ArcGIS Pro: Most Cumbersome

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07-10-2018 07:18 AM
New Contributor II

Who designed ArcGIS Pro? 

It is absolutely the most cumbersome piece of software I have ever used!

It is so poorly designed compared to ArcMap, which is awesome. QGIS is not as difficult as ArcGIS Pro.

I have a strong feeling, if something is not done to correct this piece of shist, it will go the way of the dodo!!!!

It has such a huge learning curve and poor functionality I am sure most will reject it and you will need to keep making ArcMap. 

The whole Microsoft toolbar approach is absurd. It may work on small programs such as Word or Excel, but using it on software as complex as ArcGIS Pro........not a chance for success. My work takes twice as long to do with Pro and I am sure this feeling is not mutually exclusive.

Give me ArcMap or Give me Death!!!!

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86 Replies
Frequent Contributor

Yeeup. I upvoted that awhile back.

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by MVP Regular Contributor
MVP Regular Contributor

I can endure the context sensitive banners in Pro, although I am always suspicious how intelligent the banners are...

But there are one particular thing that I found hard to bear: there's no access to the map view using ArcPy!

We are told "Arcpy.mp was built for the professional GIS analyst and for developers", but it's a joke not giving users access to the map view via python. how on earth can developers and analyst represent the result using code in ArcGIS Pro? Using the MapFrame in the layout is not an option --- too weird.

I like the project concept, but can't comprehend the new concept of "map + multiple map views". ArcGIS Pro architect should explain why one map can have multiple views when these views can't even have different layer visibilities?! serious? Isn't map is a view of data by common sense?

Maps, Map Views and Layouts in ArcGIS Pro 

If you agree this is a serious issue, please let our voice heard by voting this ArcGIS Idea.

Allow arcpy.mp to change the map extent in ArcGIS Pro 

If they can't make ArcMap a 64-bit application compatible with python 3, sooner or later we all have to migrate to ArcGIS Pro. We can only hope ESRI can get it right before encouraging everyone to move over. Get the basic right at least.

New Contributor II

Fair enough people get frustrated in the process of adapting to the user interface of Pro.

Did you attend the esri UC last week Tom? I did. There was a great session called ArcGIS Pro: Migrating from ArcMap concerning this exact issue. Here the chief of ESRIs Desktop Application Development Team, David Watkins, said that they are aware that some users may get furious and angry about Pro when first trying it. Their advice is to just keep on trying and get used to it. They do know that the communication and documentation about Pro could be better in matter of making the migration easier for us, and they are working on that.

Also they announced some of the upcoming improvements in Pro 2.3 that will be released in early 2019. Among other things, there will be better compatibility to different data-formats. But already now in the current 2.2 version the application has much better functionality and has become way more advanced than ArcMap ever was or will be. Though as ArcMap will be supported for “years and years to come” (quote: Jack Dangermond’s opening Keynote speech, 20:30 minutes from start), all new functionality will be developed primary for ArcGIS Pro. With other words: if you want to advance in desktop GIS from now on, then Pro is the way.

You will just have to adjust the way you do some things. When I first got hands on ArcMap back in the 9.x days 10 years ago, I was already a skilled MapInfo user and I was very frustrated about how much more advanced ArcMap was (and still is) and I missed some of the easy tasks from MI. I really struggled getting things done the way I used to. Now when I’m used to ArcMap I will not want to switch back for anything. I don’t even bother reading job announcements any more from organizations that I know uses another GIS-platform than ESRI.

ArcGIS Pro is just part of the evolution.

New Contributor II

Tom's struggle reminds me of the battle many of us fought when ArcMap 8.0 was released. I cut my teeth and learned to use GIS at the ArcInfo workstation level. I began this GIS journey in 1995 with ArcInfo 6.0. Upon the release of 8.0, I resisted for about two years. Insisting on installing Workstation alongside the desktop. Typing in all the commands and making my own menus for common tasks was wonderful at the time. In 2001, I reluctantly migrated to Desktop kicking and screaming. I grew to love ArcMap. Now over the past several months I've been forcing myself to use Pro because it IS the future and I will be one of the guys who knows it inside and out just like I know ArcMap. I like ArcGIS Pro ... a lot. Sure there are still some things missing. Some of them mentioned here. I quit using MDBs a while back but also think they should still be supported along with Raster Catalogs. I do prefer Pro to ArcMap and it is faster on my Win 10 machine. Especially with base maps. There is one undeniable truth, however. Nearly every task takes at least one extra step. 

Occasional Contributor

I would agree that Pro currently benefits "light" GIS users more than ones with a more robust set of needs, especially since workflow conversion for these users is far less cumbersone.  I started out using ArcMap several years before Pro was launched.  While the program was powerful, I felt I was always endlessly clicking to dialogs within dialogs to make simple symbology and label style changes.  ArcMap was powerful for making geodata from scratch, but in my case we were mostly using preexisting geodata and needed to to customize, style, add some basic custom data, and run some light analysis.  Our needs are simple, compared to someone who is creating these files from scratch or running complex models.

