user_mobilelogo

Learn more about Geocortex software, implementation, and the Maperture service powered by Geocortex Essentials.

As an authorized Geocortex Implementation Solution Provider, DDS has been providing custom Geocortex solutions to our clients since 2011. We work closely with our customers to identify their needs and requirements, and implement solutions designed to what is important to their organizational goals. We can develop Geocortex applications entirely within a client’s internal infrastructure, or develop applications on our server and later migrate it to the client site.

More information about DDS's Geocortex Implementation Solutions can be found at digitaldataservices.com

Subcategories from this category:

Geocortex Meetup Group

GIS is shifting to SaaS, and it’s a win for everyone

Last year we released Geocortex Workflow 5 and – for the first time – we delivered a Geocortex product as software-as-a-service (SaaS). This is the direction Esri has been moving with ArcGIS Online, and has been the industry standard for most business software applications since the early 2000s: GIS arrived a little later to the game.

 

For those who aren’t familiar, SaaS is a way of delivering centrally-hosted software via the Internet – instead of downloading and configuring a piece of software in your environment, you access the application in a web browser.

One of the key benefits of SaaS is the concept of continuous deployment. Because applications are centrally hosted by the provider, new software updates can be pushed to customers with a much higher frequency.

Future-proofing your investment in Esri technology has always been at the forefront of our product direction, and this is an inherent protection that comes with SaaS delivery.

Seamless Upgrades

Since our beta release of Geocortex Workflow 5 last August we’ve built and deployed 11 successive releases – each containing exciting new features and adding improvements – and without interruptions to our users. Customers didn’t require compatibility testing, or incur any downtime to upgrade their applications. In fact, most probably didn’t notice: they simply logged in to do their work and were running the most current version of the software.

Many of us have experienced the pain of needing dedicated GIS- or IT professional assistance to complete an upgrade. It can take the better part of a workday, and involves significant planning and testing to ensure everything works as it did before (and even then, it sometimes doesn’t).

Due to the resources required to keep large, on-premises software deployments current, many organizations avoid upgrades, only to find themselves in a sticky situation a few years down the road when they’re finally forced to do so. This is never a good situation to be in, and the ease of upgrades with SaaS helps organizations limit the technical debt that comes with delays.

Rapid deployment of new features

We all love new features; with lots of traditional solutions, however, we can end up waiting months for new features that need to be scheduled into a long release cycle. SaaS, in comparison, allows new features to be built and deployed at a rapid pace. In some cases, new features can be delivered within a matter of days.

There is no better example of this than our 2017 Geocortex Business Partner Summit, an annual event where we bring all our international partners to our Victoria Head Office for three days of learning and collaboration. We dedicated the first day to a Geocortex Workflow Hackathon, where our partners teamed up to build the best workflows they could.

Geocortex Hackathon WinnersOur partners built some really cools apps, and provided a bunch of great feedback to our Product team about their experiences with Geocortex Workflow 5. By the last day of the Summit (roughly 48 hours later), our Product Manager was able to show them some of the feedback that the team had already implemented in the product.

Applications that are always secure

As noted above, organizations are often saddled with technical debt from not upgrading once new versions become available. Not only can this result in more work when you’re finally forced to upgrade, it can expose your applications to security vulnerabilities.

Many of our customers use their GIS for mission-critical business applications, which makes security even more critical.

The rate at which new releases are pushed to production assures that your applications are always secure. Instead of waiting to upgrade to new versions, every time you log in you know you’ll be working with the latest version of the software that’s been tested to ensure the strongest security measures are in place.

This is the approach most SaaS providers have adopted. For example, your Google Chrome browser has likely updated every week without you noticing. Google takes security very seriously, and pushing consistent updates lets them assure that their users are always running the most secure version of the browser.

Lower cost, better uptime

SaaS applications are centrally hosted, and this ensures that your applications are always hosted in an optimal environment. When customers host their own applications, there are inconsistencies in the configuration of the hosting environments, and they may not be hosted for the best performance.  

For Geocortex Workflow, we use world-class hosting services from Microsoft Azure. If anything goes wrong with the hardware in the hosting environment, teams of Microsoft engineers are standing by to fix the issue. And if something goes wrong with the software, we have a team ready to investigate and fix the issue, which can typically be achieved by pushing a new release or software patch.

