Tony, Harley and Shane attended the 2016 Esri Partner Conference and Developer Summit. As per usual, this was a quality event and we had the opportunity to meet with and hear from key Esri staff. This is an important opportunity for GBS to get an in depth look at the current Esri Platform, compare notes on Esri best practice and get some early info on what is in the Esri pipeline. There were many important points to note from this year. If you managed to get to any of the recent Eagle/Esri Regional Meetings you will have heard about some of these already. So here is our list of the key ones (sorry there are quite a few!):
1) Esri is a strong company and is growing year on year as it always does – which is pretty amazing given the business conditions of the last 10 years.
2) Innovation is about Speed, Speed, Speed. Esri is speeding up also. Frequent software updates, products to enable rapid deployments (see below), new products coming to market quicker than ever, getting ready for disruptive technology such as IoT, big data, AI, computing power etc.
3) Web GIS and the Esri Platform (http://server.arcgis.com). Take the time to understand Web GIS the Esri Platform if you have not already done so. Web GIS is the core of the new way of doing Esri GIS, it’s the enabling technology that underpins all the new innovation from Esri.
4) Smart Mapping is coming to all parts of the Platform (Web, ArcPro and Mobile) – http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/smart-mapping
5) Arc Pro is here (http://www.esri.com/en/software/arcgis-pro) and it is time you started to use it. You can run it in parallel with ArcMap. It costs you no more if you already have desktop licenses. So install it, and start getting familiar with stuff like:
a. Speed, Speed, Speed! It’s fast.
b. 64 Bit architecture
c. 2D and 3D Views
d. Multiple print layouts
e. The best way to publish to ArcGIS Online or your Portal
f. Lots of geoprocessing tools
g. Tasks – recording and playback
h. Vector tile creation
6) Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS (http://doc.arcgis.com/en/web-appbuilder/) – make your own web mapping applications, no code. Extend and make cool new custom web apps based on the Web AppBuilder framework, don’t build a new Esri web application without looking here first and if you go custom, follow this framework! If you need help, talk to us, we are using this pattern all the time now.
7) Apps (http://www.esri.com/software/apps) – old (ish) ones getting better, some new ones, more coming.
8) AppStudio for ArcGIS (https://appstudio.arcgis.com/) – make your cross platform own native apps, no code. Extend and make cool new custom cross platform native apps based on the AppStudio framework, don’t build a new Esri native application without looking here first and if you go custom, follow this framework if possible! If you need help, talk to us, we are using this pattern all the time now.
9) 3D in everything – coming this year.
11) Quartz (https://developers.arcgis.com/arcgis-runtime/) – the new Esri Runtime SDK’s, now in Beta. Quartz is essentially the project brand name for upgrading and deploying the Esri Runtime SDK’s. Coming during 2016. For anyone doing work with the Runtime SDK’s you need to be aware of this.
12) Xamarin – Now owned my Microsoft and comes with Visual Studio. Esri have a Xamarin SDK in development (see Quartz above). Will enable native cross platform development using c#. Beta now.
13) Insights for ArcGIS (http://www.esri.com/products/arcgis-capabilities/insights) – Just cool, coming this year. The UI/UX experience is very, very good.
14) Big Data stores and analysis baked right into Server for ArcGIS (GeoAnalytics) – coming this year – http://www.esri.com/products/arcgis-capabilities/big-data
15) Internet of Things (IoT) – lots of talk about this and getting Esri ready – big improvements coming to GeoEvent Extension for Server.
16) A New Network model – replacing geometric networks with a new modern network modelling approach.
17) Vector Basemaps – improvements coming this year. Support across all aspects of the platform, support for more projections.
18) Vector tiles and 3D scenes in the cloud.
19) Survey 123 (https://survey123.arcgis.com/) – open sourcing of code. Take it, use it, extend it. Coming this year. This was built using AppStudio.
20) Python – becoming the scripting tool for the platform – do more with Server using python, not just desktop. Integrating Python Notebook and Python Conda.