Web AppBuilder Developer 1.2 - The Small things, Good and Bad

08-12-2015 08:26 PM
MVP Esteemed Contributor
11 17 3,974

Hello Web AppBuilder users,

   I thought I would blog about the Web App Builder Developer 1.2 that was released 8/12/15, but instead of re hashing whats the big new things in Web AppBuilder Dev, 1.2, I will focus on the little changes that may go unnoticed by some users. I want to cover the good and the bad changes (subjective of course). I have been using WAB since it was in Beta and have seen a lot of good changes and some regrettable ones, albeit very few.

  So lets be start this on a positive note and talk about the good little changes.

  1. How about the fact that there is a back button on the "Create New App" dialog
  2. The default theme "Tab Theme" has 8 color options (Styles) now and 5 layout options (instead of 2)Styles.jpg
  3. The default theme "Tab Theme" has 5 on screen widget placeholders (instead of 3)Layout.jpg
  4. The main title font size had been increased by default.TitleFont.jpg
  5. The on screen widget place holders now have a thin black outline.                                                                                                     Border.jpg
  6. The on screen widget place holders now have a spinner to indicate they are loading the widget.                                      spinner.jpg
  7. The on screen widgets are now grouped in a different spot on the widget tab.Widgets.jpg
  8. Widgets now have a thin white border. Almost hard to see but against a dark background, wow it makes a difference.WidgetBorder.jpg
  9. This one is a big one for me. There is now a way in the UI to set a widget to open at start.Preview.jpg
  10. Apps Logo can now be deleted.                                                                                                             DeleteLogo.jpg
  11. Loading screen can now be configured in the UI.                                       LoadingScreen1.jpgLoadingScreen2.jpg
  12. Map attribution font size has been decreased by default to allow for more to fit on screen.
  13. Apps sub title font color contrasts more with the selected theme style color.

Now for the bad:

  1. The font color of the coordinate widget is now lighter (subdued). This could actually go in the good list depending on your personal preference.                                                                                                                                                    Coord.jpg
  2. The zoom out negative sign shrunk for some reason and is smaller than the zoom in symbol.                                                   ZoomOut.jpg
  3. The links in the Header have a horrible non-contrasting color applied to them (luckily this is just in the tab theme).
New Contributor III


Thanks for highlighting the goods and bad. It is really very useful.



On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 11:27 AM, Robert Scheitlin, GISP <geonet@esri.com>

Frequent Contributor

Robert Scheitlin, GISP​ great post, thank you.

I like all these new changes. I would like a standard dojo color picker instead of only a few color options though I imagine that will be in a future version. Great job ESRI people.

Robert fyi a few typos (I think?)....

5. ...widget place holders not [sic] have a thin black ...

10. Apps Logo can not [sic] be deleted.

Occasional Contributor II

Thanks much for this Robert.  I don't want to bring up the bad, but could you elaborate on the few negatives "incorporated" in this new release?



MVP Esteemed Contributor


   The negative I mentioned was about changes I have seen since the beta release and are not specific to the new release (i.e. the removal of the ability to enter operational and basemaps in the main config.json like we did in Flex Viewer).

Occasional Contributor II

You also might want to mention that some of the new themes will have a significant effect on the look and usability of your custom widgets. For example, the Dart Theme changes the widgets to dark grey with white letters. More importantly, it applies the text color rule with an !important tag that's difficult to override. If you use any dijit or dgrid UI components within your widgets, you might have readability issues when that component shows a white background with the new white text. See the following link for an example.

Network Trace - Legibility with 1.2 Dart/Launchpad Themes · Issue #236 · Esri/solutions-webappbuilde...

MVP Regular Contributor

I agree that the grey is very hard to see

New Contributor

I'm having an issue that I'm sure has a simple solution. I want to add a title logo in a web app but can't figure out how to reference the image. I've uploaded the image to my ARCGIS online account and it is shared publicly. Any suggestions for this newbie?

Frequent Contributor

can we just install a new folder of 1.2 WAB (keep the 1.1 separate), copy in the signininfo.json, then move all our old widgets in? (of course, getting the newest fresh copy of each one, such as all Roberts' widgets, etc. Mine should be fine in 1.2 since they are so simple but I am about to test)

And then just re-recreate any Viewer we were working on?  Any other things to watch out for when moving to 1.2 from 1.1?

On another note, yes that Coordinates text is so light it is an issue, perhaps they should just give us a color picker for that text, too. I would also be interested in ESRI adding DMS (degrees minutes seconds) to the Coordinate widget. Maybe I will have to create that, and release it as a new widget.

