What are some advantages AND disadvantages of Web AppBuilder's dependency on AGOL/Portal?

04-28-2015 06:40 AM
New Contributor III

Hey guys,

My organization is in the process of planning for our next new web mapping application.  Instead of going completely custom, we've decided to go the template route - either Web AppBuilder or CMV.  While we are leaning towards the Web AppBuilder, there are still some questions to be answered before a final decision is made.  One that I am struggling to provide an answer for is: 'What is/are the advantage(s) and disadvantage(s) of Web AppBuilder's dependency on ArcGIS Online or Portal?' (Developer Edition). Now that the application has been available for some time now, I figured it would be easier to get some answers on this matter. 

Thanks for your feedback.

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3 Replies
New Contributor III

I do not think it really depends on Portal or AGOL. It does in that you need an account and create a blank application to get a token, but other than that, if you use the developer version and export the code to your server, the only thing it will grab from AGOL is a basemap. If you hosted all the layers, etc. I don't think you would even use many credits - if any at all.

From a user POV, I wouldn't need to login to anything if you make it public and I would hit your server and your application and know nothing of AGOL or your organization account/portal.

Occasional Contributor III


On the surface, Paul is correct.  I tried rigging my computer running developer edition to see only my servers and not AGOL. I spoon fed it the WebMap json, which I had downloaded from AGOL, The error messages were too many to count.  Like it or not (and I don't), WebMaps are here to stay, and WAB depends on AGOL or Portal.

That said, I create my viewer in Developer Edition and host it on my own server.  Eventually I will have to rely on Portal.  I don't want the phone call from Emergency Management asking why the WAB viewer won't work when the Internet is down.

CMV is an excellent viewer, but I think WAB is better designed for mobile devices at this point.  It has responsive design from the ground up.  Dave Spriggs and Tim McGee may disagree, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I'm a former CMV user and they never let me forget it.


New Contributor III


Thanks as always for you sound advice.  I'm pretty sure I successfully sold Portal to the higher-ups, especially since we have just started upgrading to 10.3 - which comes with Portal (and the whole hosting data instead of having it in the cloud thing).

The easy use of our web map on mobile devices is what has sold the proposal in the first place, so I will definitely take your word for it and assume that WAB is going to be our best bet.



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