We had performance issues at the beginning, partly because I was running Pro on a virtual machine on a Mac.  Most of this has been ironed out, and I have been happy with the performance of the product in recent versions.  I have converted my entire workflow to the Pro product, and have been using it exclusively for over a year.

I often use Adobe products, as well as Filemaker, and find that the Pro interface is similar to these products.  It does seem that the ArcGIS Pro needs more work to appeal to power users--but it is still in early versions, and ESRI has been implementing meaningful changes based on user feedback.

Esri Contributor

In case you are interested, you can build a toolbar with the buttons you are used to in ArcMap and minimize the ribbon to give Pro a slightly different look:

You can download and use this customization: ArcGIS Pro: Ribbons, Toolbars, and UI Hacks 

Or you can make a customized toolbar with any command or tool you choose: Quick Access Toolbar options—ArcGIS Pro 

New Contributor II

OH, thank you!!!  I hate the ribbon with a hot passion.  Hated it when Microsoft went to them, hate it in Pro.  I loved having all the icons for the tools I use right there at the top, in my face, instead of having to find the tab it's in...it's an extra step to go looking for it. Several extra steps until I figure out where everything is.   Much appreciated, sir!

New Contributor II

Have you ever tried to use ArcMap on a high end laptop with a native resolution of 3840x2160?  It's literally impossible, the mouse icon, menus, etc. are too tiny to work with and other elements of the UI are disproportional.  This is why I started using ArcGIS Pro and I've never looked back.  ArcMap now seems old and clunky to me.  ESRI has done a great job at building a superior, more intuitive interface that is rich and enjoyable to use.  Yes, I've run into some bugs, but name a release of ArcMap that was totally bug-free.   ESRI is actively updating and improving the app all the time.  Let go of the past and move into the future - you are GIS people, stay current with technology, report your issues but don't whine and do it with an attitude to help improve the product.

New Contributor II

Okay, well before anything else: "mutually exclusive" or disjoint conclusions - so, take a coin toss. both outcomes cannot be true. it is either heads or tails. if it's one, it cannot be the other - that is the definition of the logic phrase "mutually exclusive." I'm struggling to see its use in your comment. your work takes twice as long in Pro, and you're sure that it's NOT the case of "if that's the outcome, it cannot be any other related outcomes?" - therefore, it simultaneously does and does not take you twice as long?

Pro is designed to function well in the realm of producing and sharing cartographic information in an online organization. I'm not sure what your line of work is, but if it does revolve around creating and distributing GIS data, Pro makes that faster, not slower. to state the obvious first, it's a multi-threaded program, unlike ArcMap. so, literally, you are faster now because you can continue to work manually while Pro computes algorithms and code in a separate thread. You can also compile data types to display your information in a variety of ways instead of needing separate programs to compute 3D renderings.

What I've found in my career as a geospatial analyst is that usually it's those that cannot adapt to change that go the way of the dodo bird. not the technology that streamlines workflow.

New Contributor II

As a user of Esri products since 1987 (started on ArcInfo 3.x) I find ArcGIS Pro to be a great improvement over past software products. There is definitely a learning curve and a need to change workflows, but I think Pro is the future (Esri says it is so you might as well accept the inevitable ). As others have mentioned, ArcInfo users had similar issues when moving to ArcInfo 8. It too lacked basic functionality (didn't even have an measure area tool!), but my staff of 15 and I quickly moved over. We also expanded the utilization of the product to over 300 staff members. I think the key to working with Esri products is understanding that you are supposed to work within a suite of web-, server- and desktop-based tools. Figuring out how to make them work together is the key to success. It is not trivial but will pay off! 

A couple of other thoughts:

  1. As a GIS Manager, and later as a CIO, I led multiple technology transitions the included introduction of email (I am old), more ArcGIS migrations than I care to think about, migration to cloud-based applications (Office 365, enterprise content management system, human capacity management system, implementation of mobile devices, contract management system, ...). In almost every case the transition to something new was met with resistance from users and technology staff. The key to success was always to have a plan, stick with the plan, work closely with the vendor and engage the customer at all levels. Remember to be ready to eat crow when things go south temporarily. Smile and be positive, it pays off!
  2. I have found that when working with software vendors the most product approach is not to wail and call their product a piece of c##p. Instead, carefully document issues you find (make sure they are reproducible), engage with technical support and your customer representative in a professional and courteous manner. Call them out when things are not working (be ready to prove it), congratulate them on things that work well. I can think of only one case when this approach didn't work, and that was a very unusual situation involving a buyout of a company and an attempt to eliminate the software product we used in a very short period of time.

Less I be accused of being a hopeless Esri-lover just ask around (ask soon before they forget me since I recently retired). I was hard on them, but fair. They were the same back to me and it was an excellent partnership!

Hope this helps!