ArcGIS Web AppBuilder

ArcGIS Web AppBuilder overview and concepts

ArcGIS Web AppBuilder allows you to build web apps without writing any code. It includes tools to configure fully featured HTML apps. As you add a map and tools, you can see them in the app and use them right away.

To create an app, connect a 2D web map or a 3D web scene. Configure widgets such as charts, tables, filters, and analysis tools. Customize the look, feel, and framework of your app by choosing a theme.

ArcGIS Web AppBuilder is built into ArcGIS Online, so you can leverage existing content. Using the Web AppBuilder developer edition, developers in your organization can extend Web AppBuilder with their own widgets and themes.

Key features:


Get Started

After you sign in to your ArcGIS account (or create a free trial account), you can access Web AppBuilder any of these ways:

Open from My Content
Open from item page
Open from Map Viewer Classic
New app


Build a web app

To build an application, follow these general steps:

Step 1 – Choose a theme. A theme includes a collection of panels, styles, layouts, and preconfigured widgets.

Step 2 – Connect a data source. Connect either a 2D web map or 3D web scene. A 2D app can only connect to a 2D web map. The same is true for 3D.

Step 3 – Add and configure widgets. Choose from a library of widgets or edit the widgets already in the theme.

Step 4 – Configure attributes. Customize the app with logos, titles, hyperlinks, and more.

Step 5 – Preview, save, and open.


Builder interface

When you open Web AppBuilder, or open an existing web app for editing, the builder opens with the tools and options that you use to create or edit a map. These include the following:

A – The side panel allows you to open the Theme, Map or Scene, Widget, and Attribute tabs.

B – The canvas is where you preview and use the app.

ArcGIS Web App Builder

Here’s what you need to know about the four tabs:


The theme affects the structure and feel of the app. Different themes are suited for different types of apps. For example, Pocket Theme is appropriate for apps you plan to embed in websites or ArcGIS StoryMaps stories. On the Theme tab, you can also configure the app’s colors and layout. For more information, see Choose a theme.

Theme tab

Map or Scene

From the Map or Scene tab, you can connect a 2D web map or 3D web scene. Apps created with Web AppBuilder are all mapcentric. The map or scene you connect is the foundation of the app. For more information, see Select a map or scene.

Map tab


On the Widget tab, you can add and configure widgets, the main building blocks of the app. Some widgets are specifically designed to work with 2D or 3D data content, so the set of widgets available in 2D apps is different from 3D apps. For more information, see Add widgets.

Widget tab


The Attribute tab allows you to add features related to you and your organization. Attributes include branding, links, logos, and more. For more information, see Configure app attributes.

Attribute tab


Preview and launch the app

Click Save often. Click Previews to preview your app on different screen sizes. When finished, click Launch to view the completed app.

Save, preview, and launch


More information

For more information about ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, see the following resources:

About the author

Thomas writes about ArcGIS Experience Builder and ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud at Esri. He earned a degree in environmental science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Follow him @coughlinmaps.

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