ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript

ArcGIS API for JavaScript, Version 3.x Retirement

ArcGIS API 3.x for JavaScript will be retired on July 1, 2024.

Fifteen years ago, Esri released the first version of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, which developers have been using to build powerful web mapping applications throughout dozens of industries, across the globe. The API’s original code base was not only used by the developer community, but also powered the web mapping experience in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Enterprise, and web mapping applications available with ArcGIS. In 2016, we introduced a more powerful, performant, and modern 2D/3D API with a completely new code base – version 4.x (now called ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript or simply, JavaScript Maps SDK). Initially, the development team split their efforts between continuing to enhance 3.x, meanwhile progressing JavaScript Maps SDK with redesigned, modernized capabilities. Over time, we drastically reduced our focus on 3.x and eventually all new innovation was introduced in JavaScript Maps SDK, with only minor updates and critical bug fixes released with version 3.x. Over the last few years, we have been encouraging developers to build all new apps using the JavaScript Maps SDK and consider migrating 3.x-based apps.

FAQ

What happens when ArcGIS API 3.x for JavaScript is retired?

Once version 3.x is retired, there will be no further bug fixes or enhancements to the API and hence no further 3.x API deployments to js.arcgis.com. In addition, technical support will no longer be available. Please refer to the Product Lifecycle Support Policy.

What are the risks of using ArcGIS API 3.x for JavaScript after retirement?

After retirement, the 3.x API will remain hosted on our CDN for a multi-year grace period so that apps that have already been deployed which have a dependency on the API will not break. However, browser updates may introduce new issues to apps running on the 3.x API, resulting in performance issues, feature malfunction, or even crashing applications. After retirement, there will be no further bug fixes, patches, and enhancement to the API, and technical support will also no longer be available, per the Product Lifecycle Support Policy.

Therefore, even though your apps may still work after the retirement, we strongly encourage developers to migrate to the version 4.x –  ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript – to mitigate risks and enjoy the outstanding performance and all the new features of a modern JavaScript mapping library.

What action should I take to mitigate the impact of this product retirement? 

Custom web apps should be migrated and, in most cases, rewritten to use the JavaScript Maps SDK as soon as possible. This way, apps will benefit from superior performance, capabilities, and other aspects that are based on modern browser technology. Also, because it is our active code base, we will address issues found in the API and introduced by browser updates.

Esri highly encourages that apps created using Esri’s configurable apps and builders that are based on 3.x should be migrated to options that are based on the ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript, if possible. For example, when possible, apps built on ArcGIS Web AppBuilder and ArcGIS Configurable Apps can move to ArcGIS Experience Builder and/or ArcGIS Instant Apps.

When will ArcGIS Web AppBuilder retire?

There are three editions of ArcGIS Web AppBuilder.

Please review this blog for more information on Web AppBuilder retirement.

When will Map Viewer Classic and ArcGIS Configurable Apps retire?

Map Viewer Classic, and ArcGIS Configurable Apps product life cycles are being managed separately. There are no changes to the product lifecycle stages for these components at this time.

Migrating to ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript

Explore JavaScript Maps SDK

The JavaScript Maps SDK is powered by WebGL and vastly out-performs the legacy 3.x API. Its portfolio of capabilities is unparalleled with any other web mapping API available, including the 3.x API. To explore some of the capabilities that are only in the JavaScript Maps SDK, see this JavaScript Maps SDK tour or visit the documentation website.

Migration resources

Since the JavaScript Maps SDK has fundamental differences in architecture and coding patterns, migrating a solution from 3.x often means an application re-write. We are aware that this can be a substantial undertaking for some customers that have not yet transitioned, so we are sharing the 3.x retirement plan and available resources to help with your planning and migration.

If you are ready to begin using the JavaScript Maps SDK, there are many resources available to jump-start your learning, for example:

Technical presentations covering JavaScript Maps SDK

To explore a wide variety of presentations covering many JavaScript Maps SDK topics, see the JavaScript Maps SDK channel. Here are a few presentations that are particularly helpful for coming up to speed:

Stay connected

We are very interested in hearing about your triumphs and trials as you begin using the JavaScript Maps SDK and are also happy to support your migration in any way that we can. Please reach out to us on Esri Community!

The 2024 Esri Developer Summit is on March 7-10th and is the best opportunity of the year to learn about building apps with the ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript – including best practices, tips and tricks, how to take advantage of latest SDK capabilities, and our roadmap. You’ll also have the opportunity to discuss your projects and interests 1:1 with the product teams.

Updated in February 2024

About the authors

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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Emily is a mapping and technology enthusiast with a background in GIS and Spatial Analytics from University of Pennsylvania and Wuhan University. She was previously a software engineer for mapping web applications and GIS developer in commercial real estate. Emily is dedicated to leverage her experience in different parts of GIS industry and her global background to help customer build the most suitable web mapping applications.

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