Client Facing Password for Shared Apps

12-18-2015 09:46 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

Framing the Issue
You are working at a commercial real estate company and your market built a Shortlist Story App for McDonald’s. You want to share the App with the VP of Real Estate at McDonald’s, but there is sensitive information he wants to keep private. McDonald’s does not have an ArcGIS Online subscription so you are unable to create a create a new Group and add them to that Group.

What am I recommending?
Ideally, there would be an option to create a password for clients to access a web map or web app without the client needing an ArcGIS Online accountOn the client end, this app would look just like it does when you share publicly – no editing privileges, strictly viewing and interacting with data – but to access the map/app you must enter a password.

What is the current situation?
The current configuration requires a roundabout approach to accomplish this. The administrator must create a separate login for each client. But this causes several issues, one of them being that the client’s login allows them to access the entire organizations information, including usernames, contact information, and most problematic – other client maps/apps.

How would this benefit my company and my industry?
Having the ability to assign a password to a certain group that is client facing would be extremely valuable for ArcGIS Online users in the Commercial Real Estate sector.  It would eliminate the need to create an account for the client and provide an easier way of sharing sensitive information, which keeps things simple. In the commercial real estate industry, simple is key, especially when introducing new tools.

How would it work?

Creating the web map or web app would not change.

A new sharing option would need to be added to the current sharing options for ArcGIS Online web maps and web apps. This new option would allow for the creator to share to a specific group or specific client, but instead of adding ArcGIS Online users to that group, the creator would simply be able to assign a password to that group.

This would also allow for several markets or users in an organization to use the same password for a client.

Client End
The client would receive a link to the web map or web app and a password from the creator. When navigating to that link, the client would be prompted to enter the password they received from the creator. Upon entering the password, the client would be able to access the web map or web app. 

The client would see exactly what the web maps and web apps look like when you use the current option of “Share with everyone” – no editing capabilities, strictly used for viewing and interacting with data. The only difference is this new shared option would require the client to enter a password to access the map/app.

Solving the Issue
Now you are able to share the Shortlist Story App with the VP of Real Estate at McDonald’s simply by sending him a link to the app and a McDonald’s specific password that grants access to the app.


It is SO disappointing that ESRI has not even responded to this private link sharing issue after over 5 years, especially when it is now such a universal offering by SAAS companies.  If they have not addressed this issue by now, they are not likely to address it.  If ESRI can manage things like client secrets, tokens, and passing credentials for their own proprietary data, they can certainly manage the coding for a private link/sharing option for their subscribers.

I work for a company that creates maps that include our own proprietary, private data for clients outside our organization. We are largely handcuffed to using ArcGIS Pro to provide our clients with static print or electronic maps because it is still the only way to share this information without making it public--or making each client set up their own ArcGIS Online account.  We pay for a subscription that includes Story Maps, Web Apps, Experience Builder, Dashboards--all of which can't be used in our line of business because of the public / private sharing issue.

It's horrifying to admit how much time I have spent building maps and apps for clients--only to find out that even years later we are STILL unable to appropriately share it with our clients!