Quitting Desktop Cold Turkey

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05-23-2017 09:59 AM
JasonBritton1
New Contributor III

I've been a Desktop user for about 14 years. I have seen a lot of reasons that users are saying avoid ArcGIS Pro. Just thought I'd share my experience since I've quit ArcGIS for Desktop. I had played with Pro after going to the SE UC a few years back but didn't commit. I decided to change because my attribute updates to services hosted on ArcGIS Online decided not to save when editing in ArcMap. Tech support couldn't duplicate the issue on their end and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work. On a whim I wanted to see if the same issue would happen in Pro. When I moved everything into a Pro project the edits to my online services worked as they should. Just as a point of info I don't develop or write scripts so I can't speak to how that works.

 

The biggest hurdle in migrating to pro is relearning where everything is. The interface has changed a lot, but thanks to google its pretty easy to find what you are looking for. Editing is a bit clunkier in my opinion than it is in Desktop. One suggestion I have would be to bring the snapping options back to the right click menu. Another issue is that so far there is still no fix for creating hyperlinks in the identify window. I brought this up about two years ago and  as far as I can see, it seems like it still hasn't been addressed. The last negative I have is that labeling is a bit slower but its really a minor inconvenience.

 

Pro does make it much easier to work with those items that are hosted on portal and ArcGIS Online. My organization has made a heavy commitment to Online and it has definitely made my maintenance for the hosted services much more convenient. The ability to create multiple layouts in a single project is also a big plus. I've seen some worry about the lack of ArcCatalog. You use the Project Pane in Pro. It works essentially the same as the catalog window in an mxd but with some added functionality. So it's pretty much ArcCatalog its just not available as a standalone program.

 

ESRI can deny it all they want, but the bottom line is this is going to replace Desktop. Maybe not this year, but eventually it will. Overall I'd say I'm happy with the switch. Once I become more familiar with the interface I don't expect it will feel much different than Desktop did. I'd recommend that users start becoming familiar with this program.

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27 Replies
KoryKramer
Community Moderator

Thank you for the refreshing opinion, Jason.  I wanted to respond to some of your input here.

 

I hear you about learning where things are in Pro, and this is something that we hear a lot from other users as they begin to use Pro.  From your positive attitude towards Pro, it sounds like you’ve left this hurdle far behind you, but I wanted to make sure that other users who find this resource are aware of the great ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorials. There are 15 tutorials and many of them take only 10 or 20 minutes (that’s why they’re quick-start tutorials).  These aren’t meant to teach you GIS; they’re meant to familiarize a user with the new (to them) application.  So for those of us who have a lot of experience using ArcMap, and GIS professionals with many years of experience like yourself, these tutorials are a very effective way to quickly learn how to get around and be productive in ArcGIS Pro.

 

For those who want to dig deeper, there are 76 ArcGIS Pro tutorials, web courses, videos and seminars on https://www.esri.com/training/ and 11 lessons on http://learn.arcgis.com/en/ .  Or if you prefer books, you could use Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro.  You get the point - there are resources out there to help transition from using ArcMap as your desktop GIS to embracing ArcGIS Pro.

 

If there are things that you find clunky or ideas and functionality that you want to see in Pro, please check out the ArcGIS Ideas site.  Look to see if somebody has already posted that Idea, vote it up and provide your story in the comments.  If you can’t find it, submit a new idea!

 

We also hear a lot about the need for more data management functionality in Pro (Catalog).  This is an area that is continually being developed with some notable changes coming in Pro 2.0.  Every version sees new functionality so we continue to encourage you and the entire user community to communicate your challenges and needs so that we can address them.

 

We can expect to see a release of ArcMap 10.5.1 pretty soon, and then ArcMap 10.6 at the end of the year; however, ArcGIS Pro is the focus for new development efforts as it is the future of the ArcGIS Desktop product.  Customer feedback continues to be a key driver of ArcGIS Pro software development. Therefore, we encourage you to continue commenting and posting your ideas as this helps us to build ArcGIS Pro to meet your needs and requirements.

 

Thanks again for your comments and we look forward to keeping the conversation going.

JoshuaSchwartz
New Contributor III

Quick question on Pro -

What if I don't want to create a new project or project folder, but rather just open the application, manipulate some data and exit? Is there a way to invoke the mapping portion of the application without creating a project or project folder?

KoryKramer
Community Moderator

Joshua, please see ‌.  You can up vote that Idea and provide comments if you'd like.  There are also some suggestions in the comments on how to work with the Project design.  You could essentially just have a "scratch" project that you open up to manipulate data and exit.  You don't have to ever save the project if all you're doing is quickly looking at some data, or even changing data. 

JoshuaSchwartz
New Contributor III

Thanks, Kory. I have what I'm calling a Default project that I'm using exactly as you described.

