With VertiGIS Studio Workflow you can streamline business processes and automate key tasks! The intuitive drag-and-drop interface of the Workflow Designer makes it easy for anyone to create the workflows they need regardless of their GIS-background. Options for integrating with VertiGIS Studio Web and VertiGIS Studio Mobile products allow you to deploy your workflows in both online and offline formats for use anytime and anywhere!
This VertiGIS Studio Tech Tip provides an introduction to VertiGIS Studio Workflow and explains how to build simple applications. It also demonstrates some of the key features of Workflow and describes how these features can be used to augment and advance your GIS capabilities!
Hey everybody, my name is Patrick. In this short Tech Tip video I’m going to provide a quick overview on how to get started with VertiGIS Studio Workflow. Let’s dive in!
To get started with VertiGIS Studio Workflow, you’re first going to navigate to our apps.vertigisstudio.com landing page. This is where you can access our web-based designers, we’re going to be focusing on Workflow today. To get started you can go ahead click this “Launch” button. This is going to take you to our SaaS or VertiGIS cloud environment. You can log in with either ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise to get access to the web-based designers and start designing custom widgets for your Web AppBuilder and VertiGIS Studio applications.
It’s worth mentioning that if we jump back to the apps.vertigisstudio.com landing page there is this “Download” link here at the bottom. You can download these web-based designers and host them on your internal web server whether that’s hosted in AWS or Azure. It’s a short 5-to-15-minute installation process to get started and within that process you’ll authenticate your product with ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.
Let’s jump back to our SaaS environment and go ahead and log in with ArcGIS Online. Here you can see that it’s single signed me on with my ArcGIS Online identity. I’m brought to this interface where I can design a new workflow. I could also open a previous or last modified workflow as well.
To get started, you can choose the Web GIS or Mobile GIS application that you’re planning to build your workflow for. We’ll go ahead and select “Workflow for ArcGIS Web AppBuilder”. Once you’ve selected a particular product that you’re designing your workflow for, you’re brought to this web-based interface where you have an empty design canvas. From here you can start to build custom widgets for your specific business processes.
Building widgets is done by using this “Toolbox” here to drag and drop activities for different operations. You can see that I’ve got a large number of activities that I’ve added to my Workflow Designer. By default, you might get roughly 150 to 200 activities. In here I’ve got a list that ranges from more programming-based activities, like doing “For Each” loops or “If” statements, to more GIS-based operations like doing “Buffer Geometry” or “Query Layers”. The idea is you can drag an activity onto the design surface, and it will immediately get connected with the “Start” control here. Then you can continue to drag and drop other activities and connect them to design your logic and build a workflow.
Maybe we want to do a “Buffer” and then “Query” some features within that buffer. As I drag and drop these activities they’re automatically connected. You can also delete activities using your keyboard delete key or add activities by choosing any of these connection points. I can also automatically add this to the left of this particular activity, or I could add it underneath it. You can continue to move these activities around or use your arrow keys to move them around as well.
While we’re in the design area it’s worth mentioning that we also support undo and redo, and you can also zoom in and out of your workflows. If for whatever reason you get lost, let’s say I’m down in this bottom left corner and I don’t see my activities, I can click the home panel or home key on my keyboard, and it will take me to the start of my workflow. We also support copying and pasting activities, so you can right-click an activity and you can “Cut” it or “Copy” it and right-click and “Paste”. Again, you’ll want to connect it to the activity above it if you want that logic to fire.
I’m going to go ahead and delete some of these.
Another great resource if you want to get started is if you go to “File” and click “New”. You’re going to see here that we have some samples to help you get up and running. You can start from scratch using this “Blank Workflow”.
I’ll go ahead and select the “Cascading Drop Down” one for this example. This will preload a workflow. In this scenario we’ve added an activity, probably one of the most common activities, called a “Display Form”. You can search for that using the “Toolbox”. All of our activities also have help associated with them, so you can go ahead and click “More…” to learn more about that activity and what the inputs are. You can also access our Documentation Center where you can learn about key concepts, what’s new, the requirements for leveraging Workflow and so on.
If we jump back to our workflow here, we can see that we have a “Display Form” activity. If I double click the “Display Form” we can see that we’re now inside of a form and we’ve designed our form to have some “Cascading Drop Down”. Here we have a drop down that’s going to be populated with the different states within the United States. Based on the state that you select, it will then filter and display the counties within that state.
It’s worth mentioning that, like the activities, you can drag and drop different form elements. If we wanted to include a “Number Range Slider” I could drag and drop it and you could place these activities side by side or one on top of another. You can also include other elements like “File Pickers”, “Date Range Pickers”, Check Box” and so on. To delete these form elements, you can use the delete key on your keyboard, or you can just go ahead and select this little context menu and click “Delete”.
Here we’ve created a sample form. I’ll explain in the following Tech Tip videos how to customize these forms, but basically, each form element is going to have some properties associated with it that you can customize and tailor. Once you’re happy with your workflow you can go ahead and save it. I’ll go “File”, “Save” or “Save As”, or control F on your keyboard. I’m going to give this a name, “Tech Tip Videos – Hello World”, and click “Save”.
You’ll see at the top here that we now have an item ID in our URL. That’s because we’re storing this workflow as an item inside of our ArcGIS organizational content. If we jump to the “Info” tab here, you can see that we now have this “URL”. I can go ahead and click “view” and this is pointing to the same item in ArcGIS Online. So, we’re storing this workflow as an item in ArcGIS Online. It doesn’t consume any credits in the back end, it’s just a very lightweight JSON file. By default, it’s only going to be shared with the user who built the workflow, but you can go ahead and customize your sharing methods.
Let’s jump back to our designer and you’ll see here that there’s this “Run In Sandbox” option. Let’s go ahead and launch that. Before we even add this to Web AppBuilder, or a VertiGIS Studio Web or Mobile product, we can go ahead and run this workflow in action. I’m going to select this option to “Run Workflow”. You can see that I now have a form that’s getting populated with all the different states in the United States. Let’s select “California”. This is going to filter and show me all of the different counties within California, so here we can see there is “Los Angeles”. If I select a different state, maybe “Hawaii”, we’re going to see that we’re now filtering and showing just the counties within Hawaii.
You can continue to modify your workflows back in the designer and then test them in the Sandbox to start to get a feel for how to design and build workflows.
Hopefully that gave you a brief introduction to how to log into the Web-Based Designer, create your first workflow, and save it. In the next few videos we’re going to go a little bit deeper into how to actually extract that information from those forms and query layers and so on. Bye for now!
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