About Offline

Through the Geocortex Mobile App Framework, the Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 allows users to work in environments where connection to the Internet is sporadic or absent. Field workers and remote employees can venture into low-connectivity or no-connectivity areas, and continue to browse and edit spatial and non-spatial data. Their normal workflow is not interrupted.

A typical scenario is a field worker who needs to use the App in a remote location that lacks network connectivity. Before departing, the worker downloads a suitable offline map. At the remote location, the worker activates the offline map to continue working with the map and editing features. Upon returning to a place with network connectivity, the worker synchronizes their changes with the server.

The Offline feature uses the ArcGIS Runtime SDK. If you want to support offline use of the App, you must have an ArcGIS Runtime SDK license.

How Offline Works

Normally, requests from an Essentials client (the viewer) to the server (Essentials) are made across a network. When the viewer is offline, however, all the resources that the viewer needs must be available on the local device.

The resources that the viewer needs offline include JavaScript files, HTML pages, CSS stylesheets, and images, as well as viewer libraries, configuration files, and static REST endpoints.

Note that only files in the following folders are available offline:

Before the viewer goes offline, the HTML5 Viewer's Offline Module caches the REST endpoints the viewer requires to operate. Other resources are kept up to date whenever a viewer is opened in the App while connected to the Essentials server.

The form of requests is the same whether the viewer is online or offline. When the viewer is offline, the Offline Module intercepts outgoing requests and uses routing rules that redirect the requests to the locally-cached resources. For example, the viewer might generate a request to initialize the site at a given URL. The Offline Module traps the site initialization request, applies the appropriate routing rule, and loads the site from the cached data instead of from the URL.

Offline Access to Secured Sites

As of version 2.0, the Geocortex Mobile App Framework on all platforms supports services secured with Web Tier Authentication. If a site contains any components with Essentials security applied, it is considered to be a secured site.

The first time a user downloads a viewer belonging to a secured site, the user must be signed in. This ensures that the secured content that the user has permission to access is downloaded to the device. If a site supports both anonymous access and secured access, and the user is not signed in when they download the offline map, only the content that anonymous users have access to is downloaded.

Whenever an offline map is active, the App uses the data that is on the device. This means that the user does not have to sign in to access secured data. When the user returns to online mode, the user may be required to sign in to synchronize their changes.

Once a viewer has been downloaded, the data associated with that site is on the device. If you make sensitive data available offline, make sure users secure their devices.

If your organization provides mobile devices that are shared between users, you may want to delete the viewers and offline maps that a user has downloaded before you lend the device to a user with different access privileges. This ensures that the new user does not have access to previously-downloaded content that you do not want them to access.

About Offline Maps and Basemaps

Users do not have access to the usual site map when the Geocortex App is offline. To use the App offline, end users must use an offline map. Offline maps specify the map area, feature layers, and basemaps that you can make available offline in the App.

You can configure offline maps for users to download, or they can create their own. In either case, the offline map can be shared with other users and groups of users.

You can create offline basemaps that work with offline maps to provide basemaps when the App is offline. Offline basemaps are stored in tile package (TPK) files, which have a .tpk file extension.

Some types of map service do not support TPK files. For example, you cannot create a TPK file from a Bing Maps service.

Offline basemaps differ from online basemaps in a couple of respects:

You can configure multiple offline basemaps for an offline map. End users select the offline basemap they want to use the same way they would select an online basemap, by selecting the basemap in the layer list.

To allow end users to use offline maps and basemaps, you must add the Offline Maps tool to the viewer's toolbar. Tapping the Offline Maps tool opens the Offline Maps panel, which lists the offline maps that are available to the user. Offline maps that are not shared with the user do not appear in the Offline Maps panel.

To use a particular offline map and its associated offline basemaps, the user taps the map in the Offline Maps panel. Its icon changes to the Sync icon . To return to using the online map, the user taps the Go Online option. The icon for the offline map that was active changes to the Delete icon . If an offline map is active when the user shuts down the App, the offline map is automatically reloaded the next time the user starts the App.

Once an offline map is downloaded, the user can use the offline map regardless of whether the device has network connectivity. When an offline map is active, the App uses the data on the device instead of the data on the server, even if the device has network connectivity.

For information on setting up offline maps and basemaps, refer to the Configure Offline Maps and Basemaps section for the platform you are using—Android, iOS, or Windows.

About Offline Editing and Syncing

Offline maps often include feature layer data. In the Geocortex App, users can edit the following types of data offline using an offline map:

To synchronize their changes with the server, the user taps the offline map's Sync button when the device has network connectivity. Synchronization is bidirectional: first it uploads the user's changes to the server, and then it downloads any server-side changes to the device. The offline basemaps are updated first if necessary, followed by the feature data.

Even if the site does not support editing, we recommend that users synchronize periodically to download the latest configuration changes from the server.

If network connectivity is interrupted during synchronization, the user can resume the synchronization when the device regains network connectivity. To resume synchronization, the user selects the offline map and taps . Alternatively, the user can delete the partially-transferred data by tapping Delete Data when the App displays the synchronization-failed message.

The user can synchronize all the changes to any offline map by clicking Sync Now in the notification at the top of the screen. This notification only appears when the user has unsynchronized changes and network connectivity. If one or more offline maps have not been synchronized for a week, the App displays a notification to allow the user to synchronize all of the offline maps, regardless of whether the user has made any changes. These notifications only appear within the viewer. They do not appear within the viewer selection screen in multi-viewer Apps.

