Written By Steve Mulberry

What’s in a name? It turns out everything. Every couple of years Esri has a major release in its ArcGIS Platform, 2017 just happened to be that year. Well, technically ArcGIS 10.5 was released in mid-December of 2016, but if you’re like me you waited until after the holidays to jump into the new release. ArcGIS 10.5 in my opinion brings the most significant integrations with desktop, online and server components to date. What does this mean to GISinc and our customers? Glad, you asked.

Let’s start with a name change. With such a significant release, Esri took the opportunity to simplify the naming of its products. This will help in coordinating components with platforms and architecting the right platform for your organization.

ArcGIS for Server now becomes ArcGIS Enterprise with its 4 components:

  • Web Adaptor
  • Portal
  • ArcGIS Server
  • Data Store

This constitutes the base deployment of now, ArcGIS Enterprise. Don’t worry, the underlying technology is the same, just enhanced with the 10.5 release. And you still have Standard or Advanced Options. Naturally then ArcGIS for Desktop now becomes ArcGIS Desktop, simple and concise.

It would hold true then, if ArcGIS for Server gets a name change to ArcGIS Enterprise, then what used to be extensions would follow suite.


GeoAnalytics Server

Extensions now become server roles and with 10.5 Esri is introducing the new ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server role. This new server role introduces the ability to distribute the processing and analytics of large vector-data across multiple servers. Data that was once too large to process on a single ArcGIS Desktop and can now be distributed across multiple GeoAnalytics services with access directly form ArcGIS Pro, Portal and Insights for ArcGIS.

Insights for ArcGIS

ArcGIS Enterprise also comes with a series of applications that get continually improved upon such as the numerous templates and solutions like Survey123, Collector and Web AppBuilder. With 10.5, Esri is introducing a new application called Insights for ArcGIS.

I’ve been using Esri technology for 26 years now and can honestly say that Insights for ArcGIS is my top pick for innovated business intelligence reporting and analytics. Insights is a Web-based analytical workbench that integrates with Enterprise Databases; you noticed I didn’t single out Geodatabases. That’s right, Insights for ArcGIS taps into both seamlessly. It’s what I call the 3rd pillar in a platform that now fully supports IoT (Internet of Things). How? Let me explain. ArcGIS Enterprise brings real-time monitoring with GeoEvent Server, Big data analytics and processing with GeoAnalytical Server and an interactive, drag-n-drop analytical dashboard with Insights for ArcGIS; the 3 things you need to collect, aggregate and display IoT information. I look forward to the coming months as I get to implement this new technology for our customers at GISinc.


With the release of ArcGIS 10.5, Esri also took an opportunity to simplify the nomenclature on how to best categorize an organization’s use of GIS. This simplification helps us as a Platinum Business Partner assist our customers to quickly determine a deployment model that best supports the GIS activities throughout the organization. For years, we at GISinc provided our customers with in-depth analysis and system design strategies for implementing the ArcGIS Platform. This new simple nomenclature helps us and Esri better communicate a corporative deployment strategy. Here’s a list of the 5 fundamental personas of GIS users.

Personas are a high level way of grouping like users and should not be confused with actual licensing and specific roles applied to users within ArcGIS Enterprise.

Portal to Portal Collaboration

ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5 introduces true collaboration with the ability to now configure Portal to Portal collaboration within the administration settings of Portal.

This is great news for our customers especially our Federal programs. These large-scale organizations are where Portal to Portal collaboration can shine. Individual regions or departments can have their own private Portals, which can then be shared to the authoritative Portal for easy collaboration and information sharing between regions or departments. This topology of ArcGIS Enterprise allows for regional administration in a way that a single Portal does not allow, while still maintaining the spirit of sharing and promoting GIS content throughout the organization. Later in 2017, Esri will began to release other collaboration methods such as Portal to ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Online to ArcGIS Online.


And finally, licensing. Yes, there is a simple change as well with the release of ArcGIS 10.5. Esri has provided a much larger entry point into ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Online through licensing levels. There are now two levels of named user licenses when paired with Online or Enterprise.

  • Level 1 or L1 is a read-only license for everyone that wants to view and interact with content and service that have been authored by someone else. By default, Esri grants 30 L1 licenses to the additional default L2 license.
  • Level 2 or L2 are named users that can create, update and share maps and related content

An administrator of Portal still has control over the roles and groups associated with a L1 and L2 user to give or constrain accessibility to an organization’s content items.


GISinc is excited for 2017 and helping our customers leverage the full potential of ArcGIS 10.5.

Topics: Tech Blog, Tech Blog

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