MVP Esteemed Contributor


   It does not have to be that complicated. All you have to do is get 1.2 and unzip it to another folder (I have all the betas, 1.1, and 1.2 still working on the same machine). Then follow the upgrade help doc (it does not upgrade your 1.1 folder to be 1.2 it just copies/updates all your 1.1 apps and widgets over to the new 1.2 folder you created.

Occasional Contributor II

Robert's right, it's not that complicated. The only gotcha issue you might run into depends on whether you set Web AppBuilder to run as a Windows service. If so, you'll need to follow the direction at the Get started—Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS (Developer Edition) | ArcGIS for Developers page to uninstall that windows service with npm before before starting 1.2.

Esri Regular Contributor


The items on the bad list are under our consideration for the next release. Thanks!


Frequent Contributor

Jianxia Song​ ,

I agree with Rickey Fite  Very hard to see the Coordinate text now.

Should be black text with white halo (1.0 or 1.5 halo).

The tool icons up to are rather dim, too. Instead of dimming them and then bringing to full opacity upon mouseover, why not have a background illuminate which tools are hovered over? For example, my site www.sagis.org/home/map

Also Jianxia I think I noticed a serious bug in Coordinate. You can only have a coordinate system listed once. I wanted to have Georgia State Plane feet East listed as Decimal Degree and also Degrees Minutes Seconds. It won't let me!   in WAB1.2.

Also the menu to access switching them is bad. It should not trigger upon hover, but upon click. And the slightest movement out of hover, it goes away. You have to really concentrate to actually make a selection, the menu goes away if you move the mouse outside a very small area between the dropdown (dropup?) arrow and the popup menu.  Make it a onClick mouse event not onHover.  Or maybe both, or an option. I understand hovering is discoverable but if anyone adds a second coordinate system you'll quickly see what I mean here. This was in Chrome fyi.

Oh found another bug. In Search it does an autocomplete of address candidates as a dropdown when you start typing the in the Search. Great. So, I put our Geocoders in, removed ESRI World Geocoder (we do not want it) and then it stopped doing autocomplete dropdown. I put it back, and just like magic autocomplete came back. I looked at the JSON with and without it, same as the json for our geocoder entries. Is this is a bug?? I want dropdown for our geocoders. The old Geocoder widget in WAB 1.1 did that and it worked fine.

Occasional Contributor III

Did you build the geocoder with suggestions enabled and maintain that setting in the published geocode service?

Occasional Contributor


The issue you mentioned about search widget is `as-designed` now.

The reason is that `Geocoder` use `findAddressCandidates` to doing autocomplete while `Search` use `suggest`.

Suggestions are available if working with a 10.3 geocoding service that has suggest capability loaded or a 10.3 feature layer that supports pagination, i.e. supportsPagination = true.

For Coordinate may be will do some enhancement in next release.



Frequent Contributor

Thank you for your reply ZeZheng Li​ and Cole Andrews.  We only have server 10.2.  And we must use our geocoder. 

Can I use the old Geocoder widget in the new WAB 1.2?   If not.. that means there is no way for us users with 10.2 server to have autocomplete if we upgrade to WAB 1.2.  

Our users really want the dropdown. But I needed to get 1.2 for some other reasons.   I tried putting it into my WAB 1.2 manually, from my 1.1, entering into config files and moving the widget folder, and it never appeared. It showed in the panel but hung on configuring and didn't show up when the app was launched.

Also as I mention, if we can have multiple coordinates shown with same datum that will enable us to display DMS and decimal degrees at the same time, for example both in state plane ft or both in web mercator. That would be nice. And again the onhover mouseover could have a bigger hover surface and interaction or better yet a onClick.  thank you again for your reply.

Occasional Contributor


If you doesn't need Search Widget, you can try the following steps:

  1. copy Geocoder to widgets folder
  2. change the content of manifest.json like thisQQ图片20150923112156.png
  3. change the content of Geocoder/nls/strings.js like thisQQ图片20150923112321.png
  4. delete Search folder or rename it to another name, rename Geocoder to Search
  5. restart server and create a new appQQ图片20150923113635.png

If this steps not solve your problems please let me know.



Frequent Contributor

ZeZheng Li​ thank you, this worked perfectly!

About the Author
I am the GIS Manager for Calhoun County, Alabama. I have been an GIS Developer for nearly two decades. My areas of expertise is Web App Development, widget development, along with Javascript API Development and some occasional .Net development.