ArcGIS Experience Builder

Q&A: Effectively Sharing Information with the Public using ArcGIS Experience Builder

On March 1, Esri hosted a webinar covering how to optimize public information for any device using the Public Information app template in ArcGIS Experience Builder. In this post you will find the recording, resources, and Q&A.



Click here to watch the recording.



Q: Do you know if the RADAR layer you displayed in the webinar is available to ArcGIS Online subscribers? I have had trouble finding a radar layer that displays areas of ice, snow, and rain.

A: They’re all in the Living Atlas. You can browse the Living Atlas under the Environment tab, then check the Earth Observations box.


Q: Can you use the map in Experience Builder and get det location set there to be used in a Survey123 form? So that we can have a 3D map in experience and get the det answer and flexibility we have in Survey123.

A. You can do so with 2D maps, but not 3D. See the Using Experience Builder and Survey123 to pass attributes and geometry from one layer to another blog. Support for 3D maps is currently in the backlog. 


Q: Is there an easy way to take what you make in Experience Builder and turn it into a native app for your organization? 

A: This is not supported. Experience Builder enables you to optimize public information on mobile browsers by configuring them differently from those on desktop browsers.


Q: It looks like Web AppBuilder will be deprecated and we’ll need to migrate to Experience Builder. Can you confirm this, provide a timeline, and explain why you didn’t upgrade Web AppBuilder instead of creating a whole new product? Is Experience Builder an updated version of Web AppBuilder?  

A: For the online edition, Experience Builder will not replace or obsolete Web AppBuilder. Both builders will be running and maintained in parallel. Web AppBuilder will continue to be available.

For the enterprise edition, Web AppBuilder follows the Enterprise product life cycle and for the developer edition, Web AppBuilder follows the ArcGIS API for JavaScript 3.x product life cycle. 

Experience Builder is planned to reach most of the functional parity of Web AppBuilder through incremental releases, starting with the core and popular widgets. See the functionality parity for both products and the migration plan.  

As Experience Builder is built on the latest web technology with different development paradigms from Web AppBuilder, it becomes a new product with the following key features that are not available in Web AppBuilder: 


Q: Do you plan to add more functionality with related tables in Experience Builder. For example, be able to pull in text into a list from a related table and be able to launch the related table in a feature info widget?

A: As Experience Builder is built on the 4 version of ArcGIS API for JavaScript, it has a dependency on the latter to support for related tables. Once the capability is available in ArcGIS API for JavaScript, it will be pulled into Experience Builder.


Q: Will the option to use custom font styles be added to Experience Builder? 

A: It is in the backlog.


Q: Does ArcGIS Survey123 launch inside this app, or does it launch into another page or app? 

A: When used in the Survey widget or the Embed widget, the Survey123 form will launch inside the app. If you add a link to the Survey123 form on the menu or from a widget like Button, you have options to launch the form in the same window as the app or in a new window.


Q: Can you add an Operational Dashboard to Experience Builder? 

A: Yes, you can embed apps like ArcGIS Dashboards for mobile optimization as described in this blog, and pass URL parameters from an experience URL to ArcGIS Dashboard apps as shown in this blog.  With the Chart widget, you can also directly present data in conjunction with other widgets in Experience Builder.


Q: Is there a good way to shorten the URLs for these apps? They tend to get very long. 

A: The Share widget provides a short link to the app.


Q: Are there any web apps developed with Experience Builder for citizens to report any incidents/complaints (floods, hurricanes, water quality issues) to their local governments? 

A: The Survey widget integrated with ArcGIS Survey123 allows you to collect feedback or general data from end users. You can also add a link to the Survey 123 form. See Wildfire Early Notification and Storm Debris Pickup. 


Q: What was the tool for testing responsive design that simulates different device screens, which you have shown in Edge outside Experience Builder?  

A: The Mobile simulator Google Chrome extension. It’s a smartphone and tablet simulator on your computer with several models to test mobile responsive websites.


Q: Does editing the different form factors only adjust that specific form factor and device?   

A: Correct, when you edit the form factors in the Custom mode.


Q: Why/When would you want your Public Information Map created in Experience Builder as opposed to a basic web app?

A: To enable context and widgets which provide additional capabilities and branding. You can also look at the Instant Apps as an easily alternative for simple configuration.


 Q. How is this different than the new Map Viewer?  

A: The new map viewer is a web map authoring tool meant for a GIS user to configure the map, popups, and data. Experience Builder wraps the web map in branding, windows, layouts, tools, and capabilities.  


Q: Other than adding web maps, could you link other apps like ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Survey123, and ArcGIS Field Maps?  

A: Experience Builder has a rich set of capabilities and integration with other ArcGIS products. For instance, there is a Survey123 widget built into Experience Builder. You can also embed other web apps like ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Storymaps, and ArcGIS Instant Apps. As ArcGIS Fields Maps is designed for native mobile apps, there is no direct link between them.


