Monthly Archives: March 2009

Changing the Look of the Water Operations Dashboard

So you like the dashboard, but you want it to look different, maybe give it that home town feel. Changing the icons and title is easier than you think.  All you need to do is update a few xml files.  

Start with the Config.xml file in the root of the Flex application, located in <InstallLocation>WaterOperationsDashboard. Before you make and changes, save a copy of the original Config.xml file, then if you do mess something up, you have a backup. Modifying the Config.xml file in notepad or a similar text editor can be painful. It is much easier to use an XML Editor to make the changes.

Here I am using a product called Aptana Studio, you can see that the tags are color coded, so they are easier to read.

 

Lets start with the Title.

Under <configuration> and <userinterface>, you will see a tag called <title>. Put whatever title you want in there. Save the changes and open up the Flex application in your favorite web browser, you should see the new title.

<configuration>

<userinterface>

<banner>visible</banner>

<title>Water Distribution Operations Dashboard</title>

<subtitle>Powered by ArcGIS Server</subtitle>

Now while we are here, we change the Logo, this is the left icon on the banner.

On the tag below, look at the path. This path points to a location in the Flex Applications Directory.

<logo>com/esri/solutions/flexviewer/assets/images/logo_water_GE.png</logo>

Translate that path to a windows path, it should look like below.

<InstallLocation>WaterOperationsDashboardFlexViewercomesrisolutionsflexviewerassetsimages

You can either replace the image or change the image with a image editing software. If you replace it, watch your size, this one is 64×64. If you want to modify the default image than edit logo_water_GE.png in you favorite image editing software. You can use Windows Paint, but it can not create transparencies. I like to use a program called Paint.NET. It handles transparency well and it allows you to layer images and combine them.

 

That should do it. Open your dashboard and you will see the updated image.

You can repeat this process for the rest of the tags in the config file.

Good luck, if you are proud of your icons and skins, post them. We would love to take a look at them. 

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VBA and VB6 with ArcGIS: What's the Story?

Coming out of the ESRI Developer Summit last week, and hearing some buzz about this on Twitter, we figured it would be a good time to catch everyone up with the ArcGIS support story for Visual Basic 6 (VB6) and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).  We wrote a few notes on this a while back, but here’s the scoop.

Visual Basic 6 Support

This development environment is fully tested, documented, and supported for use with ArcGIS through version 9.3.1.  

The v9.3.1 release will include a version of the VB6 Software Developer Kit (SDK) for both ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Engine.  For the past few years Microsoft has been phasing out support for VB6, finally considering it unsupported as of 2008.  Due to this, ESRI will not be releasing a VB6 SDK, nor supporting VB6 at the ArcGIS 10 release.  We continue to encourage users and developers to migrate their projects and code to more recent versions of Microsoft Visual Studio which use the .NET Framework.

What about your existing VB6 code?  Well on the one hand, your code may just continue to work with version 10, but one should not count on that for planning purposes.  In addition, VB6 documentation, samples, and other resources for earlier versions of ArcGIS will still be searchable online.  As for the user community, VB6 users will probably be there for some time into the future, but you should probably expect that the size of this group will continue getting smaller.  On the other hand (and more importantly) you will not have an SDK for VB6 at version 10 nor will technical support services from ESRI or our distributors be available, so our ability to support what you are doing will be significantly limited.

Another point worth mentioning is that ArcGIS will no longer install the Microsoft VB6 runtime at v10.  This is something to consider if you plan to deploy VB6 solutions to machines on which v10 is installed.

Check out this migration post to see how to use the Visual Studio Update Wizard to convert your code.

So to summarize:

For ArcGIS through v9.3.1:  VB6 is fully supported.
For ArcGIS 10:  VB6 will be unsupported.  Your code may just work, but there will be no VB6 SDK, nor technical support services. 

