Blog Series – Importing and Using Your Own Data in Business Analyst – (6 of 6) Using Custom Data with the Business Analyst API for Flex (Part B)
by Mehak Sujan
This is Part B of the sixth and final entry of a six part product team blog series that will walk you through importing your custom data and exposing it in multiple aspects of Business Analyst – such as maps, reports, analysis, and applications. All these entries highlight some great tips and tricks for all things Business Analyst customization. Check out the previous post here.
In this post, I will dig a little under the hood of the demo application leveraging custom data which is combined with Business Analyst data.
Blog Series – Importing and Using Your Own Data in Business Analyst – (6 of 6) Using Custom Data with the Business Analyst API for Flex
This is the sixth and final entry of a six part product team blog series that will walk you through importing your custom data and exposing it in multiple aspects of Business Analyst – such as maps, reports, analysis, and applications. All these entries highlight some great tips and tricks for all things Business Analyst customization. Check out the previous post here.
In the previous posts in this blog series, we illustrated how you can import and analyze custom data in Business Analyst as well as how to quickly and easily make requests and generate reports against this imported data through the out-of-the-box Web Services in Business Analyst Server.
In this entry I will demonstrate Continue reading
The Business Analyst Online API for Flex Version 2.1 was released Friday, July 8th.
Some highlights include: Continue reading
by Mehak Sujan
In my previous post, ArcGIS.com Popups and Business Analyst (Identifying Vulnerable Populations) – Part I, I demonstrated an application that identifies geographic areas within the US which are most vulnerable to natural hazards and disasters by taking into account three demographic factors: household income less than $30K, population greater than 65 years, and children less than 18 years. Continue reading
by Mehak Sujan
With the ArcGIS API for Flex 2.3 that was just released on April 15th, support for ArcGIS.com popups has been added.
Our team is really excited about this new added support and we want to do something cool to integrate it into the Business Analyst APIs. I’ve written a sample application that demonstrates one way of identifying geographic areas which are most at risk to natural hazards and disasters (e.g. floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, etc) within the country by taking into account demographic factors. It blends together Continue reading
by Mehak Sujan
The following link demonstrates a cool ArcGIS Viewer for Flex widget developed by the Esri Applications Prototype Lab: Closest Facility Widget for ArcGIS Viewer for Flex v2.1/2.2. The widget uses the Network Analyst ‘Closest Facility’ service to find routes from locations (incidents) to points of interest (facilities). The facility points could just as easily be your business or your competitor’s store locations and your incident points could be customer locations from which you could find the routes and travel times for customers to travel to the closest stores.
It is available for download on ArcGIS.com where many other Flex code samples and ArcGIS Viewer for Flex widgets are also available. Instructions for installation are included in the Readme file and a live running sample of the widget is also available. Continue reading
by Mehak Sujan
Other than migrating from ArcGIS Server for Flex 1.3 to ArcGIS Server for Flex 2.1, the second key aspect of the Business Analyst Online API for Flex 2.0 has to do with the full redesign of the thematic mapping functionality. What’s new in 2.0 lists all the changes related to thematic mapping such as which class, method and property has been added, removed or modified.
Along with this, we have released a thematic mapping sample application that leverages this new BAO Flex 2.0 API. This sample is provided as-is and can be downloaded from the code gallery. This download includes both the complete Flash Builder 4 project download and README.txt file explaining how to get this project up and running in your environment.
Once you have it up and running, you can start playing with it…
To begin, login using your BAO API credentials. If you don’t have one yet, you can purchase one or get a free 30-day trial subscription here.
When you have logged on, the application loads the thematic mapping layer using the default thematic mapping properties. You can easily change the variable you want to thematically map along with other properties such as the color scheme and its transparency level, and the classification type and number of classes if you don’t want the default settings…
The thematic mapping layer automatically updates as you pan or zoom on the map. Based on your map scale, it is also intelligent enough to change the geography level that is mapped with the ‘Auto Select’ option and grays out the geography levels that can’t be rendered at that scale…
For example, after zooming to the north-eastern part of the country, the thematic layer automatically redraws to show counties (the recommended geography level for the current map scale) instead of states for that map area…
The legend also automatically updates and you can hover over any county to see its Total Population for 2010 and its details under the Description tab…
You can thematically map any supported variables available by your BAO API subscription (most variables are supported for thematic mapping except some Market Potential and Consumer spending variables). You can also quickly change the display of the variable as a percent, average or index based on the type of variable if you don’t want the raw number value to be displayed…
Try downloading the application to play with it and happy mapping!
by Mehak Sujan
The Business Analyst Online API for Flex Version 2.0 is now available. This is a major release over version 1.0 that was released in May 2010.