Q: Can you create a widget that can be customized and saved for another project? Would it be possible to add custom CSS in Experience Builder?

A: ArcGIS Experience Builder is built with React and the 4 version of ArcGIS API for JavaScript. The developer edition allows you to create custom widgets for your specific workflows. The custom widgets are portable and can be easily deployed into other Experience Builder custom apps. Starting with ArcGIS Enterprise 11, you will be able to add custom widgets in ArcGIS Enterprise to extend Experience Builder in ArcGIS Enterprise.  To create custom widgets or templates with CSS, you must use the ArcGIS Experience Builder developer edition.


Q: Is there a difference between the Online and Enterprise version of the Experience Builder? 

A: ArcGIS Experience Builder is available in 3 editions: online, enterprise, and developer. The latest features are available first in the online version, then picked up by developer edition 3-4 weeks later. Both editions are released quarterly. The enterprise version has two releases each year and will pick up features from the online edition. However, the enterprise edition will not include any beta widgets. For more information, see About release versions.


Q: Is there a matrix that differentiates Esri’s different AGOL-based app offerings? Instant Apps, AppStudio, Experience Builder, etc. 

A: We plan to have something created. For more information about what differentiates our App Builders, visit the App Builders page.


Q: Is it possible to use the main map to get location instead of the little map inside survey123? 

 A: See the Using Experience Builder and Survey123 to pass attributes and geometry from one layer to another blog.


Q: Are there best practices for configuring tablet/phone form factors? How large/small to ensure logos fit, etc.? 

A: See Mobile Optimization and Designing Apps with Styles and Layout videos.


Q: Could you speak to how this template (or Experience Builder generally) addresses 508 compliance? How does it work with a screen reader, can you add alt text, etc.? 

A: We know accessibility for our public users is important and this area is being actively developed. For more information, visit the Esri Accessibility website and download Esri Accessibility Conformance Report for ArcGIS Experience Builder.


Q: What changes are planned for the Edit widget? 

A: The Edit widget is now out of beta with an improved user experience.


Q: Is there a plan to add the Near Me widget to Experience Builder? It’s one of the most frequent widgets I use in Web AppBuilder. 

A: It is not planned as the capability exists in the Nearby template from ArcGIS Instant Apps.


Q: Can you stack maps or widgets? 

A: Yes, you can stack widgets including the Map widget in the Fullscreen template/app directly or in the Fixed Panel widget on the Scrolling page.


Q: Are there plans to release any of the widgets such as the situation awareness tool in Experience Builder? We use that a ton in my organization and that is one of the big things holding us back from moving to Experience Builder from Web AppBuilder.

A: The Situation Awareness widget is on the Experience Builder roadmap.


Q: What role level does a member need? For example, I want a member to draft but not publish the experience builder.

A: To create experiences, you must be a member of an ArcGIS organization with a user type or have an ArcGIS Developer account that includes privileges to create content. Currently there is no difference between the draft or publish mode in terms of privileges.


Q: Are there plans for a Print Map widget?

A: It is planned for the 2022 June update of the online edition.


Q: Will there be a way to import custom fonts into existing Experience Builder templates in the future? 

A: It is currently in the backlog.


Q: Please explain the difference between live view and preview 

A: Live view is a quick way for you to test the app in builder. Preview is a way to test the app in browser outside the builder. You can use live view as you’re developing the app and preview to verify how it looks before publishing.


Q: Please contrast ArcGIS StoryMaps and Experience Builder 

A: With ArcGIS StoryMaps you can tell a story with your GIS work to inform and inspire. Weave in text, photos, and videos to your maps and web scenes to create contextual narratives that are easy to publish and share. With ArcGIS Experience Builder you can create modern web experiences with your data and maps that look great on any screen size. Experience Builder has advanced functionality with widgets that are connected for workflows, and flexible layouts to build web apps for any purpose.


Q: Is there a selection widget to select data from the map?

A: Yes, it’s an option within the Map widget setting.


Q: Can the unpublished changed version be reverted back to the previous approved published view if it is not approved?

A: When you edit the app in the builder, you can click the Undo button to revert the changes back in the Unpublished changes mode. However, once you save the app and exit the builder, you can no longer revert the changes back to the previous published mode even though the app is still in the Unpublished changes mode when you open it.


Want to learn more? 

What’s New in ArcGIS Experience Builder:

Additional resources: 



For more information, please reach out to

About the authors

Product Marketing Manager for Experience Builder, ArcGIS StoryMaps, StoryMaps, Web AppBuilder, and AppStudio at Esri. With a degree in media and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Eva has a passion for telling stories in a creative and concise way.


Product manager for ArcGIS Experience Builder and ArcGIS Web AppBuilder. She likes hiking and camping.

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