VBA Support

For about 12 years now since version 8.0, ArcGIS Desktop users have been able to take advantage of the embedded VBA Editor to write macros, code modules, etc.  The status of VBA going forward is this.  VBA is fully supported through ArcGIS Desktop version 9.3.1, however developers are encouraged to use supported versions of Microsoft Visual Studio when extending the ArcGIS Desktop applications.  When ArcGIS 10 is released, VBA will no longer be recommended for use, however it will still be available in order to support legacy code and applications.

So to summarize:

For ArcGIS Desktop through v9.3.1:  VBA is included and fully supported.
For ArcGIS Desktop 10:  VBA will be available if needed, fully supported but not recommended.

(edited on 6.28.2010 to replace “v9.4″ with “v10″ due to version renumbering)

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ArcGIS Business Analyst Online Beta–Part II, New and Improved

 by Brenda Wolfe

This week the ArcGIS Business Analyst Online beta was updated.  The feedback from the first release was glowing, but we hope users like the second beta even more when they see the flashy new features that have been added.  Here a few quick items…

For starters, the Home tab layout has changed to help users get started quickly.  Because many users want to enter an address right away, we have moved the Select Location tab to “Step 1.”

A new way to view and select sites has been added to the top of the Get Reports tab.  Users can now readily see the site name and characteristcs, making selection easier.

We are creating features to help users work more efficiently.  In the updated beta, users can now choose which tab they want the applicaiton to open to by default.  Tired of the Home tab?  Now you have a choice!

If you would like to check out these new features and more, e-mail me at bwolfe@esri.com.

More to come, stay tuned. 

Brenda

 

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Business Partner Conference/Developer Summit notes

by Kyle Watson

Good showing at the BPC/Dev Summit thus far (is there ever a cloud in Palm Springs???).  Our product team was huddled around the Commercial Island, demo’ing away and talking to partners.  Many well attended tech workshops and demo theater presentations as well.

We always enjoy speaking to partners and users, and appreciate the attendance.  Here are some familiar faces I had the pleasure of chatting with:

  • Wayne Kocina of GeoWise in Boulder, CO:  Rapped about the BAO 9.3 beta and some good enhancements (like accessing BAO from BA Desktop without logging in).
  • Anne Desmarais of the Univ of Redlands in Redlands, CA:  They want to deploy BA Server for analysis through the Inland Empire.
  • Michael Stokes of Navigate Pty Ltd in Sydney, Australia:  Always good talking with Michael, he’s always letting us know what he’s been up to and never seems to miss the BPC.

I leave you with a random shot of the Commercial Island…some interested parties checking out the offerings.

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Geodatabase Presentations from the 2009 Dev Summit

This week ESRI hosted the annual Developer Summit down in Palm Springs. The geodatabase team was there to answer user’s questions, announce a few of the 9.4 projects that are in the works, and give several technical sessions.

I’ve gathered the slides from our presentations to post up here on the blog. Click on the thumbnails below to view PDFs of the various presentations.

    

    

 

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Explorer 900 DevSummit plenary recording now online

If you missed the DevSummit plenary, the recording of it is now online at the ESRI DevSummit site.

If you missed the live ArcGIS Explorer 900 demonstrations during the plenary, you can view them from among the videos. Just look for the Explorer and Online button among the choices of video segments to view.

 

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2009 Developers Summit

The 2009 Developers Summit has come and gone.  Thanks to all who attended!  We enjoyed meeting with you.  We’ve uploaded the geoprocessing presentations to the Model and Script tool gallery. Session videos have been posted to the Media Gallery. 

Slides, scripts, and data from the two workshops on Designing and Building geoprocessing tools are available in the Model and Script tool gallery, or by clicking here.

Slides and other materials from the Building Geoprocessing Services session are available here.

Slides and scripts for the Python Scripting Advanced Techniques session are available here

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Two BIG initiatives from ArcGIS that will benefit *all* Business Analyst users. :-)

 by James Killick

I’m just back from the Esri Business Partner Conference + Developer Summit in Palm Springs, CA. For the many of you that didn’t get a chance to attend: you should know there are some great things coming down the pike from ArcGIS that will be of benefit not only to GIS users, but to all of you ArcGIS Business Analyst users too. :-)

One of the beauties of the fact that the Business Analyst products are built on ArcGIS is that users get to rise with the tide of this great platform that Esri has developed over the last 40 years.

