ArcGIS Blog

Esri’s Roadmap for Web Developers

This post is designed to provide clarity on the future of our Flex and Silverlight development efforts. In order to align our product road maps, we continually monitor general web technology trends and the direction of our customers’ development efforts. Advances in modern browser technology combined with limited browser support for Flex and Silverlight, encourage the use of JavaScript/HTML5 for web GIS implementations. JavaScript/HTML5 has become the technology of choice among our user community for web GIS solutions going forward.

Given this shift in technology, Esri will aggressively encourage the use of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript to build custom and out of the box web applications. This year, we plan on advancing our JavaScript API to version 4.x to integrate new ArcGIS platform capabilities such as 3D visualization, enhanced vector rendering, and stream layers. We do not plan to add these new capabilities to the Flex and Silverlight APIs, which will remain at version 3.x. A new JavaScript API based web application builder will be introduced as a beta product in March, with the final release targeted for July. Flex and Silverlight Viewer users and developers are encouraged to transition to the JavaScript API based web application builder.

Does this mean that the Flex and Silverlight APIs and Viewers will be deprecated? No. We will continue to support the Flex and Silverlight user communities. However, this post is geared towards providing transparency regarding the future of our Flex/Silverlight development efforts and our strategy to promote web application development with JavaScript/HTML5. We anticipate one or two maintenance releases of the Flex and Silverlight APIs and Viewers in 2014. These releases will focus on bug fixes and critical enhancement requests. We will continue to gather feedback from the Flex and Silverlight user communities to determine if additional updates are necessary beyond 2014. Technical support for the Flex and Silverlight APIs and Viewers will continue beyond 2014.

How to learn about the ArcGIS API for JavaScript
We will hold a wide variety of technical sessions at 2014 Esri conferences, in addition to Live Training Seminars to help users learn how to develop with the JavaScript API. We are very excited about the opportunities for advancing web GIS with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, and the work we have planned for continued innovation in 2014 and beyond. If you are interested in learning more about the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, here are some valuable resources that will help you get started:

About the author

Julie Powell is a Principal Product Manager, focusing on Esri's web development technologies. She works to ensure developers can be successful in building state of the art, purposeful solutions using ArcGIS software. Julie brings 20 years of experience working with global leaders such as Hewlett-Packard and Esri, delivering a variety of software solutions for both the enterprise and consumer markets. Julie has worked on a wide range of projects and consulting endeavors, including serving as technical lead for web mapping solutions for strategic customers.

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