Why you should start using ArcGIS Experience Builder

September 10, 2020 Dimpee Shah

ArcGIS Experience Builder is a platform for building web experiences using your GIS content. You can create web apps and web pages using out-of-the-box templates, drag and drop widgets and configure layouts that adapt to different screen sizes – without writing a single line of code.

ArcGIS Experience Builder has many capabilities as compared to other app builders. Let us look at some of them in more detail:

  1. It caters to all levels of app developers.

ArcGIS Experience Builder is flexible in that it can cater to the needs of rookie or experienced app developers, and everyone in between.

If you’re new to the world of app development and would like more structure and guidance on building an application, there are various templates available that can make your app-building experience completely hassle-free. ArcGIS Experience Builder includes configurable templates and widgets that help simplify the process of creating web pages and apps. You can start with templates that provide preset layouts for specific types of experiences like scrolling web pages or full-screen apps.

Templates are available in a variety of styles including full-screen, scrolling page, multi-page or simply a blank canvas.

Perhaps you’re an app developer with a bit more experience, you can modify these templates by unlocking the preset layout and adding other basic widgets like maps, lists, images that suit your needs. You can enhance the end-user experience by configuring triggers and actions, enabling multiple widgets to work together. For example, when you select a feature from a list, you can zoom to its location on a map.

Unlock a template to enable layout editing like adding or removing widgets to your canvas.

If you’re an experienced app developer, ArcGIS Experience Builder gives you the freedom to build apps from scratch, so you’re no longer confined to specific building patterns. A suite of layout widgets can be used as containers to help organize widgets on your web page.  

  1. Integrate 2D and 3D content in one app.

With ArcGIS Experience Builder, you don’t need to choose between a 2D map and 3D view for your apps. Instead, you can display and interact with both 2D and 3D content in a single web experience. It lets you visualize and explore your data in a way that makes sense for your workflows.

The Map widget allows you to display 2D and 3D geographic information.

  1. Create flexible web apps and pages easily.

ArcGIS Experience Builder makes it easy to build any kind of web experience, from simple web pages to full-featured web applications. It provides an intuitive builder interface that lets you configure web experiences using drag-and-drop components like maps, images, text and lists. You have complete flexibility over layout and design elements—you can create map-centric or non-map-centric apps, use a fixed screen or scrolling screen layout, and organize content on a single page or across multiple pages. Once you’ve settled on the layout and design for your app, you can test it out through a preview, then publish and share it with the audience of your choice.

                                            

Use tools on the builder toolbar to experiment, refine, save and preview your app to test the end-user experience before you publish and share it.

  1. Build apps with a mobile adaptive design.

ArcGIS Experience Builder lets you design apps to suit any device. You can build responsive web apps that automatically resize the interface to the user’s device, or you can configure adaptive layouts to optimize designs for different screen sizes. This helps you deliver a good user experience no matter what device people use to access your app. What sets ArcGIS Experience Builder apart is that you have complete control over how the app is served to the end user. You were previously confined to the way the apps were resized automatically. This is no longer the case!

This great feature can be leveraged to ensure a seamless end-user experience for ArcGIS Dashboards that have been optimized for desktop users. ArcGIS Experience Builder proves to be a handy tool to consolidate two views of a dashboard, the desktop and mobile versions, under a single URL.

Configure and create different page layouts for your web experiences, so they perform well on all screen sizes.

  1. Reuse and recycle apps.

Once you’ve designed apps that suit your specific workflows, you can easily reuse them across multiple projects—without needing to rebuild anything from scratch. You can create what you need, share the app you created as an item within your organization, allow members of your organization to duplicate the item and connect to new data.

You can generate a Web Experience Template item as a starting point for creating similar web experiences.

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to innovatively use ArcGIS Experience Builder to present geographic information, check out the ArcGIS Living Atlas Indicators of the Planet (Beta) app. This app provides a single point for finding some of the timeliest information covering environmental and social topics. This Experience Builder template can be customized for your own topics of interest. 

Explore this gallery of apps built with ArcGIS Experience Builder

Ready to give ArcGIS Experience Builder a test run? Sign in with your ArcGIS Online credentials now. If you don’t have an account, you can sign up for a free trial of ArcGIS Online.

Many thanks to Emilie Rabeau for the contributions to this blog post.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Dimpee Shah

Dimpee Shah is a Public Relations Specialist for Esri Canada. The power of geography and its ability to build ‘real connections’ fascinate her. Dimpee has a bachelor’s degree in mass media with majors in advertising and public relations. She has over 10 years of international experience in developing and executing communications campaigns to meet business objectives. Her love for performing arts has inspired her to always put her best foot forward.

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