ArcGIS Pro Help should start showing version numbers (e.g. 1.0-2.1.2)

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05-27-2018 04:49 AM
Status: Under Consideration
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MVP Regular Contributor

Currently, the ArcGIS Pro Help only shows the data for the most recent version of ArcGIS Pro. Yet, there have been breaking changes between different versions of Pro.

This issue affects especially arcpy development. Some arcpy classes have had breaking changes, that unfortunately cannot be looked up in the Help, since the Help only shows the most recent version.

For those developers seeking to maintain backward compatibility, it would be really helpful if the Pro Help showed version numbers like for ArcMap, and allowed selection of a previous version:

19 Comments

I've marked this idea as reviewed, but in terms of breaking changes, see this note on semantic versioning for ArcGIS Pro What's new in ArcGIS Pro 2.1—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop There were breaking changes from 1.4 to 2.0, but as long was the major version remains at 2.0 there shouldn't be breaking changes.

@Kory Kramer,

Only patch releases 1.n.x and 2.n.x are guaranteed to not introduce breaking changes. In fact, one major change (although not a breaking one but enhancement), is that the Pro 2.1 minor version finally introduced the aprx.activeMap method.

For programming with backwards compatibility in mind, these kind of new methods and functions are also vital, because calling the method in an older version will inevitably fail. That is why it is still important to be able to look up properties, methods and functions of older versions, even if the existing methods and functions of an older version did not have breaking changes in a new version.

Good point about "programming with backwards compatibility in mind", Marco.  My only point was that users should be confident that anything they have created/written etc. in a 2.n.x version will not be broken by upgrading to another 2.n.x version.  But you have a good point about new methods introduced.  This idea has been marked as Reviewed.  Don't forget to add your vote.

Cheers

Another problem is that ESRI is pulling the current online help (e.g. 2.1.x ) as soon as the new version is released (e.g 2.2). All of the online help now references 2.2, when most people, due to IT policies, will be using 2.1.x for quite some time. Not sure where the assumption that everyone upgrades instantly to the new version came from...So when 3.0 comes out, or 9.0 (the version that will finally achieve ArcMap Equivalency) and there are substantial changes in how a tool or a workflow performs, what about those folks still using 2.x?

And no, per the current help, installing the Offline Pro Help is not an answer, solution, or workaround. With Arc Map we could rely on, for example, writing an SOP with hyperlinks to say, the 10.5.1 Help Topic on Publishing a Feature Class to Arc GIS Server (Don't forget to add your user story and vote to  !). Now it's suggested that I get IT to perform the additional and unnecessary step of also having to install offline help, which I can't link to from any documents. 

by

I ran into this problem yesterday...for the life of me the rep and I couldn't figure out why I wasn't seeing the tabs listed on the help page under the Split tool in my software. It makes no sense that the help pages would list options not present in the software. The help pages should at least contain an image showing what the tabs look like so I could confirm they were not there; also should contain language saying "may not be present in previous versions"

"So when 3.0 comes out, or 9.0 (the version that will finally achieve ArcMap Equivalency) "

Thank you Thomas Colson‌, I needed that laugh today

Kory Kramer‌,

With Pro 2.3 around the corner, and likely quite big and possibly (backwards) compatibility breaking changes coming up due to all the new functionality, is a versioned Pro Help anywhere on the horizon? ESRI never had issues with keeping a versioned Help for ArcGIS for Desktop alive, which was a really big asset to users and programmers, so can we expect this in the near future for Pro as well, is there any work being done to realize this?

Marco - yes, this is something on the horizon for Pro.  Versioned help will not be available when Pro 2.3 releases, but it is something that is being looked at for upcoming releases.  We will update this idea's status as appropriate.

Kory Kramer‌,

Thanks, good to hear!

Or how about when Pro 2.3 only supports SQL Server versions 2014+?

That's a pretty big change that could really hinder some folks if they upgrade from 2.2.x to 2.3