WebApp Builder : Compare to Flex Viewer?

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08-05-2014 08:49 AM
BrianO_keefe
Regular Contributor II

What I am hoping for... and therefore I am asking... is, does the WebApp viewer build the Javascript webmap in such a way that I can go in and tweak the code behind Widget XYZ, or adjust layer data for Layers A-C, etc. from the HTML/Javascript? Kinda like the FlexViewer does (to a degree).

I get the impression that what this app does is create a placeholder website that just references (almost like an iFrame) a portal map stored at ESRI online. I'm REALLY hoping that this is NOT what is going on. I have downloaded the WebApp Builder, but haven't gotten it installed yet. My GIS group doesn't consider it mission critical so it's left to when I "have time" (which so far is never).

Could someone with more experience give me some feedback here?

I really just want a Best Use framework to build on. I want a WebMap application stored locally with ALL of the code so that if I want to tweak a layer to flash on and off with a Javascript Timer, or I want to set the 'Enter your address' widget to display a glowing GIF as the background behind the text, that I can do these without EVER going to ArcGIS Online. I have no problem developing for a webmap system, but I am finding that unless I want a 'One-Shot Wonder' map that only uses a single Widget/Tool then I have to start from scratch and develop an entire Javascript-based WebMapping application. Which... I'm fine with. But I do not have the time for.

My biggest problem with the Javascript API is that it's clunky as heck. I've been reading the Dojo documentation, the Javascript API for ArcGIS documentation, and I still don't know how to setup a library of widgets that I can reference with simple HTML/Javascript. I can write a single-use app with no problem. But creating a GUI with multiple tools that can turn on and off will require a complete development scenario. Something I don't have time for right now.

Ugh.

Tags (1)
11 Replies
RobertScheitlin__GISP
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Brian,

   The part about being able to tweak code for widget is absolutely available. The WAB stemApp is built using the JavaScript API and thus gives you a lot of open access to the code used in it. WAB DOES use WebMaps so it is not as easy to just modify a certain layer in the map or a service. Besides the webMap stuff the WAB is very comparable to the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex and better in several ways (responsive design, no Flash plugin requirement, so it works on Apple devices).

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BrianO_keefe
Regular Contributor II

But it would appear that you have to create your map on ArcGIS Online and just reference it via the files stored locally? Is that correct?

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RobertScheitlin__GISP
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Brian,

   Yes you have to Publish your map to your AGOL organizational account. The data can still be coming from your ArcGIS Server and you can control access using AGOL groups, etc. The WAB app just uses that WebMapId from AGOL to add the map.

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BrunoMendes
Occasional Contributor

If the problem is a WebMap, I think you could build one with JSON without AGOL.

Reference: Web map using JSON | ArcGIS API for JavaScript

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RobertScheitlin__GISP
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Bruno,

   That will not be necessary as I have been digging into the MapManager.js and have found that esri must be listening to all the complaints from users about being forced to us a WebMapID from AGOL and there is code in there to just use basemap and operational layers (like good old ArcGIS Viewer for Flex) in the config.json. They just have not exposed the ability to configure this in the WAB UI.

FabioD_Ovidio
New Contributor II

Hi Robert,

we have the same problem on that. We'd like to use WebApp Builder not only from AGOL.

So, how is it possible to do that as you say, by modifying MapManager.js and\or config.json?

Thank you

Fabio

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RobertScheitlin__GISP
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Fabio,

   Refer to this thread for the answer: Do you have to use AGOL to use WAB?

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FabioD_Ovidio
New Contributor II

Thanks Robert,

very usefull!

Another question: is there a way to bypass login in AGOL at the start-up? I'd like to manage users in a different way...

Thank you

Fabio

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RobertScheitlin__GISP
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Fabio,

   In final deployed app you will not get a login unless you are using data from AGOL.

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