Customizing the ArcGIS Enterprise App Launcher

February 26, 2020 Nicole Gamble

Want to find your favourite apps with fewer clicks? With a few easy steps, your frequently used web applications such as: Survey123 for ArcGIS, out of the box web apps and custom applications will be at your users’ fingertips. The App Launcher for ArcGIS Enterprise is a painless and convenient way to open the various web apps available through your ArcGIS Enterprise portal.

Depending on the version of ArcGIS Enterprise, the app launcher displays Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Enterprise Sites, Track Viewer for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Insights (if it is licensed). Optionally, there are some advanced portal configuration settings you can modify to add Workforce for ArcGIS and Ortho Maker.

This is a nice start, but we want to showcase more apps by default. Fortunately, this is simple to do, you just require ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5.1 or higher.

Survey123

If you’ve worked with Survey123 for ArcGIS Enterprise before, you’ll recall that using the Survey123 website with Enterprise is straightforward.

Simply browse to the following URL in your browser, replacing the provided example portal with your own portal's URL:

https://survey123.arcgis.com/?portalUrl=https://exampleportal.esri.com/arcgis

I could continue to use this method, but this lengthy URL is unappealing to look at. Let’s make this an attractive shortcut for everyone in your organization!

Here’s how to do this with the app launcher:

  1. Add an item in your ArcGIS Enterprise portal that references the above Survey123 URL using the following settings:

Type: Web Mapping (not Application)

Purpose: Ready to Use

API: Javascript

URL: What you would normally use to launch the Survey123 website with your portal

Don’t forget to use a meaningful title and some tags!

2. Share the newly created item to the organization

3. Copy the URL of the newly created item

4. Go to Organization > Settings > General > at the bottom of the page under app launcher click Add App and add the URL you copied in step 3

5. Save your changes and your newly created shortcut should now show up in the app launcher

When adding the app to the launcher, you can either: use a custom abbreviation or your image as the symbol for the app in the launcher. If you want to update this later, you can always do so by going back into your Organization > Settings > General > under app launcher click the pencil icon next to the shortcut you want to modify.

Out-of-the-Box Web Apps

Existing out of the box web apps created using Web AppBuilder or configurable templates like a Story Map can also be added to the app launcher. For example, if you had an app Called ‘Hydrant Inspections’ you could simply search for it, retrieve the item URL and add it to the app launcher:

  1. Search for ‘Hydrant Inspections’ in your Enterprise portal
  2. Once you’ve found the app, click on it and copy the item URL
  3. Add the item URL to the app launcher in your organization settings

Registered Applications

You may also have registered applications in your ArcGIS Enterprise portal – either as part of Esri solutions like the Roads and Highways event editor or your own custom applications.

Adding these to the app launcher is very simple, just select the option to add a registered app instead of from a URL then select the one you want from the drop down menu.

Other Considerations

Some users may not need apps like Survey123 in the app launcher. Apps in the launcher only show up for users who have access to them, so you have the option to share the item to only a group, rather than the whole organization. Just keep in mind that if the named user type and role allow them to use Survey123, they would still be able to access it through the default method described in the documentation.

While you can control what shows up in the app launcher by default, each end user also could remove/rearrange this for themselves. To do this, they can click on Show More and drag any apps they don’t want to see into the bottom section:

Lastly, keep in mind that if you add too many items to your app launcher it may become a little overcrowded. It can hold up to 50 items, but if you’re looking for a central place to share many featured apps or content to your organization, there are a few alternatives that might be worth considering:

More Resources

Manage App Launcher

App launcher: A customized suite of apps for your organization

About the Author

Nicole Gamble

Nicole Gamble is a Technical Support Consultant with the Esri Canada Enterprise Support Team. She has a Bachelor of Arts & Science with a minor in GIS from McMaster University and a GIS Applications Specialist certificate from Fleming College. Early in her studies at McMaster, Nicole’s interest in GIS was sparked thanks to a geography course that focused on problem solving in an interdisciplinary setting. In her day-to-day role she provides support to Esri Canada clients for ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Desktop. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys reading, listening to podcasts and completing puzzles.

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