Integration between Workflow Manager and ArcGIS Online

484
6
02-02-2017 04:53 AM
Status: Open
Guidovan_der_Kolk2
New Contributor III

We are trying to create a workflow with roughly the following steps:

1. one of our users spots an asset in the field that needs to be changed/deleted/added to our GIS.

2. he registers the request using an ArcGIS Online or Geocortex app or map, through a web feature service. Just the AOI isn't enough, we also want the user to add some additional information. This is all registerd through the web feature service. 

3. the request triggers the creation of a job in Workflow Manager, or is used as input in Workflow Manager. The information from the webfeature service is included with the job.

Right now the above workflow is a real pain to accomplish because Workflow Manager seems to have been developed as a bit of a "fortress" that prefers to be fed from inside the application or through it's API, which doens't integrate with ArcGIS Online and web feature services at all. Making this integration work would make Workflow Manager a much better and more integral part of our (Arc)GIS architecture, which relies heavy on ArcGIS Online.

6 Comments
MichaelBroadbent

Hi Guido,

My name is Michael Broadbent and I'm the relatively new Product Manager of Workflow Manager. I was scrolling through some of the ideas and saw this one.

You're right, it's not a use case we cover very well and it is something I'm actively trying to improve. Here are a few short term to medium options for you, and a bit of a hint at the longterm which will be a complete solution I think you'll like.

Option 1: You could use Survey 123 as your input and then capture newly created features and attributes into jobs in Workflow Manager using python. One option here is to write a python script and run it on a schedule in Windows Scheduler looking for new features in the target feature service at a specific time interval. When a new feature is created use the Workflow Manager python API to generate the appropriate job with the assignment, AOI and extended properties.

Option 2: Write a widget to be deployed in your web app, capture the info and use the REST API to send it to Workflow Manager. We are in the process of making a widget to do just that including being able to input some extended properties and attachments as part of the creation process. It'll be available on github and I will let you know when it is up.

Option 3 - the future: We care about this use case and are making a more integrated arcgis online/portal experience and this use case is one of our requirements. We will be able to actively listen to feature services as part of a workflow. I'd love to hear in more detail what you're trying to accomplish though to get some more info for requirements. I'd also like to listen to your thoughts about how you've using Workflow Manager, any pain points and what you would like the future to look like.

Take care,

Michael

Guidovan_der_Kolk2

Hi Michael,

That sounds promising and should remove some of our issues. What we like most about ArcGIS (Online) is that you can get really far without the need to be a developer. As an organization principle we use as much "off the shelf" functionality as possible, to keep things maintainable.

If you guys can make it so that we have the flexibility of feeding Workflow Manager with crowdsourced input, without the need for developers and including extended properties, through ArcGIS Online that'd be great.

MichaelBroadbent

Sounds good. Is the crowdsourced input to be used to automatically create jobs in the Workflow Manager system based on what feature was created? Or are you intending other things?

Cheers,

Michael

Guidovan_der_Kolk2

Hi Michael,

Yes, that is our wish. We envision the following process and have implemented it for the larger part using GeoCortex and Workflow Manager:

  1. A person notices an asset is missing in our GIS (a tree, a canal, etc.), or that an asset has a faulty location or attribute.
  2. He opens a Geo-app en places a dot or a line to indicate what's wrong/missing. The app uses a feature service with domains attached to it so the person just has to pick the right options. The less free text the better. Photo attachments would be nice. An emailadress as input is a must, since not all people will have ArcGIS accounts.
  3. Workflowmanager notices that a new feature has been added to the feature services. He uses the information from the added feature to create a job:
    1. uses the geometry as a LOI/POI (lines would be nice as well, for linear objects)
    2. uses the filled in attributes as (extended) attributes to create the job (email, the type of object that's missing, etc.)
    3. photo attachment
  4. Our dispatcher assigns the job to one of our GIS datamanagers.
  5. GIS datamanager corrects the data/adds the new feature to our GIS-masterdatabase
  6. After validation a mail is sent to the person who made the call, telling him it's been handeled.
MichaelBroadbent

Thanks for this Guido, I will likely have some follow-up questions at some point.

This is a very helpful perspective

JosephHowell1

This same functionality will be especially useful to Portal users who want to use Survey123 as an integral part of their data collection strategy.