This article may reference Continental Mapping, GISinc, or TSG Solutions. These three legacy companies merged in January 2021 to form a new geospatial leader.

Last Thursday GISinc presented a webinar called ArcGIS Utility Network: Deep Dive Into the Water Network. During the webinar, GISinc discussed what you need to know (from vision to licensing and access), what benefits you will receive (from mobility to the future of the Utility Network), and what you need to do (readiness assessment activities, education, and outreach)

We had several questions submitted during the presentation. For your convenience, we've summarized the questions and their answers in the Q&A below:

  1. Q: In your demo, were the filtering options configured during the trace in Pro? 
    A: Yes, that was set. Unfortunately, Pro can sometimes drop its connection to the UN. The trace had been run repeatedly in preparation and unfortunately when live it decided to act up. Close/open of Pro alleviated the issue.
  2. Q: What Version of ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Pro is required for this?
    A: GISinc recommends the latest versions of ArcGIS Enterprise & Pro at the time of execution. While an early version of the UN is supported at Enterprise 10.6.1 and Pro 2.2, we recommend implementing no older than Enterprise 10.7.1 and Pro 2.4.
  3. Q: How many companies have you implemented ArcGIS Utility Network for at this time?
    A: GISinc has supported 6 organizations at various stages of implementation at the time of this recording.
  4. Q: How long has the new ArcGIS Utility Network been available? When did it come out?
    A: Esri released the initial version of the Utility Network in in 2018 with the water domain released in early 2019. Currently the Water Domain is at version 3.4.
  5. Q: I see collector is available, do you know if it works with Zeno Mobile as well?
    A: Leica provides the Zeno Connect solution that enables integration to Collector for ArcGIS 
  6. Q: Is the simple hosted services only water or wastewater and storm water as well?
    A: Water is presently released. Wastewater and storm water are currently under development by Esri.
  7. Q: And is this (referring to diagram in webinar) what GISinc typically includes in their UN jumpstart package?
    A: No. The process we described here was outlining our approach for a full implementation. A jumpstart is intended to be a simple, minimal implementation to establish you with the basic initial foundation in a development environment.
  8. Q: Please differentiate between UN License and UN User Type Extension.
    A: Prior to version 10.8, the Utility Network Management was licensed as an extension to ArcGIS Enterprise (Server). Starting with 10.8, it is now licensed as a User Type Extension rather than on Enterprise itself.
  9. Q: Can you expand on the versioning a bit more? How changes are reconciled? How can you see who changed what in the UN?
    A: The Utility Network utilizes branch versioning, which means, edits are managed via the service not directly through SDE. Edits are reconciled and posted in Pro in a similar manner to traditional versioning though Esri continues to be working on improvements to the versioning workflow, supported by services across all devices. There is also the same ability to view differences between versions. Editor information can be stored on features similarly to how Attribute Assistant and database archiving worked previously. 
  10. Q: Is there a specific or recommended schema for this Utility Network or can it be configured with any DB schema?
    A: The Utility Network has pre-configured data models for each discipline. This holds true for water as well. A pre-defined schema is present in the Asset Package (file gdb). The challenge as with any migration, is taking your data (possibly in a different schema) and cross walking it over to the UN. Bottom line: You can bring any schema to the table -- we can crosswalk it to the target and ensure we preserve your key fields, data, etc.
  11. Q: What's the status of using the UN for Telecommunications?
    A: Esri is set to release the first version of the Telecommunications model at ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8.1. While this will be the first version of Telecom asset domain, it is built on the fourth generation of the overall Utility Network. It will have the latest and greatest UN functionality.
  12. Q: I understand the advantages of the Utility Network, my question is how does one set up the data to get it to work?
    A: Esri provides a series of Data Loading Tools to import your existing data, assuming that it is in a format consistent with the present ArcGIS for Water schema. Otherwise, similar migration tools can be used to map and migrate the data into UN.
  13. Q: What does a UN Working group consist of?
    A: The group should consist of a variety of stakeholders in varying business roles. Different departments such as engineering public works, and utilities are likely to be represented. We recommend a mix of staff from managers to frontline staff that can adequately convey business and field workflows, asset management, and technical environment.
  14. Q: How long do you expect this implementation to take?
    A: This can vary widely with the primary factors being quality of your source data and the number of system integrations that need to be considered. A simple system could take just a few months while more complicated systems will easily take more than a year of focused effort.
  15. Q: What is your definition of mid to large size utility? I work for a city of approx. 25,000..
    A: We consider any system with more than 25,000 connections to be medium and more than 100,000 connections to be large.
  16. Q: Do I need to have all connectivity rules established before I can load features into my UN?
    A: No. Features may be loaded, and the default connectivity rules evaluated. These can be reconfigured as needed for your organization. We highly recommend a development environment for testing and completing rules configuration.
  17. Q: Does Esri have any plans to make the UN available in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise as completely hosted services?
    A: At this time, Esri has not expressed any plans for a fully functioning UN available through ArcGIS Online as hosted feature layers.
  18. Q: Can a container be customized or altered, after-the-fact? (e.g., A container is dropped in, but the equipment needs to be slightly altered to reflect the real situation...)
    A: Absolutely. You can create a feature template to quickly drop your "base" features. You can then enter "containment mode" to alter the features (move, update etc.) within the container. 

Do you have a question that was not answered during the webinar or in the questions above? Email and let us know how we can help.  

Topics: Enterprise GIS Architecture, GIS Implementation, Utilities