Tech Update | 01/01/20 | #WeTalkTech
ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8 Release
ArcGIS Enterprise is our premium GIS server based product. There are about 70 ArcGIS Enterprise implementations in Ireland ranging from single server implementations up to one which has about 40 servers.
ArcGIS Enterprise can be hosted on your local network or on the cloud and increasingly our Customers are opting for ArcGIS Enterprise as a managed service. For the Customers that use it, ArcGIS Enterprise provides the same user experience as ArcGIS Online but hosted on your own compute infrastructure rather than as a SaaS offering. To all intents and purposes ArcGIS Enterprise can be thought of as your own private version of ArcGIS Online. In addition to what’s available on ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Enterprise also provides a range of additional capabilities such as Image Services, Big Data Analytics, GeoAnalytics, Utility Network Management and support for multi-user enterprise Geodatabases on SQL Server, Oracle and PostgreSQL.
An ArcGIS Enterprise base deployment is comprised of a Portal, a Data Store and a GIS Server, the other capabilities can then be optionally added via additional server types. In the case of ArcGIS Enterprise our engineering efforts typically focus on performance, GIS functionality and capability and on enterprise considerations such as security, availability and resilience.
So, the key improvements at ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8 include:
- There have been numerous administrative improvements at the Portal level to make it easier, more powerful and flexible when managing Users and Groups.
- Similar to latest releases of ArcGIS Online you now get the opportunity to add Access Notices and Banner’s to your Portal that provide regulatory information, explain the terms and conditions as well as availability and service interruptions.
- Enterprise Sites allow you to create custom environments, or landing pages, for specific Groups within your Organisation. This tailors their experience of working with your GIS. At 10.8 we have added a new authoring experience for Enterprise Sites that makes Site creation much easier. This experience is inherited from the ArcGIS HUB system and from User feedback there.
- We’ve added several new configurable apps that have been inherited from previous releases of ArcGIS Online. These include Attachments Viewer, Zone Lookup and Nearby apps.
- Feature Layer Templates enable Publishers build empty Feature Layers for specific editing workflows, for example using Collector. At 10.8 we added additional Feature Layer Templates for Forest Activity Tracking and Member Properties plus the ability to build your own Feature Layer Template from scratch.
- There are a number of ArcGIS mobile apps, for example Survey123 that have a corresponding back end browser-based app on ArcGIS Online. At 10.8 we have added a number of these web applications as to the ArcGIS Enterprise install as embedded applications. These include ArcGIS Quick Capture Web Designer, Workforce for ArcGIS Web App and Track Viewer.
- Vector Tile Packages and Vector Tile Services have been supported across several releases. These are a giant step forward in terms of performance for both basemaps and complex operational maps. Until now however the Vector Style Editor was a separate online hosted application. At 10.8 the Vector Style Editor is available directly within ArcGIS Enterprise.
- Vector Tile Packages are highly compact, and they are often used with Mobile Map Packages in Explorer and Collector. At 10.7 we added the ability to define offline Map Areas. At 10.8 we have enhanced this capability with the ability to create Offline Map Areas using a user defined polygon rather than just a rectangle. This can server to make the resulting Map Package even smaller by omitting areas nor relevant to the User.
- At 10.8 Offline Map Areas allow Users of the Explorer mobile app to takes areas offline as before but to also receive scheduled change only updates to the layers in their maps or entirely new maps if their map has become stale.
- At 10.7 we introduced the concept of Shared Instances for web services to improve scalability and performance. At 10.8 this now becomes the default.
- To increase apparent performance client side we now support PBF query output for hosted feature services from the Data Store. he PBF format is binary and is thus smaller and faster for clients to parse than JSON. It is used by newer versions of some Esri APIs and applications to improve efficiency.
Eamonn Doyle is Chief Technology Officer with Esri Ireland. A Geographer by profession and a self-confessed “Geo-Geek”, Eamonn believes that every organisation has a certain “geography” to its operations and that this geography can often be exploited for business, social or environmental benefit.