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Your Key to ArcGIS Platform Q&A

Unlock the answers to your questions related to ArcGIS Platform and API keys.

Thanks to everyone who took the time out of their busy day to attend the “Your Key to ArcGIS Platform” webinar on May 13. You can access the webinar recording on demand.

What is ArcGIS Platform?

As users of the ArcGIS System, you are most likely familiar with:

  • ArcGIS Online, Esri’s software-as-a-service, which provides maps, apps, data and geospatial tools in the cloud.
  • ArcGIS Pro, a powerful desktop application for GIS professionals that need to create maps, manage spatial data and perform advanced spatial analysis.
  • ArcGIS Enterprise, our server software that allows customers to deploy mapping and analytics capabilities on their infrastructure.

Accessing ArcGIS through SaaS, Software and Server technology have been the three ways you have had to experience the power of ArcGIS. These experiences provide an end user with access to Esri’s powerful location services and content, but they have also been the way for developers to develop against ArcGIS. 

ArcGIS Platform represents a new way for developers to develop against ArcGIS, through our new Platform as a Service (PaaS) that complements the rest of the ArcGIS System. With ArcGIS Platform, we are taking the lid off and offering the underlying services that power ArcGIS to your developers through a true PaaS offering for building mapping and location-based applications. ArcGIS Platform is a new developer experience, targeting developers who need direct access to location services and content, including the open-source mapping community.

With the PaaS, developers have:

  • A different way to build. ArcGIS Platform supports open-source mapping libraries, including Mapbox GL JS, Leaflet and Open Layers.
  • A new way to authenticate through industry standard API Key authentication.
  • Access to the same Esri location services and content that power the rest of your ArcGIS users, and ArcGIS powered apps.

ArcGIS Platform is made up of three high-level elements:

  • An excellent developer experience to help you be successful by giving you access to our mapping APIs as well as the ability to use the mapping library of your choice.
  • A comprehensive set of industry leading location services that deliver content and capabilities, the centerpiece of the ArcGIS Platform.
  • A simple, transparent and easy to understand business model that is fully consumption based where you only pay for what you use.

All of these elements come together to provide an intuitive experience for accessing and using ArcGIS Platform, which provides a premium developer experience where you can use your preferred mapping API.

Questions and Answers

Q: Will API Keys also be made available to access Experience Builder applications on ArcGIS Enterprise?

A: Currently API keys are only available for use with ArcGIS Online. 

Q: How do I use an API key to access private content in an ArcGIS Online organization?

A: Currently, it is not possible to use an API key to access private content in an ArcGIS Online organization. Instead, you can use an OAuth workflow to access this content, or you can host your content in a Developer Account and access the content with your API key. This functionality is in beta at the moment, but should be released in the summer, at which point there will be a transaction-based business model to access the content.

Q: Can you put a cap on the monthly bill so it doesn't cost much more than expected if suddenly popular?

A: While this is not possible now, Esri is looking into the possibility of setting limits on a per-key basis that would allow you to control consumption.

Q: How many API keys can we create? How many should we have? Is it necessary to have more than one?

A: There is no limit to the number of API keys that you can create. You can create API keys for specific applications and scope them to different services. We recommend that you create multiple API keys for multiple applications and monitor their usage.

Q: Are we able to use our current ArcGIS account as a developer account?

A: It depends on what type of ArcGIS account you are referring to. If your account is a public account, then no, it is not possible as public accounts cannot use location services. Esri is looking at ways to convert public accounts to developer accounts in the future. If your current account is from an ArcGIS Online organization, you can use those credentials to sign in to the Developers site.

Q: What is the difference between ArcGIS Platform and ArcGIS Online?

A: ArcGIS Platform powers much of what we do in ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online is built on the same set of location services that ArcGIS Platform provides. Further, ArcGIS Online has a different business model - subscription through user types but also a consumption-based model through consumption of services. ArcGIS Platform's business model is purely consumption-based.

Matt and I thank you for tuning into our webinar and reading through this blog. Happy coding!

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

About the Author

Maura Daffern is Esri Canada's GeoDeveloper Advocate. She is interested in seeing developers in the Esri community succeed at the work they do. With a geography degree from Queen's University and a GIS diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming College, Maura has over 20 years’ experience in geomatics, many of which were spent in Esri Canada's consulting group working to implements solutions for customers. Outside of work, Maura is an avid home chef who enjoys long walks with her dog.

Profile Photo of Maura Daffern