“Creating Tailored Web Pages with ArcGIS Enterprise Sites” Webinar Q&A

June 3, 2020 Mike Gregotski

Get answers to all your questions related to creating tailored web page experiences with ArcGIS Enterprise Sites.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Creating Tailored Web Page Experiences with ArcGIS Enterprise Sites webinar on May 21. It was a great opportunity for John Osborne and me to provide an overview of sites options, share design tips and tricks and to demonstrate building intuitive web pages to reflect your organization’s branding.

You can access the webinar recording and slides from the presentation.

Over the course of the webinar there were many great questions from our enthusiastic audience. John and I didn’t have a chance to address all questions live, so as promised we put together a Q&A that covers the group’s questions.

GETTING STARTED WITH ARCGIS ENTERPRISE SITES

John and I asked a poll question to start the webinar. We wanted to know if those in attendance had built a site before. About three quarters of the attendees were new to sites and answered that they had not had a chance to create a site yet. This was exciting since it meant that these attendees were going to be learning a new skill that they could take back to their organization. It wasn’t surprising that many of the questions that were asked were related to getting started with sites.  

Q: What version of the software is ArcGIS Enterprise Sites available in?

A: It is available in ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6.1 and later. In the webinar, John and I used version 10.8, the latest release of ArcGIS Enterprise. 

Q: Is ArcGIS Enterprise Sites an additional installation component of ArcGIS Enterprise?

A: No, sites gets installed along with the Portal for ArcGIS component of ArcGIS Enterprise. No additional install is needed.

Q: Is there an ArcGIS Online equivalent to ArcGIS Enterprise Sites?

A: Yes, in ArcGIS Online the equivalent is ArcGIS Hub. ArcGIS Hub is a cloud-based engagement platform that allows organizations to work more effectively with their communities.

Q: Should I use ArcGIS Enterprise Sites or the ArcGIS Online equivalent ArcGIS Hub to create my site?

A: The answer is, that depends. You’ll want to consider these points based on what you are trying to accomplish and what technology you are currently using or plan to use.

  • If you are already managing your content with ArcGIS Enterprise and want to share the content in an easy-to-use manner, with different departments or based on projects, then ArcGIS Enterprise Sites is the approach to take
  • If you are using ArcGIS Online and want to share content in a likewise, easy-to-use manner with the public or specific teams in your organization, then ArcGIS Hub should be your choice

If you haven’t started with either ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online consider the following to help you decide.

  • ArcGIS Hub is the quickest way to get started since it is a cloud based, ready-to-use system, hosted by Esri. By using ArcGIS Hub, you automatically leverage web optimizations in ArcGIS Online such as putting images behind a content delivery network for faster display. Esri also can index sites you create with ArcGIS Hub with Google. ArcGIS Hub has additional licensable features for external community engagement in ArcGIS Hub Premium.
  • ArcGIS Enterprise requires you to setup and configure the software. This may be important to your organization if you need to control the infrastructure you use. You may also consider using ArcGIS Enterprise Sites if you work in a disconnected environment or your IT policy prohibits you from using cloud technologies. 

BUILDING AND DESIGNING A SITE

A large portion of our webinar was devoted to how to create a site and then how to effectively design that new site. This involved setting a theme and then using cards to add content to the site. We also discussed strategies for sharing a site and how to make it available to members of your organization. Here are some questions that came up.

Q: Is it possible to add applications like Insights pages, apps built with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript or external apps to a site?

A: Yes, you can use the iframe card to add in applications like these to a site. You could also put these applications on their own dedicated page in a site. 

Q: Is it possible to change the width of a map card so that it spans the entire web page?

A: Yes, this can be done by putting the map card in a row card and setting the row card’s layout setting to wide. ­

Q: ­Other than specifying groups to filter content shown in a gallery, is there another way to promote content (for example, content created in the last 30 days, most viewed, etc.)?­

A:  Currently in the gallery card you cannot sort content to promote the most viewed or newest items. This is something that is being considered for a future release and there is an idea posted on the ArcGIS Ideas Geonet page. If this is a feature you would find useful you can upvote the post.