The cost of hosting your applications is included in the cost you pay for the product. The hosting environment is scalable and includes protections such as failover, which are both difficult and expensive to achieve in your own environment. You don’t need your IT department to worry about managing your servers - we take care of all the hosting and associated maintenance. It’s a win-win: you free up your people for more important work, and you get a hosting environment that’s set-up in the best possible way for the product.

Moving forward

It’s easy to see why SaaS offerings are becoming the standard for business software solutions. Being able to offload a bulk of the costs associated with hosting your own applications can save you (and has saved many organizations) thousands of IT hours and dollars each year. The lower initial cost and the rapid delivery of new, powerful features are why we think SaaS is the direction more and more GIS tools will move towards.

"It’s a win-win: you free up your people for more important work, and you get a hosting environment that’s set-up in the best possible way for the product."

We’ll still be offering on-premises solutions for situations where it makes the most sense, but SaaS is where we’re headed. This is the model Esri has adopted with ArcGIS Online, and is sure to be the model for future ArcGIS products.

If you’d like to chat about what adopting a SaaS-first approach would look like for your organization, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can also get your hands on Geocortex Workflow 5 in our Discovery Center, complete with tutorials, demonstrations, and sample applications you can try.

Visit the Geocortex Workflow Discovery Center 

Copyright

© Latitude Geographics

Continue reading
110 Hits

Build custom activities with the new SDK for Geocortex Workflow 5

It’s now been a few months since we officially launched Geocortex Workflow 5, and it’s great to see our users building some innovative apps with Geocortex and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS®!

One thing that we’ve been hearing, though, is that developers want the ability to apply their own code in the workflows they’re building.

As of version 5.2 (released a few weeks ago), Geocortex Workflow 5 now offers a software development kit (SDK) for building custom workflow activities. The SDK is TypeScript-based, allowing you to write your own custom code to run in workflows, with your builds producing the JavaScript required to execute the activities at runtime.

So, what are “activities”? In the simplest terms, they’re the building blocks of a workflow - each activity represents a unit of work. Geocortex Workflow 5 offers more than 150 pre-built activities that chain together to automate almost any task. Activities such as geocode, query layer, set the map extent, get user info, calculate distance, buffer geometry, run geoprocessing, and so many more allow you to streamline even the most complex GIS and business tasks.

Flex your development chops and write activities to perform tasks that weren’t previously possible – or were extremely complex to assemble with pre-built activities. You can combine your programming skills with Geocortex Workflow’s intuitive, activity-based design to build powerful applications.

Custom activities can be built for yourself, or for others in your organization; even non-developers can work with activities as they would any others in Geocortex Workflow Designer. And granted that your technology of choice supports the functionality you’re building, custom activities can be consumed in Geocortex and/or Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS applications.

Take Geocortex Workflow 5 even further

While most tasks can be automated with the pre-built, out-of-the-box (OOTB) activities offered with Geocortex Workflow 5, you can now build anything you want with the SDK. Custom integrations, talking to custom web services, connecting with 3rd party APIs, and interfacing with custom code in your existing apps are now all possible.

Here are a few examples of what you can do with custom activities:

Perhaps you want to integrate with a 3rd party system like SAP®. While this is possible with pre-built activities, you’ll be manually assembling workflow logic to make the web requests, parse the responses, and execute your business logic. With the latest updates, you can achieve a result that’s more clean, efficient, and consumable by wrapping the logic in a few simple custom activities. Many common tasks are time-consuming to build – maybe you find yourself using the same pattern over and over in one workflow. Instead of following this repetitive pattern, you can bundle all the logic within a single custom activity. An example might be sorting map features by multiple columns. Pre-built activities are available that will sort data by one column, but it’s more efficient to write a custom activity to sort by multiple columns than it is to link activity after activity – especially if you need to perform these tasks across multiple applications and workflows. At the more complex end of the spectrum, you can build custom user interfaces using React (a leading JavaScript library for building user interfaces). This is the most challenging to achieve, but if you’re up for the challenge, it provides complete flexibility. If you’re thinking of doing this, we recommend chatting with us beforehand - we want to help make sure you’re on the right path.

