‘Tis the season to migrate: 3 main migration projects to consider

November 16, 2017 Carole Arseneau

While birds are migrating south for the winter, many of you may be using this change of season to move ahead with planning a technology migration to improve your organization’s overall efficiency and of course, your bottom line. Let’s take a look at three migration projects many of our users are undertaking this fall. I’ll also share some important things to consider when planning these projects.

From ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro

The message is clear. ArcGIS Pro is now the focus of Esri’s development team. This means organizations across the globe are starting to explore the impacts on their workflows and plan efficient migration stages for the near future. But, there’s no need to panic. ArcMap will be maintained and supported over the next few years; however, it’s time to look ahead and get familiar with ArcGIS Pro. Test workflows, update scripts, import map documents, create projects and so on.

To get the process started, you can verify system requirements and understand the licensing and deployment options. See how to Get started with ArcGIS Pro.

For a complete review of the impacts and best practices, and to familiarize yourself with the new environment, consider our Migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro training course.

From Paper Forms to Field Apps

See how to improve field operating efficiency with ArcGIS apps. Read the ArcNorth News article on Utilities Kingston’s move from paper to mobile apps, which has significantly increased their productivity.

You may have heard about Collector, Survey123, Workforce and Navigator for ArcGIS. Not to mention Operations Dashboard, which provides an overview of the current status of a project and allows decision-makers to see issues that need to be addressed immediately. 

Many companies decide to schedule migration to field apps before the end of the year or during winter, so they’ll be ready to use the apps during the field season in the coming year.

Field apps save valuable time by eliminating the need to enter data manually, avoiding duplication of documents and data storage, reducing delays in disseminating information to decision-makers and avoiding mistakes.

To plan your migration, it’s important to consider which deployment option will best meet your needs. You can use ArcGIS Online to deploy ready-to-use field apps, or deploy the apps on your own infrastructure, using the Portal for ArcGIS component of ArcGIS Enterprise.

To learn how to prepare this migration on your own infrastructure, consider taking our Deploying Portal for ArcGIS training course.

And, to configure the apps according to your business requirements, you may also want to take the ArcGIS for Field Work and Operations course. (Note: This course applies to both ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise via Portal for ArcGIS deployments.)

From Customized Web App to Configurable Web Apps

A few years ago, creating web applications was not an easy task. It involved hours of development time and considerable costs. On top of these, some organizations could only publish one or two web apps, which served as the only internal sources of geospatial information. As well, the apps typically included too much data, which intimidated GIS users and non-GIS users alike.

Fast forward to 2017 and Esri’s configurable templates, out-of-the-box widgets and Open Data site builder have simplified the whole process.

Just as in ArcGIS Online, the Portal for ArcGIS component in ArcGIS Enterprise includes all the app templates, such as Story Maps and Web AppBuilder, a wizard-like browser application that allows you to configure apps using out-of-the-box widgets as well as the customized widgets’ easy integration option at 10.5.1.

There is also the Open Data site builder that allows you to launch not only a “catalogue style” site for your publicly available data, but a map component to visualize the data and preview tables. It includes options for bringing your data to life on the main page by showcasing web apps and pages that provide context and use-case examples to your community. The builder also allows you to share your open data in a variety of formats, such as web services. You can also do some customization/development to the site if you’d like to further extend these capabilities.

This type of migration can involve many groups in your organization. It might require a system architecture redesign, the administration of Named Users to assign privileges adequately and manage groups, and an overall change in the way web apps are designed. With this innovative approach, many apps can be created and deployed quickly by anyone who has access to this privilege. 

To support your system architecture performance evaluation or redesign, consider signing up for the System Architecture Design Strategies course.

To deploy the Portal for ArcGIS component on your infrastructure, consider our Deploying Portal for ArcGIS course.

To start configuring apps the way you want, sign up for our Configuring Web Apps Using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS course.

No matter what type of migration is being planned or already underway in your organization, feel free to check with us for recommendations and support to make sure you apply best practices and get the best return on your investment. 

About the Author

Carole Arseneau

Carole Arseneau is a Sales Representative at Esri Canada. She advises customers from all industries on how to use GIS technology to be more efficient in their daily workflows. Carole holds a GIS certificate from Florida State College in Jacksonville and a Bachelor degree in Kinesiology from Laval University in Québec City. Being by the water has always made her feel at home and has given her inspiration to keep a positive outlook in life.

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