USA – ESRI announced the new ArcGIS API for Flex Beta at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California, which was held August 4–8, 2008.
ArcGIS API for Flex is integrated with Adobe Flex Builder 3 and can be downloaded for free from ESRI. Flex is a client-side technology that is rendered by Flash Player 9 or Adobe AIR. This means that application developers now have the capability to combine GIS based Web services from ArcGIS Server with other Web content and display it in fast, visually rich, and expressive mapping applications that can be deployed over the Web or to the desktop.
ArcGIS API for Flex takes full advantage of the powerful mapping, geocoding, and geoprocessing capabilities of ArcGIS services. Application end users can display their local data in an interactive map, search for and display GIS data features and attributes, locate addresses, identify features, and perform complex spatial analytics by simply clicking a button or on the map.
Developers can program with ArcGIS API for Flex without installing ArcGIS Server on their machine as long as they have access to ArcGIS Server via a URL. Because the API is built on the Adobe Flex framework, developers can incorporate Flex components, such as data grid, trees, panels, and charts, into custom applications.
An early adopter of ArcGIS API for Flex and ArcGIS Server is the City of Boston, Massachusetts, which recently deployed the Solar Boston application, a public-facing Web mapping application designed to showcase active renewable energy installations. The application allows users to calculate potential rooftop photovoltaic capacity by taking roof size and shading from surrounding structures into account.
“We chose ArcGIS API for Flex because it allowed us to leverage the power of ArcGIS Server while delivering a rich, interactive experience to our users,” explains Greg Knight, senior GIS applications developer, Boston Redevelopment Authority. “Development was both fast and enjoyable, and we are pleased with the functionality and performance of the application.” The project is a collaboration between the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city’s Management Information Systems Department, and the city’s Solar Boston Program and was completed as part of Boston’s Solar America Cities partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Initiative.