As you learn and use ArcGIS Server, you'll probably reach the point where you want to build or customize your own apps to work with your GIS services.
If you're interested in learning more about web app design, deployment, content, and editing, see Design concepts for web GIS applications.
Determine your approach for creating and consuming GIS content on the web
The ArcGIS platform provides several ways for you to create, share, and consume GIS data. To effectively accomplish these tasks, you must first consider the following three essential factors:
- How is your organization using ArcGIS Server, for example, are you using a stand-alone ArcGIS Server or Web GIS with a portal?
- What are your end user's needs or requirements for interacting with your GIS content?
- What is your development experience in terms of building web apps? Would you rather use an out-of-the-box app builder that requires no coding or build the app with your own custom code?
How is your organization using ArcGIS Server?
Architecturally speaking, the workflow involved in creating and consuming GIS content for the web depends on how you or your organization has deployed ArcGIS Server.
For example, if you or your organization has deployed a stand-alone ArcGIS Server, you'll need to do the following:
- Use ArcMap to create and share GIS content on the web
- Consume GIS services using a corresponding REST endpoint (URL) delivered within web apps that you design for your end users
For more specific details on this workflow, see Publish and consume GIS Server services.
Alternatively, if you or your organization has deployed a Web GIS with a portal, you'll need to do the following:
- Use ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro to create and share GIS content on the web
- Consume GIS services in the form of web maps and apps that you design for your end users
For more specific details on this workflow, see Publish and consume Web GIS services.
What are your end users' requirements for the web app?
When deciding which apps to use for delivering your GIS content, consider your end users' requirements. For example, your end users may need to do any or all of the following:
- Consume your content in a desktop or browser, in a smartphone or tablet, or in all of them. The Apps for Everyone web page provides an extensive list of available apps along with a summary of their capabilities, intended audience, and software and hardware requirements.
- Use the app for field collection with flexibility to work offline while in the field. Various ArcGIS apps for the field such as Collector for ArcGIS provide solutions for offline and editing capabilities.
- Visualize 3D features on top of contextual basemaps. Apps such as ArcGIS Earth, Drone2Map for ArcGIS, and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS are built to consume 3D content and may be excellent solutions for your end users' needs.
What is your development experience and preference?
When choosing an appropriate web app, consider your development experience. Do you prefer an out-of-the box interface to customize the experience for your end users or are you more comfortable building the app on your own with custom code?
For more information, see Publish and consume GIS Server services and Publish and consume Web GIS services for details on apps for each deployment scenario along with featured capabilities and skill level requirements.