For information on setting up your system to allow offline editing, refer to the System Requirements section for the platform you are using—Android, iOS, or Windows.

Offline Support for Services and Features

The Geocortex Mobile App Framework can work when the device is connected to a network as well as when it is offline.

In online mode, it includes the full functionality of the Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 on mobile.

Offline mode focuses on functionality for data collection activities, such as adding and editing features, as well as running Workflow 5 workflows. In offline mode, some service types and features are not available.

Offline Support for Services

Use the following table to find out which service types are supported when the Geocortex Mobile App Framework is not connected to a network.

Availability of services when the App is offline

Type of Service

Supported

Offline?

Notes

ArcGIS Dynamic Map Services
(MapServer)

Yes

Known limitations include:

  • Annotation layers are not supported offline.

  • User-added layers other than those from the Layer Catalog provider are not available offline.

  • Feature symbology may differ in appearance while offline and, in some cases, may not appear at all:

    • Picture marker line symbols are not supported.

    • Hash line symbols are not supported.

    • Stacked line symbols appear as a single line.

    • All polygon symbols, except picture-fill polygons, appear as solid-fill polygons of a similar color.

    • Feature labels are not supported.

ArcGIS Feature Layers
(FeatureServer)

Yes

Only sync-enabled ArcGIS Server feature layers can be edited in the Geocortex Mobile App Framework.

ArcGIS Tables

Yes

As of version 2.0, ArcGIS tables are supported offline. Do not confuse ArcGIS tables with search tables, which are not supported offline.

ArcGIS Tiled Map Services

Yes

 

Bing Maps Services

No

 

Geocoding Services

No

Geometry Services

Yes

 

KML Services

No

 

OGC Map Services (WMS, WMTS)

No

 

Web Tiled Layers

No

For example, Open Street Map.

Offline Support for Features

Use the following table to find out which features are supported when the Geocortex Mobile App Framework is not connected to a network.

Availability of features when the App is offline

Feature

Supported

Offline?

Notes

Accessibility: Keyboard Support

Yes

The screen reader accessibility feature is not supported in the Geocortex Mobile App Framework.

Analytics Integration

No

 

 

Barcode Scanning

Yes

 

Basemaps

Yes

Basemaps must be downloaded to the device before they can be used offline.

Basemap Switcher

Yes

 

Bookmarks

Yes

 

Buffer

Yes

Buffering operations do not support negative values when the App is offline.

Charts

Yes

Printing of charts is not supported offline.

Clustering

Yes

 

Collaboration

No

 

Compact Toolbar

Yes

 

Coordinates Widget

Yes

 

Data Links

No

 

Drawing Tools

Yes

 

Essentials Security

Yes

Before users can access secured content offline, they must sign in and download the viewer when the device is online. As of version 2.0, the Geocortex Mobile App Framework supports Web Tier Authentication on all platforms except iOS, which does not support Windows Authentication for ArcGIS services. For more information about which types of security are supported, see the Types of Security section for your platform: Android, iOS, or Windows.

Export

No

 

Export Results to CSV

No

 

Export Results to XLSX

No

 

Export to Shapefile

No

 

Feature Advanced Editing

No

The Union and Cut operations are not supported offline.

Feature Editing and Synchronization

Yes

Only ArcGIS Server sync-enabled feature layers can be edited in the Geocortex Mobile App Framework.

Feature Hyperlinks

Yes

 

Feature Labels

No

 

Feature Maps

No

 

Field Formatting

Yes

 

File Attachments

Yes

Prior to version 2.0, file attachments could be attached but not viewed when the App is offline. As of version 2.0, file attachments can be both attached and viewed offline.

Filter

Yes

As of version 2.0, users can filter features when the App is offline.

Full Extent

Yes

 

Geolocation

Yes

 

Heat Maps

Yes

 

Home Panel

Yes

 

I Want To Menu

Yes

 

Identify

Yes

 

Initial Extent

Yes

 

Layer Hyperlinks

Yes

 

Layer List

Yes

 

Layer Themes

Yes

 

Legends

Yes

 

Linked Maps

No

 

Logging

Yes

 

Map Tips

Yes

 

Measurement Tools

Yes

Includes the advanced measurement tools.

Optimizer Integration

No

 

Overview Map

Yes

 

Printing

No

 

Projects

No

 

Pushpins

Yes

 

Query

Yes

As of version 2.0, users can query layers when the App is offline.

Related Features

Yes

 

Relationships

Yes

 

Reports

No

 

Scale Bar Widget

Yes

 

Search

Yes

As of version 2.0, users can search when the App is offline. As of version 2.1, users can search related tables when the App is offline.

Search Tables

No

Not to be confused with ArcGIS tables, which are supported offline.

Share Tool

No

 

Snapping

Yes

 

Tabbed Toolbar

Yes

 

Workflows

Yes

As of version 2.3, Workflow 5 workflows are supported offline except for Workflow Activities requiring external web requests that are not part of an Offline Map, that is, all the features unsupported offline in this table. Workflows from versions prior to Workflow 5 are not supported offline.

To support running workflows offline, the Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 server must have an internet connection.

© 2019 Latitude Geographics Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Documentation Version 4.11