder-custom-widgets/tkb-p/eb-custom-widgetstkb-board

 

JoshWhite
Regular Contributor III

I'm not using Developer Edition though.  Is it possible to use custom widgets in the ArcGIS Online version?

Josh White, AICP
Principal Planner

City of Arkansas City
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RobertScheitlin__GISP
MVP Esteemed Contributor

@JoshWhite 

 

Nope custom widgets require developer edition.

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JoshWhite
Regular Contributor III

That's what I thought.  Going that route really isn't a good option for me at this time.  Perhaps Esri should consider bringing you on as a consultant.  I know you did great work with Flexviewer and with WAB and I'm sure this one is just as good.  

 

On another note, I am thinking of going ahead and deploying my EB map and just not discontinuing the WAB until I am absolutely satisfied with the new widgets.  Once that happens I can phase out my support of our WAB apps.  

Josh White, AICP
Principal Planner

City of Arkansas City
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RobertScheitlin__GISP
MVP Esteemed Contributor

@JoshWhite 

WAB still have a couple of years. I am still using WAB as my main site I have a EB site that I am testing but am still not happy with it yet. No need to be in a hurry.

ahargreaves_FW
Occasional Contributor III

Sorry to dumb this all down but my search for an answer to the following question hasn't yielded anything. If I want to build a WAB, I need to (and can only) start with a "classic" web map - correct? I can't take a new "beta" map viewer web map and push that into a WAB?

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jcarlson
MVP Honored Contributor

You can take a new map and open it in WAB mostly just fine, the issue is that certain advanced features will not work, like fancy popups and newer symbology, or layer grouping.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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