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Summer 2011 Edition

Join the ArcGIS Beta Community

Ongoing online program makes software better

This article as a PDF.

Become a part of the ArcGIS Beta Community and help Esri shape its next generation of products and services.

The ArcGIS Beta Community, Esri's new platform for conducting beta testing, provides a one-stop shop for all activities related to Esri's beta programs as well as information about new beta programs as they become available. The user community—composed of GIS architects, GIS analysts, developers, geodata experts, managers and end users—performs prelaunch testing of Esri's latest products and services in real-world environments that use actual customer workflows.

Gaining first access to the latest Esri software keeps you ahead of the curve by giving you the first view of the way the GIS industry is evolving. You can prototype and test your applications and solutions using the latest features in the beta release of the products.

The ArcGIS Beta Community tools make being a beta tester easier. With these tools, you can manage the profile of your systems, devices, and workstations. Forums, bug-logging tools, surveys, and product dashboards are available in a centralized place to manage your beta activities.

ArcGIS Beta Community members can participate in one or more Esri beta programs. Some programs are open to everyone, while others are restricted based on program requirements. This is a year-round process, so opportunities are constantly available. Community members may be invited to special, private beta programs that are limited to members who have specific technology backgrounds, skills, or interests.

During the beta period, issues, problems, and feedback are submitted through the ArcGIS Beta Community website. Help from other community members is available from online forums. Customers who are current on maintenance can get additional help from Esri Technical Support via phone, e-mail, or chat.

Participating in beta programs lets you learn new software features and functionality, test your workflows, and prepare for upcoming upgrades. Working with peers, you can explore innovative solutions and develop best practices. In addition, the feedback you provide through the program informs Esri's software development teams of required and suggested changes that strongly influence the final, released product.

The time participants spend will vary based on the type of program, but Esri anticipates that beta testers will spend two to four hours each week using the product and completing evaluations that can include surveys, weekly tasks, bug reporting, and general feedback about the product. Sign up to participate in the ArcGIS Beta Community at using your Esri Global Account.

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