ArcGIS Enterprise

Preparing for your upgrade to ArcGIS Enterprise 11.x

We are thrilled to be in the 11.x generation of ArcGIS Enterprise! Last year, we turned ArcGIS Enterprise up to 11 with the release of ArcGIS Enterprise 11.0. This introduced many new and breaking changes to the software that marked a new generation of ArcGIS Enterprise. We built on this with the release of ArcGIS Enterprise 11.1 earlier this year.

The 11.x generation introduces many significant changes to the software, to make ArcGIS Enterprise more modern, secure, and add even more valuable functionality. We know many ArcGIS Enterprise users are already thoughtfully planning their upgrade to this new generation of the software and want to provide another resource as you prepare for your upgrade to 11.x. In this blog, we will review the considerations you should make prior to upgrading to 11.x, why it might be a good idea to upgrade to Enterprise 10.9.1 first, depending on where your organization is currently at, and considerations for future versions of ArcGIS Enterprise.

Product Lifecycle

Before diving into all the new and exciting things in current releases, we should review the Product Lifecycle for ArcGIS Enterprise and the difference between long and short-term support releases on Windows and Linux. For any given version of ArcGIS Enterprise, there is a defined product lifecycle. A version of Enterprise will move from general availability (in which it receives full technical support and patching) all the way to retirement (in which in no longer receives technical support or patching). The length of time it takes a release to move along this spectrum from general availability to retirement depends on if it is a short-term or long-term support release. If a version of Enterprise is classified as a short-term support release, it will receive 1.5 years of technical support and 3 years of patching. Long-term support releases of ArcGIS Enterprise receive 4 years of technical support and 6 years for patching. Please refer to the Product Lifecycle page on the Technical Support website for more information.

There were also some version numbering changes starting at the 11.0 release of ArcGIS Enterprise that relate to the product lifecycle. In the 11.x generation, there are no longer “dot dot” version numbers, meaning instead of having ArcGIS Enterprise 11.0.1 after 11.0, we went straight to 11.1.  In the 10.x generation, long-term support releases were “dot dot” releases.  For example, ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9 was a short-term support release and 10.9.1 (the “dot dot” release) was a long-term support release. With the removal of “dot dot” version numbers in the 11.x generation, even numbered minor versions (11.0, 11.2, 11.4, etc.) are now short-term support releases and odd numbered minor versions (11.1, 11.3, 11.5, etc.) are long-term support releases. For more information on these version numbering changes, refer to the What’s in a number? blog.

We encourage you to upgrade to both short and long-term support releases, but we know some organizations may wait to upgrade from long-term support release to long-term support release if the longer product lifecycle is necessary for their organization. Because ArcGIS Enterprise 11.1 is our first long-term support release in the 11.x generation of Enterprise, this may be the first version of 11.x many customers upgrade to. The significant changes originally released in Enterprise 11.0 are also present in Enterprise 11.1 and onwards and we want you to be prepared.

Changes at 11.x

Some of the most significant changes at the 11.x generation of Enterprise include the removal of the ArcMap-based runtime, the .NET generation update, and various web app retirements. Let’s go through each of these changes in detail:

ArcMap-based runtime removal:

.NET generation update:

Web app retirements:

What does this mean for the future?

These web app retirements starting at 11.0 do paint a picture of changes to come in future versions of ArcGIS Enterprise. As stated, the web apps retired at ArcGIS Enterprise 11.0 were based on ArcGIS API for JavaScript, version 3.x. JavaScript 3.x will retire on July 1, 2024. This is important for you to know if you have your own custom apps that are built using ArcGIS API for JavaScript, 3.x. Start working to migrate your custom apps to the ArcGIS Maps SDK, 4.x, to prepare for this retirement.

The ArcGIS API for JavaScript, version 3.x, is also used for other web apps in ArcGIS Enterprise including Map Viewer Classic and Web AppBuilder. These apps are still part of Enterprise 11.x, but both Map Viewer Classic and Web AppBuilder are officially deprecated and will be retired following the release of ArcGIS Enterprise in the first half of 2025. The versions containing Map Viewer Classic and Web AppBuilder will continue to be supported in line with the Product Lifecycle following this final release, but it is important to get a head start on preparing for these changes. Getting started with using Map Viewer and Experience Builder now will make the full move over to these new web apps smoother upon the eventual retirement of Map Viewer Classic and Web AppBuilder. To be prepared, start using Map Viewer at your organization and take advantage of the improved user experience and new functionality exclusively in Map Viewer. There is no real “migration” to Map Viewer, just open the app and start using it! Consider setting it as your default map viewer or the default map viewer for your organization. You will also want to start migrating your custom web apps to Experience Builder to prepare for the retirement of Web AppBuilder.

What do you need to be thinking about as you prepare to upgrade?

With all these changes in the 11.x generation of ArcGIS Enterprise, you are probably wondering “what should I be thinking about as I prepare for my upgrade to 11.x?” Let’s walk through the steps you should take to have a thoughtful upgrade.

First, you want to determine the level of effort required for your upgrade. Many things changed at the 11.0 release of ArcGIS Enterprise, but how these changes impact you depend on what you are using within your current deployment. If you are still heavily reliant on ArcMap-based runtime services and using many of the retired web apps, you will have more work to do to prepare for the upgrade. If you are exclusively using ArcGIS Pro-based runtime services and have migrated to the new web apps already, you won’t have much, if any, migration work to do prior to upgrading. You want to carefully go through the Considerations for upgrades documentation to fully understand all of these changes and start to identify which of these changes will have an impact on your organization.

After you have identified which changes at the 11.x generation Enterprise will impact you, you will need to start to plan for necessary migration work. If you are using ArcMap-runtime based services, you will need to identify which of these services need to be manually migrated. Many types of services will automatically migrate during the upgrade process, but particular services such as geoprocessing services will require manual migration. For details on migrating services, refer to the Manually migrating services from the ArcMap-based to ArcGIS Pro-based runtime Technical Paper. You can take advantage of built-in migration tooling at ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.x to take an inventory of these services.

Next, if you have determined particular web app retirements will impact your organization, following the necessary migration steps to move those apps onto the current versions. Again, this migration work will differ depending on the web app. Migration from older web apps to current-generation apps is another process that is well suited to ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1. Enterprise 10.9.1 has many of both the old and new versions of these web apps, allowing you to compare the configuration of your old app to the current-generation app as you migrate content.

Much of this migration work to prepare for Enterprise 11.x, whether migrating services from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro or migrating from older web apps to current-generation web apps, is easiest at ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1. The Consider ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1 until you’re ready to turn it up to 11 blog covers the benefits of using 10.9.1 as an opportunity to migrate your content as you prepare for the 11.x generation.

Next, make sure you are prepared for the .NET changes by installing the necessary pre-requisites for .NET 6 prior to upgrading on Windows. Linux deployments don’t have to worry about this particular change.

Finally, it’s time to upgrade! We are excited about the significant improvements to ArcGIS Enterprise starting at 11.0. The changes made at the 11.x generation of ArcGIS Enterprise were intentional, modernizing the product, making it more secure, adding new functionality, and making it more performant. We want you to take advantage of these improvements to get the full value out of your deployment. There are many things to consider before upgrading to 11.x, but you shouldn’t feel intimidated to upgrade. You should just take a thoughtful approach and use the variety of resources available to prepare for the upgrade. We are excited to hear what you think of ArcGIS Enterprise 11.x!

 

 

 

About the authors

ArcGIS Enterprise Product Manager

Philip is a group product manager with Esri and manages the ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise PM teams. He enjoys living in sunny Southern California and traveling around the world for both business and pleasure.

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