Esri Partner Conference and Developer Summit 2014

_BIX0840In March, Tony, Harley and Shane travelled to Palm Springs CA, for the Esri Partner Conference and Developer Summit.  As usual, Esri put on an excellent event and it was great to get an update on what is going on in terms of the Esri strategy and technology .  Apart from a couple of major introductions (JavaScript Web App Builder and ArcGIS Professional – both yet to be released), we felt it was more of a consolidation period where Esri are bedding down the things introduced in 2013 and focusing on “Esri the Platform”.  Portal was again heavily promoted and it is clear that Portal (both ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS) are central to Esri’s strategy going forward.

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Obviously a big feature of the conference, and a long awaited one,  was the disconnected capability for Android and iOS and soon .Net.  There is still no clear winner with regard to the vexing question of mobile solutions – do I go native, web or hybrid?  All we can say is that each approach has pros and cons, and there is no right answer, just the best answer for your set of circumstances – the app requirements and your IT environment and policies. Note that you need ArcGIS Server 10.2.2 (or your data in ArcGIS Online) to make use of the new off line capabilities. We also saw some nice early work with offline workflows for web (JavaScript) as well – the code is in Esri’s github repo.

The JavaScript Web App Builder and the JavaScript API is certainly front and centre and the Flex and Silverlight API’s are certainly not. What does that mean going forward?  Any new web developments should certainly be JavaScript focused and aim to make use of the JavaScript Web App Builder.  Flex (and Silverlight) are still going to be supported but there will only be one or two more functionality releases for those platforms.  They will not be getting the really good stuff that is coming to the JavaScript platform – like native 3D in the browser and so for those using these particular API’s, it is not doom and gloom.  The normal software development life cycle will still apply but for major developments going forward, you might either want to put them on hold for a bit, or move to JavaScript now.

_BIX0840Check out the session videos here at Esri.com >>

If you are interested to understand how Esri’s plans and new technology may impact on your organisation, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  We can help you plan to ensure that you make the most of the new developments with the least disruption to business as usual.

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