Set a standard

Unless your organization follows strict guidelines for building custom apps and widgets, there is always the risk that developers will use different patterns and approaches to develop custom code. This makes it difficult for others to maintain or update the code; it can be a bit like the wild west.

This can be mitigated with Geocortex Workflow 5’s custom activities. All activities have the same, simple signature of inputs, outputs, and an execute method. Following the activity-based pattern ensures you have a standard practice for building custom logic.

With activities, you are implementing a unit of work rather than a large, rigid solution. This promotes reusability and your code will be easier to write, interpret, test, and maintain. Any developer will be able to pick up your custom activities and understand how to work with them.

You can also control how custom activities are presented to other users in the browser-based Geocortex Workflow Designer. They can be configured to look like the existing OOTB activities, helping ensure a consistent pattern across your apps.

Custom activities in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS®

At Latitude Geographics, we’ve always built complementary technology to help our customers accomplish even more with Esri’s ArcGIS platform. With Geocortex Workflow 5, we’ve taken this to a new level by allowing you to build workflows that run inside Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.

If you’re using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, creating custom activities with Geocortex Workflow 5 is still the preferred alternative to writing a bunch of custom widgets. Initial deployment will require a similar amount of effort, but ongoing maintenance and modifications of custom activities require significantly less time (and pain!).

If you write a custom widget for Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS and want to deploy it to multiple apps, you need to edit the source code in all the applications using that widget each time a modification is required. With Geocortex Workflow 5, the custom code is packaged in an activity, and you only need to modify the source activity for changes to be applied across all your applications.

Learn more about deploying workflows inside Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS in the Geocortex Workflow Discovery Center.

Start building today

You can access the SDK in our Documentation Center. Just look for the .zip file that contains all the necessary instructions you need to get started.

Let us know how it goes

As you get going with the new SDK, we want to hear your feedback. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please get in touch with us to let us know.

We’d also love it if you share what you’re building with us and other users in the Geocortex Workflow Community. This is a great place to connect with other users - everyone benefits from sharing tips, tricks, and sample workflows.

Happy building!

 

Copyright

© Latitude Geographics

Continue reading
154 Hits

Build custom activities with the new SDK for Geocortex Workflow 5

It’s now been a few months since we officially launched Geocortex Workflow 5, and it’s great to see our users building some innovative apps with Geocortex and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS®!

One thing that we’ve been hearing, though, is that developers want the ability to apply their own code in the workflows they’re building.

As of version 5.2 (released a few weeks ago), Geocortex Workflow 5 now offers a software development kit (SDK) for building custom workflow activities. The SDK is TypeScript-based, allowing you to write your own custom code to run in workflows, with your builds producing the JavaScript required to execute the activities at runtime.

So, what are “activities”? In the simplest terms, they’re the building blocks of a workflow - each activity represents a unit of work. Geocortex Workflow 5 offers more than 150 pre-built activities that chain together to automate almost any task. Activities such as geocode, query layer, set the map extent, get user info, calculate distance, buffer geometry, run geoprocessing, and so many more allow you to streamline even the most complex GIS and business tasks.

Flex your development chops and write activities to perform tasks that weren’t previously possible – or were extremely complex to assemble with pre-built activities. You can combine your programming skills with Geocortex Workflow’s intuitive, activity-based design to build powerful applications.

Custom activities can be built for yourself, or for others in your organization; even non-developers can work with activities as they would any others in Geocortex Workflow Designer. And granted that your technology of choice supports the functionality you’re building, custom activities can be consumed in Geocortex and/or Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS applications.

Take Geocortex Workflow 5 even further

While most tasks can be automated with the pre-built, out-of-the-box (OOTB) activities offered with Geocortex Workflow 5, you can now build anything you want with the SDK. Custom integrations, talking to custom web services, connecting with 3rd party APIs, and interfacing with custom code in your existing apps are now all possible.