Here are two great new features in ArcGIS that you’ll be able to take advantage of in the very near future:

(1) Share and publish maps with your colleagues using ArcGIS Online

Use case: you’ve done a bunch of analysis using Business Analyst desktop and now you need to get the map in front of your (non-geeky) colleagues or execs. Using the new Sharing and Publishing features of ArcGIS Online [coming later this Spring] you can quickly upload you map to the ArcGIS Online “cloud” and share it securely with your colleagues via a simple web-mapping app. Think of it like Flickr only with interactive maps instead of static photos – and just like Flickr you can share information publicly or with just a select group of people. Here’s a screen shot of some typical shared content. Notice the “View in Browser” button:

 

(2) Creating Powerful 3D Mapping Presentations using ArcGIS Explorer 900

This will enable you to supercharge your presentations and make you look like a rock star to your execs.  ArcGIS Explorer is Esri’s 3D Globe app – many of you might compare it to Google Earth. A tremendously useful feature of the new 900 version is now you can use it to create superb, animated, 2D or 3D presentations.

Use case: you need to give a board room level presentation of your proposal – e.g. where your retail outlets are and potential locations for filling the gaps, or perhaps where you need to consolidate.

In just a few minutes you can share the information from your Business Analyst desktop and build an interactive presentation in ArcGIS Explorer. The presentation can tell the story you want to tell while still providing interactive control to further explore. Here are a few screen shots:

The screen shot above shows some data displayed in a 3D map on ArcGIS Explorer.
From this tool you can build presentations. The presentations can include interactive maps and globes, custom map layers, titles and overlays, embedded photos and videos, even slides from a PowerPoint. When you’re done creating the presentation you simply click this button:

And then, just like in PowerPoint, you go into presentation mode:

 

For more information on ArcGIS Explorer 900 you can stay tuned by linking to the ArcGIS Explorer blog.

Keep your eyes peeled. This is great stuff.

-James

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How do you get missing annotation into an existing annotation feature class?

By Mamata Akella, Esri Design Cartographer

Missing Anno Thumb

Sometimes you will find that some annotation you had thought you produced is missing. You can add this missing annotation into your existing annotation feature class without having to recreate all the annotation. The approach you take will depend on whether you are creating standard annotation or feature-linked annotation.

Standard annotation elements are pieces of geographically placed text that are not formally associated with features in the geodatabase. For example, you might have a piece of standard annotation that represents a mountain range—the annotation simply marks the general area on the map.

Continue reading

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Explorer 900 at the DevSummit Plenary – Part 3

(be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2)

Larry Young continued to discuss the ArcGIS Explorer SDK, also free with ArcGIS Explorer. The SDK features a pure .NET managed code environment, and and easy yet powerful object model.

Larry explained that different types of add-ins can be created using a variety of supplied templates in the SDK. These are designed for use directly in Visual Studio. One of the templates allows you to quickly implement a dockable window. Larry showed and example that performs a drive time analysis and shows the demographic information within a 3 minute drive time within a dockable window.

Larry showed another example, this one targeted at sports fans and using the recent World Baseball Classic as its premise.  This customization uses another type of add-in - a button which in this case turns on the layers showing the teams that are participating in the classic and the location of their first round games.

Another type of add-in is a gallery.  This gallery shows all the teams that participated in the classic grouped by the site of their first round games.

Larry showed the Visual Studio code view and explained how the gallery was created. You create the individual items by providing a caption, image, and tool tip, then you have the option of grouping them together for easier access.

Larry concluded by saying that ArcGIS Explorer provides lots of opportunities for developers and non-developers alike, via configuring the user experience with application configurations and also by creating custom add-ins using the SDK.

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