Workforce for ArcGIS

Workforce and Collector: Creating assignments in the field

Workforce is designed for an office of dispatchers and a team of mobile workers in the field. The dispatchers create and assign the work, while the mobile workers complete it. Yet you might have mobile workers who notice work that needs to be done while they are in the field, and you want those mobile workers to be able to create assignments about what they see. Creating and assigning work from the mobile app is something on our roadmap, but it isn’t possible yet. However, you can bring Collector for ArcGIS into your solution and enable mobile workers to create assignments in the field today.

To get started, identify a Workforce project that requires mobile workers to have the ability to create assignments from the field. The Workforce project, as part of its creation, made some maps. However, those maps aren’t available in Collector. This is expected: Workforce maps are excluded from Collector. It would make it too easy for a mobile worker to accidentally edit assignments outside Workforce.

To opt-in to this workflow, we’ll create a view of the assignments for the mobile workers, make a map for use in Collector, give mobile workers access, and then create assignments using Collector. Let’s see how to set this up:

1. Create a view of the assignments layer

We’ve decided we want to allow access to our assignments in Collector, but we don’t want the user to have access to all the data. To limit the fields and types of data the mobile worker sees, create a hosted feature layer view from the assignments layer (view the item page for the assignments layer and click Create View Layer). Make sure to give it a unique, descriptive name to help you remember the target audience of this view. (For details, see Create hosted feature layer views – ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.)

In your view, Set View Definition (use More Options  in the Visualization tab) to limit the data available to mobile workers:

Define features

Still in the Visualization tab, Configure Pop-up  (which defines the editing experience in Collector):

Update the pop-up by clicking OK at the bottom of the panel, and save your changes by clicking Save Layer.

In the Settings tab for the view, enable editing and configure editing permissions in the Feature Layer (hosted, view) Settings section:

Enable editing
Enable sync
Editing permissions
Feature visibility
Editors can edit their own feaures

Save your changes to the settings.

2. Create a map for Collector

On the Overview tab of your assignments layer view’s item page add the layer to a new map (use the drop-down menu for Open in Map Viewer and select Add to new map). Update your map as follows:

Remove feature types

3. Share the map with mobile workers

You need to share your new map and your layer view with the mobile workers who need to use them.

If you want all mobile workers in your Workforce project to be able to create assignments in Collector, share them with the group created with your Workforce project. Dispatchers in the project would also have access to the map in Collector: this may or may not be useful depending on your project.

If instead you want to provide only a subset of mobile workers with access to create assignments in Collector, create a new group (see how using either the ArcGIS Online or the ArcGIS Enterprise web site). Only add into the group mobile workers that you want using Collector to create assignments. After joining the group through the ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise website (or after an admin adds them without their need for approval), these mobile workers can access any content shared with the group. To give them access to the content they need to create assignments, share with the group the map you created for Collector, the layer view, and any other services used by the map.

4. Create assignments in Collector

The mobile worker can open the new map in Collector and create assignments. While they won’t be able to use all the validation and user integration included in the Workforce web app, they can create assignments. Some things to keep in mind:

Assignment in Collector

Now you’ve got your mobile workers contributing their field findings into Workforce: work they notice in the field is recorded and ready for assignment. The back office knows what needs to be done, and work is completed according to your staff’s workflow.

About the author

I am a product engineer for field operations, with a focus on documentation and best practices. Out of the office I can be found running... and then running some more (often on a trail or with a child).

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