Using the Esri ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder

I’ve been playing with ArcGIS for Server 10.3.1 at Matrix and we’re all about running things with hosted services.  So rather than spec out some hardware and install ArcGIS for Server on local legacy machines, we’re doing it all in the cloud.  Because I’m new here there wasn’t any legacy AWS use so I was able to pick Azure for deployment.  My logic:

  • While I’m experienced with AWS, Azure is mostly an unknown world to me.  Given we’re running Windows servers with SQL Server, why not go native.
  • I really want to give SQL Azure a spin.
  • The portal for Azure is much nicer than AWS.  They have those stupid panels in places1 but mostly it makes logical sense.
  • Esri has Cloud Builder to simplify installation which I though would be great for starting up prototypes quickly.

So logical, no?  Well late yesterday this tweet went out by me.

I was stuck here:


You can literally hear the sad trombone sound.  Now Sam Libby was helping troubleshoot but things were still a bit weird.  Basically as you can see in the error above, I needed to accept an EULA.  Now of course I went into the the Azure Marketplace and followed the instructions to allow the Esri VM to be deployed programmatically which is what Cloud Builder requires.  But each time it errored out the same way.

Sam offered this:

Basically he hit upon it.  Microsoft did something with the marketplace and for whatever reason the Cloud Builder app won’t install an Esri ArcGIS for Server VM until you actually install it first yourself.

The workaround to get the Cloud Builder app to run is actually just create a VM using the Azure Portal then delete it.


After that, the Esri Cloud Builder app runs perfectly without trouble.


Philip Heede basically confirms everything.

So the ArcGIS for Server Cloud Builder2 works great.  While I don’t like wizards in general, it automates the processes that take time and let’s you focus on the settings for ArcGIS for Server you want to change.  I honestly haven’t installed ArcGIS for Server since it was ArcGIS Server (without the for) 9.3.1 and it was interesting to see how things have changed and how little has actually changed.

  1. is that what they’re called?

  2. seriously, why no “for” in the title, consistency folks!

Apple Gets Ready to Release Indoor Positioning Service

Over the weekend Apple apparently pushed out an indoor positioning appIndoor Survey‘ into the iOS App Store.

“By dropping ‘points’ on a map within the Survey App, you indicate your position within the venue as you walk through,” reads the app description. “As you do so, the indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency (RF) signal data and combines it with an iPhone’s sensor data. The end result is indoor positioning without the need to install special hardware.”

Interesting in the sense it appears to be an app that stores can use to map their interiors with iOS devices.  It’s not a crowd sourced indoor mapping application.  This dovetails nicely with the other announcement this morning about their new Maps Indoor service.

For now, Apple is focusing its efforts on a handful of venues that meet specific criteria. These requirements include:

  • The venue must be accessible to the general public
  • Only locations that draw more than a million visitors per year
  • Apple requires “complete, accurate, and scaled reference maps” for consideration
  • The venue must have Wi-Fi throughout, and an official app available on the App Store

The groundwork is set for Apple to start mapping interiors of these large open venues.  But with an app and an iPhone, clearly Apple is planning to scale this out to just about every indoor location.  I suspect we’ll see stadiums, amusement parks and other entertainment venues appear first over the next year.

Apple Indoor Positioning Signup

What’s Next? Matrix New World Engineering

So you may have seen last week that I resigned from AECOM.

Well I’ve ended up at Matrix New World Engineering as the National Practice Leader for GIS and Geospatial Services.  I’m going to miss the guys at AECOM and working as Project Manager on the BLM Navigator1 data sharing portal but the opportunity with Matrix is something I could not pass up.  In a twist, I will be working more closely with Esri technology.  That means you’ll see me blogging more about Esri again.  That said the first program I bought at Matrix was Safe FME Desktop so you can see my overall goals aren’t changing.

Tied in with this is ArcGIS for Server on Azure.  I’m jumping in with two feet it appears.  But don’t worry, you won’t be seeing any ArcObjects or Dojo posts from me.  It’s interesting to try to get back on where Esri server software has gone over the past 5 years I’ve ignored it.  Google searches of course make me laugh a bit.

The bottom goals don’t change though.  Sharing data and liberating data from silos.  Making smart choices with open source technology and embracing Python and JavaScript over Java and .NET.  My Esri account is locked out of ArcGIS Online (who even knows how to get that fixed) so step one is cleaning out the garage2 in my mind.

Now I had promised Hangouts with James Fee starting back mid-October.  Well given my job change it was difficult to get that started back up.  It’s being pushed back to November and my first guest will be the always interesting Ian White.  Stay tuned for the schedule.

  1. replacing the busted old BLM Communicator

  2. or is that gutter?

Hangouts with James Fee: Special Guest Steve Pousty

Hangouts with James Fee Season 4 starts soon.  We’re going to continue as a podcast so make sure you stay tuned for the guests.  I figure it is fitting that the last video hangout I had with Steve be posted as the “first” podcast.  Enjoy and I’ll see you all after my honeymoon.