Here are a few examples of what you can do with custom activities:

Perhaps you want to integrate with a 3rd party system like SAP®. While this is possible with pre-built activities, you’ll be manually assembling workflow logic to make the web requests, parse the responses, and execute your business logic. With the latest updates, you can achieve a result that’s more clean, efficient, and consumable by wrapping the logic in a few simple custom activities. Many common tasks are time-consuming to build – maybe you find yourself using the same pattern over and over in one workflow. Instead of following this repetitive pattern, you can bundle all the logic within a single custom activity. An example might be sorting map features by multiple columns. Pre-built activities are available that will sort data by one column, but it’s more efficient to write a custom activity to sort by multiple columns than it is to link activity after activity – especially if you need to perform these tasks across multiple applications and workflows. At the more complex end of the spectrum, you can build custom user interfaces using React (a leading JavaScript library for building user interfaces). This is the most challenging to achieve, but if you’re up for the challenge, it provides complete flexibility. If you’re thinking of doing this, we recommend chatting with us beforehand - we want to help make sure you’re on the right path.

Set a standard

Unless your organization follows strict guidelines for building custom apps and widgets, there is always the risk that developers will use different patterns and approaches to develop custom code. This makes it difficult for others to maintain or update the code; it can be a bit like the wild west.

This can be mitigated with Geocortex Workflow 5’s custom activities. All activities have the same, simple signature of inputs, outputs, and an execute method. Following the activity-based pattern ensures you have a standard practice for building custom logic.

With activities, you are implementing a unit of work rather than a large, rigid solution. This promotes reusability and your code will be easier to write, interpret, test, and maintain. Any developer will be able to pick up your custom activities and understand how to work with them.

You can also control how custom activities are presented to other users in the browser-based Geocortex Workflow Designer. They can be configured to look like the existing OOTB activities, helping ensure a consistent pattern across your apps.

Custom activities in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS®

At Latitude Geographics, we’ve always built complementary technology to help our customers accomplish even more with Esri’s ArcGIS platform. With Geocortex Workflow 5, we’ve taken this to a new level by allowing you to build workflows that run inside Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.

If you’re using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, creating custom activities with Geocortex Workflow 5 is still the preferred alternative to writing a bunch of custom widgets. Initial deployment will require a similar amount of effort, but ongoing maintenance and modifications of custom activities require significantly less time (and pain!).

If you write a custom widget for Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS and want to deploy it to multiple apps, you need to edit the source code in all the applications using that widget each time a modification is required. With Geocortex Workflow 5, the custom code is packaged in an activity, and you only need to modify the source activity for changes to be applied across all your applications.

Learn more about deploying workflows inside Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS in the Geocortex Workflow Discovery Center.

Start building today

You can access the SDK in our Documentation Center. Just look for the .zip file that contains all the necessary instructions you need to get started.

Let us know how it goes

As you get going with the new SDK, we want to hear your feedback. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please get in touch with us to let us know.

We’d also love it if you share what you’re building with us and other users in the Geocortex Workflow Community. This is a great place to connect with other users - everyone benefits from sharing tips, tricks, and sample workflows.

Happy building!

 

Copyright

© Latitude Geographics

Continue reading
146 Hits

What's new in Geocortex Essentials 4.9?

Our Product Development team has been hard at work for the past few months, adding functionality for GIS professionals to work more intuitively with data in tables (after all, your data is the most important aspect of your apps), and brings in editing functionality that has typically been reserved for desktop GIS tools. 

 

One of these features is a redesigned results table that dramatically improves performance, introduces infinite scrolling for hundreds (or even thousands) of records, and allows you to perform actions on specific results or sets of results. Geocortex Essentials users also benefit from advanced editing tools that allow you to cut and union geometries while maintaining attribute integrity.  

Geocortex Essentials 4.9 (alongside Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.10 and Geocortex Mobile Framework 2.3.1are now available for downloadYou can learn more about the latest releases on the product release page, or download the new versions in the Geocortex Support Center. 

Additional support for Geocortex Workflow 5 

We’ve continued to add support for Geocortex Workflow 5 to deploy offline workflows, dynamic forms, and new activities in Geocortex Essentials applications. 

Geocortex Workflow 5 is our newest product that allows you to extend Geocortex and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS ® applications by turning complex business processes into simple, guided end-user interactions. Instead of writing thousands of lines of code to meet custom requirements, choose from more than 150 pre-built activities that chain together to automate almost any task. 

