Getting Started with JavaScript & Web AppBuilder

02-09-2017 12:42 PM
New Contributor

So I have recently been tasked to develop a fairly complex custom widget for an application that I built through Web AppBuilder. I recently entered the professional GIS world after graduation. I know HTML & CSS but have no experience with JavaScript beyond piecing together some bits from the internet. So where do I even start? I realize I need to know some basics about the language, however there is so much material online through the free web-courses that I would never use in developing applications and widgets. Originally I went here --> Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS (Developer Edition) | ArcGIS for Developers  to look around but it supposes a fair amount of JavaScript knowledge, which I have none of. And I really don't have time to learn everything there is to know about JavaScript in general and then pull the pieces I need out.

Please Help! Thanks in Advance!

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2 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I have a blog (messy but lots of info) /blogs/myAlaskaGIS/2016/03/09/web-appbuilder-developer-edition-customization-resource-list?sr=search...‌ that will help you find a lot of links on current custom widgets, getting started, learning resources, etc. 

There is an excellent step by step document that might be of help /blogs/wab/2015/05/01/installing-robert-s-enhanced-search-widget-for-the-web-appbuilder    it may have a few things out of data for the latest version, but it is much more than just the enhanced search widget.  good resource.

But also visit the other site on geonet

Web AppBuilder Custom WidgetsWeb AppBuilder for ArcGISArcGIS API for JavaScriptWeb AppBuilder Custom Themes‌   and a handful of others that you will find once you start looking around.

re: training.  As you mentioned, lots of free training and videos you can watch

and the Esri Training‌  site has a lot of "class resource" lists for many of their instructor led classes.  very handy.

Web Appbuilder (thru ArcGIs Online, Portal or developer edition) has quite a bit of functionality that can be customized without writing any code.  Most of the custom widgets have directions for installing and customizing.  And if you do need to create you own, the help has a workflow on how to do it, but I would check the built-in and the widgets others have built first, before possibly re-writing anything.  Also, ask questions (after a search for it being previously asked) in the Custom Widgets page I lists above.  It's a pretty active community.

Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Luke, not sure if you're able to attend an instructor-led class, but Esri has one that seems tailor made for your situation. If the class below is not an option, here's a link to a filtered list of e-Learning: 

Introduction to Web Development Using ArcGIS API for JavaScript