There are however a couple other approaches that you could use to accomplish this. In the gallery you can use the manual setting to individually select the items to include in the gallery. Additionally, you could create a Minimal Gallery app directly from your group, set the sort order based on the modified date or most viewed and then embed the app in your site using an iframe card.

Q: Where are the uploaded images stored that are used in the image or banner cards?

A:  Images are stored in your portal as a resource associated with the site. They can be accessed through the ArcGIS Portal Directory. For example, if the URL to the item for the site in your portal is:

https://ent.domainname.ca/portal/home/item.html?id=4621288c6e6b4d389be230b94c6c832b

ArcGIS Enterprise item for the Parks and Recreation Site.

You can then browse the ArcGIS Portal Directory to the resources that are associated with the site:

https://ent.domainname.ca/portal/sharing/rest/content/items/4621288c6e6b4d389be230b94c6c832b/resources

ArcGIS Portal Directory item file resource for the Parks and Recreation Site.

From the resources directory you have access to the uploaded images:

https://ent.domainname.ca/portal/sharing/rest/content/items/4621288c6e6b4d389be230b94c6c832b/resources/parks-2048X792.jpg

The uploaded image used in the banner is accessible in the ArcGIS Portal Directory.

Q: Are arcade expressions supported in the statistic card?

A: No, they are not supported at this time. There is an idea posted on the ArcGIS Ideas Geonet page to have this functionality included in ArcGIS Hub. Since Hub and Sites are built on similar technology you can upvote this idea so it can be considered for a future release of the software.

Q: Do the sites cards that allow for HTML customization support JavaScript?

A:  Yes

Q: Is it possible to allow access to a site to a specific group of users only?

A: Yes, a site can be shared with a specific group of users and allow only these users access to the site. For more information on sharing, see the share items documentation.

Q: What happens if the users of a site are not members of the groups that are used in a site?

A: The users will only have access to the content that they have permissions to. For example, if the Search card is configured to use the content from Group A and Group B and a user is only a member of Group A, they will only have access to the contents of Group A through a search. This behaviour applies to any cards that leverage groups such as the gallery and category cards.

MANAGING SITES IN AN ARCGIS ENTERPRISE DEPLOYMENT

Several questions were asked about how to manage a site in an ArcGIS Enterprise deployment. These ranged from editing the contents of a site, migrating to newer version of ArcGIS Enterprise and moving from a production to development environment.

Q: What happens when more than one person is editing sites at the same time? Does this cause conflicts?­

A: If multiple users are editing the layout of a site page at the same time, the last person to save the page will overwrite the other editor’s changes. However, multiple editors can modify separate pages concurrently even if they are all referenced by the same site.     

Q: What is the process to migrate a site from an older version of ArcGIS Enterprise to a newer version of ArcGIS Enterprise?

A: Any site created on 10.6.1 or higher will be available and editable after upgrading to 10.8.  The difference between sites created before 10.8, is that site editors are managed by the Site Administration Group.  New sites built at 10.8 and higher will use the Core Team Group associated with the new site. If you would like to migrate the pre-10.8 site to use the Core Team Group model, simply clone the site to a new site.

Q: Are there any tools that can be used to move a site from a development or QA environment to a production environment? ­

A:  With ArcGIS 10.8 you can clone a site within the same ArcGIS Enterprise environment. Currently, there are no tools to copy a site across environments. 


You might be interested in additional new functionalities that have been introduced or enhanced with the release of ArcGIS Enterprise Sites at 10.8 that we didn’t cover, you can check out this blog post for more information.

Thanks again for tuning in for our webinar, consider registering for one of our upcoming webinars.

About the Author

Mike Gregotski

Mike Gregotski is a Team Lead in Esri Canada’s Technology Adoption group. He leads the development and delivery of demonstration resources that highlight the benefits of implementing Esri’s core technology. Mike has attained Desktop and Enterprise-level Esri Technical Certifications and previously worked in Client Support where he assisted clients in implementing ArcGIS software. In his spare time, Mike likes to quench his thirst for knowledge by playing all types of trivia with family and friends.

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