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TylerSchwartz2
Occasional Contributor II

Hi Joshua,

Just like Kory mentioned, I have a "dummy" pro project setup (and a geodatabase) in a folder on my desktop (or wherever works) that I use for these types of quick data manipulation tasks, or if I need to export a quick and dirty map.  I reuse this project over and over and just delete the features from the last set of tasks once I reopen it

May the Schwartz be with you

JoshuaSchwartz
New Contributor III

And with you!

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AndrewQuee
Occasional Contributor III

I know there are many changes that need to happen before Pro is a 'fully featured' replacement for Desktop.  Just off the bat, in our business as data managers, and even in some of our users processing workflows, it is essential to use ArcCatalog side-by-side, or standalone.  Until add standalone data catalog is actioned, we will not be migrating to Pro.

As a government mapping and data warehousing agency, until Pro provides the full range of cartographic and raster management tools that Desktop does, as well as a fully realised development environment for the customisations we require to maintain productivity levels, we have no intention to migrate to Pro.

As an indication, we have one Pro install which we use as a toy to see what Esri is up to from time to time.  Then we go back to Desktop to get work done.

MattWilkie3
Occasional Contributor II
If there are things that you find clunky or ideas and functionality that you want to see in Pro, please check out the ArcGIS Ideas site.  Look to see if somebody has already posted that Idea, vote it up and provide your story in the comments.  If you can’t find it, submit a new idea!

I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about contributing and participating in ArcGIS Ideas if I see any movement on the ones that are important to me and my work. For instance the Standalone ArcCatalog for Pro already mentioned in this thread has a score of 1980, which places it at or near the top 100 of all ideas contributed thus far, over 12000. It hasn't been merited an "Under Consideration" by the powers that be or a response from Esri as to why this popular idea is not being considered at this time.

This is not an outlier. Most of the ideas I've voted for are in this same boat. For example Permanently re-order fields is approaching 30k points, as measured from the birth of the ArcGIS Ideas site in 2010. Please note that re-ordering fields has been asked for since ArcGIS 8 in 1999. (This one at least is "under consideration" and has had a few Esri staff make some comments. However an idea this important to so many people and with such a long pedigree and deserves a head-on full bodied response.)

KoryKramer
Community Moderator

Hi Matt Wilkie‌.  As you mentioned, today there are more than 12,000 ideas on the site - which is GREAT that there are so many thoughts from the user community about things that could improve the software for your work.  That said, as I'm sure you'll understand, it is not possible, nor desirable to implement all ideas that are submitted on the site.  

I provided background into the process in https://community.esri.com/community/gis/applications/arcgis-pro/blog/2017/05/01/arcgis-desktop-idea...

"As time goes by, ideas get up votes, down votes and comments from the user community. Advocacy Leads frequently monitor the site, and usually on a monthly basis report on trends to our respective Product teams.  Ideas may be discussed because they have a high overall score.  But if that were the only criteria, as it takes time to accumulate a high score, relatively new ideas wouldn’t make it into the discussion.  So we also look at things like how fast an idea’s score is growing – how many up votes this month? – how many up votes this year?  Sometimes we also see an idea collect a wide variety of user stories.  It may not have an incredibly high score, or even be growing as fast as other ideas.  But what if, out of 15 up votes, the community has provided 15 unique and compelling user stories in the comments?  Those user stories may reveal that the functionality could be used across a number of different industries, meaning that implementing the idea would have a greater impact than something that is a niche use.  This is a really good reason to not only vote for ideas that you’d like to see, but also provide your user story in the comments!"

While specific ideas that you've voted for may not have changed status or been implemented yet, as you can see from that blog, there definitely is a lot of movement of ideas.  I can say that the teams do try to be deliberate when moving an idea to Under Consideration - there may be application design considerations that would need to be figured out before the idea could be seriously considered, and sometimes there are dependencies on some other functionality having to be implemented first, before an idea would be possible to implement.  At other times, there might be framework issues that don't allow for the consideration of an idea.  

I don't mean to present this here as an excuse for why ideas aren't moved into the product plan and implemented, rather as an extension of the explanation of the process provided in the quote above.  I can assure you that ‌ is high on the list of things the Pro team is looking at as it is a fast-growing idea.  If you have a few minutes, it is always helpful to provide some specifics in the Comments section as others have been doing on that idea.  And since we have this communication channel open, is the "stand alone" part of that idea an integral piece in your mind?  What if Pro did everything that you needed in terms of data management, but it did it within the single application rather than through a separate, stand-alone app?  Would that meet your needs?  From other comments on that thread, it sounds like maybe so, as long as a separate project doesn't have to be created to work with data management: ‌  Again, a design consideration...

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