I've been doing a ton of research and testing into what platform for mobile (tablet or phone) editing I'd want to get into for our uses and am having trouble figuring it out. I had to do a ton of work on my data to do the testing just to be sure I fully evaluate everything as well but I think I need input to help decide.
I have about 5 users that need to access some feature layers for editing in the field. We have Server and the Flex web app in place already for viewing but need something for mobile editing.
I believe my options are the following:
Collector - This app seems best, however it requires a license for each user for AGO. This is quite expensive and seemingly unnecessary when we already have Server.
Basic Mobile App - The app is very basic. There's no snapping and the mobile server in Server only allows one app so I can't have multiple apps created for different needs. However, it is free, available for all platforms, and not tied to AGO at all which is a big positive.
Windows Mobile - I have a **** of a time getting this set up and it still seems very clunky. There's a lot of prep in creating the projects, dealing with basemaps, packaging/loading data. Also, it appears to be end-of-life. No more updates so it's going to disappear...but yet it still isn't free. It's a one-time cost that is much more reasonable than AGO for Collector. Will there be a replacement or will we all eventually be forced into AGO regardless of if we are already invested in Server and not interested in a annual fee? (a fee that is higher than Server itself yet annual? makes no sense)
ArcPad - I don't know much about this but it seems pretty much like Windows Mobile but would require custom hardware.
Custom app - Although I'd like to learn to do this, I simply don't have that ability at this time so it isn't an option.
Flexviewer - This is already existing and can be used via a browser (at least on a Windows tablet - not Android or iOS). It seems to lack snapping (but I haven't researched this fully yet) and doesn't seem to want to recognize my coded value domains (displays just a text box instead of dropdown - though it supposedly should work). The biggest issue is the inability to use the device GPS while using the application.
It sure seems like ESRI is working on forcing everyone to go to AGO. I am opposed to it due to the large price tag that will continue in perpetuity. Not to mention that it has less functionality/customization to offer in general and is hard to swallow when you already invested in Desktop and Server. I feel like there is no good option, they each have major negatives.
So my questions are:
Is my summation of each option accurate? Is there anything else I should take into consideration with each of those? Are there other options I haven't thought of? What is your suggestion on the best way to go?
let me know if you need more information from me. Thanks for any input you can offer!