What’s new in 2.0?
The key features of this release are:
- Migration to Adobe Flash 4.1 and ArcGIS API for Flex 2.x.
- Full redesign of thematic mapping functionality.
Please read the detailed list of what’s improved, added, removed, changed and fixed in 2.0 in the What’s new in the Business Analyst Online API for Flex 2.0.
How do I get started with version 2.0?
by Mehak Sujan
The Business Analyst Online suite of APIs consists of SOAP, REST and Silverlight SDKs and, now, the newly added Business Analyst Online Flex SDK! Both the Flex and Silverlight SDKs serve as wrappers around the underlying Business Analyst Online REST services so that you can leverage the sample Business Analyst Online functionality that you can use with the Business Analyst Online web-based application. Hence, the Flex and Silverlight SDKs main purpose is to help in greatly improving the development time for developing Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) instead of making Business Analyst Online REST service calls directly through a client application.
The Business Analyst Online API for Flex is brand new!
More information on the Business Analyst Online API for Flex can be found in the
main Business Analyst Online API for Flex Resources page. In this site, you will be provided direction on how to get started with building RIAs using the Business Analyst Online API for Flex including where to download the API library. You can also learn more detailed information about the API by reading through the Concepts sections, playing with the Samples and looking through the API Reference documentation. Different developers will want to learn about the API through different means – some may want to download the library directly and start playing with it and look at the API Reference, whilst others may want to first start playing with some interactive samples to see what Business Analyst Online is all about and how they could use the API to fit their needs. This is where the Interactive Samples can come in handy, which can be accessed through the main Business Analyst Online API for Flex Resources page or by going directly to the samples explorer. Here most developers can gain an understanding of basic implementations on the Business Analyst Online functionality such as running a drive time around a store and rendering the features returned in the result on the map along with retrieving a summary report based on these resulting trade areas. The source code for each individual sample is also provided with the samples explorer and all of them can be downloaded from here along with the .swc file so that you could quickly get started with developing applications to suit your business needs and modify the code as necessary.
This samples explorer has a sample for each of the ten Business Analyst Online tasks including an example on running multiple tasks simultaneously using a Batch Task. More details on setting different parameters for each of the tasks can be retrieved from the API Reference which can be accessed through the main Business Analyst Online API for Flex Resources page or by going directly to the API Reference.
Have fun and catch you later!
by Mehak Sujan
Do you like using the ESRI Business Analyst Online Benchmark Report task? Well, running a benchmark analysis to compare multiple trade areas against one another is great. You can pretty easily compare demographic and marketing variables between one or more custom trade areas defined either by geographic coordinates, one or more standard geographic layers, or between a combination of custom and standard geographic layers, and leverage our extensive and priceless Business Analyst data . These results can then be presented in different reporting formats including PDF, Excel or XML formats.
But say you want to perform a comparative analysis between one feature/area name in a named standard geography layer (e.g., Zips, Tracts, Counties, and so on) and compare its demographic and marketing variable values against those of an aggregate named feature/area in the same named standard geography layer. Now with our latest release of Business Analyst Online API, you can take advantage of a new feature in the Benchmark Report task that helps you do just this. You can do this by specifying a “single aggregate” trade area that combines multiple standard geography features (e.g. multiple zip code values) from the same named standard geography level (e.g. US.ZIP5) into a single trade area. This way, when running a Benchmark Report task against this trade area, there will be individual summarization variable values for this complete aggregate area.
Okay, so sure enough, you could create an application to execute the Benchmark Report task against “92373″ and “92374″ separately, and then with the S.XML return format, perform calculations with the individual returned variable values to create the so-called “single aggregate” trade area.
Ah, yes, but…not really.
With this approach, you would have to add unnecessary code on the client side and if you have to present oodles of trade areas, that would not be fun!
Furthermore, trying to do the math yourself won’t give precise values with variables which are of median or average types (e.g., 2009 Average Household Income or 2009 Median Value: Owner Housing Units) since you don’t have access to all the underlying data to perform these calculations. Leveraging this functionality directly by using the Benchmark Report task is much easier and convenient.
Additionally, this feature is especially useful in the case of a large number of standard geography features/areas where you only care about the variable values for these areas on a whole and aren’t concerned with the individual values for each of them. For example, if you want an aggregate summarization variable value for 30 zip code features, it could be much more convenient to use this aggregate for analysis than each individual value.
Attached is a sample application that demonstrates how you could utilize the new “single aggregate” trade area feature with the Business Analyst Online REST API by visualizing them in a table and a chart as depicted in the figure below. The values for the chosen summarization variables for this trade area are used as the benchmark. Have fun with it and modify it based on your needs!
Catch you later!