Building upon Geocortex Essentials’ popular workflow capabilities, Geocortex Workflow 5 is also offered as a standalone product and enables you to build workflows right in your browser.  

Take Geocortex Workflow for a spin in the Discovery Center, complete with videos, tutorials, and sample apps. 


Take 
workflows into the field 

Geocortex Workflow 5 provides the ability to take workflows offline to support field operations. You can download workflows and run them in your mobile viewers, keeping field workers productive… even in areas with no network connectivity.  

For example, a municipal field engineer may need to perform fire hydrant inspections throughout a rural neighborhood. With Geocortex Workflow 5, the inspection application and corresponding workflow can be downloaded right to the worker’s tablet at the beginning of the day, and the assigned inspections can be completed without any network connection.  

When the day is done and the tablet has returned to network connectivity, the field worker can sync the inspection data back to the database. This ensures that the field worker can continue to complete inspection, regardless of where they are, and that the data is readily available to the people in the office that need it. 

Explore Geocortex Workflow 5  

If you’d like to learn how you can take your business processes offline, or extend applications you’ve built with Web AppBuilder for ArcGISyou can get a feel for the product in the Geocortex Workflow 5 Discovery Center. Here you’ll find demonstrations of different deployment scenarios, tutorials, and sample applications.  

Or, if you’re ready to get started with Geocortex Workflow 5 you can sign up for a free developer license here. 

Copyright

© Latitude Geographics

Continue reading
139 Hits

What's new in Geocortex Essentials 4.9?

Our Product Development team has been hard at work for the past few months, adding functionality for GIS professionals to work more intuitively with data in tables (after all, your data is the most important aspect of your apps), and brings in editing functionality that has typically been reserved for desktop GIS tools. 

 

One of these features is a redesigned results table that dramatically improves performance, introduces infinite scrolling for hundreds (or even thousands) of records, and allows you to perform actions on specific results or sets of results. Geocortex Essentials users also benefit from advanced editing tools that allow you to cut and union geometries while maintaining attribute integrity.  

Geocortex Essentials 4.9 (alongside Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.10 and Geocortex Mobile Framework 2.3.1are now available for downloadYou can learn more about the latest releases on the product release page, or download the new versions in the Geocortex Support Center. 

Additional support for Geocortex Workflow 5 

We’ve continued to add support for Geocortex Workflow 5 to deploy offline workflows, dynamic forms, and new activities in Geocortex Essentials applications. 

Geocortex Workflow 5 is our newest product that allows you to extend Geocortex and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS ® applications by turning complex business processes into simple, guided end-user interactions. Instead of writing thousands of lines of code to meet custom requirements, choose from more than 150 pre-built activities that chain together to automate almost any task. 

Building upon Geocortex Essentials’ popular workflow capabilities, Geocortex Workflow 5 is also offered as a standalone product and enables you to build workflows right in your browser.  

Take Geocortex Workflow for a spin in the Discovery Center, complete with videos, tutorials, and sample apps. 


Take 
workflows into the field 

Geocortex Workflow 5 provides the ability to take workflows offline to support field operations. You can download workflows and run them in your mobile viewers, keeping field workers productive… even in areas with no network connectivity.  

For example, a municipal field engineer may need to perform fire hydrant inspections throughout a rural neighborhood. With Geocortex Workflow 5, the inspection application and corresponding workflow can be downloaded right to the worker’s tablet at the beginning of the day, and the assigned inspections can be completed without any network connection.  

When the day is done and the tablet has returned to network connectivity, the field worker can sync the inspection data back to the database. This ensures that the field worker can continue to complete inspection, regardless of where they are, and that the data is readily available to the people in the office that need it. 

Explore Geocortex Workflow 5  

If you’d like to learn how you can take your business processes offline, or extend applications you’ve built with Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, you can get a feel for the product in the Geocortex Workflow 5 Discovery Center. Here you’ll find demonstrations of different deployment scenarios, tutorials, and sample applications.  

Or, if you’re ready to get started with Geocortex Workflow 5 you can sign up for a free developer license here. 

Copyright

© Latitude Geographics

Continue reading
193 Hits