Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Making Progress

Hope everyone is doing well!

We have gotten quite a bit done on this project! My manager, Heather and I, along with another manager at the electric department and the people who will be conducting the inspections have created a database schema for the inspection application to work. What is a schema you ask? Well a schema is just a fancy word for an outline or a model of how something will look. In this case, the schema is an outline for how the inspection table will look, ie. which order the questions will be in, which fields are required which are not, etc.

Since we have the schema set, Heather and I have been testing how the Collector application works with our data. We have created a database in ArcGIS and have configured it with our data so that we are able to take our data offline. We have successfully published our map as a feature service to our server, so that we can securely access it through ArcGIS online, after having complications figuring out why the database would not register on the server. Once in ArcGIS online we have configured the pop-ups and settings so that the essentials will be available on the Collector app. Once the map was enabled for offline editing and shared with the group, I was able to test how Collector works on our IPad. It worked!

While all seemed well and good, we did run into a few problems. When setting up the database and map service, we had decided that we wanted our maps to be versioned. This means that while there is some default map, multiple people can work on other "versions" of the map without the changes being reflected on the default map. The default map only reflects the changes once it has gone through a reconciling process and a posting process. Basically, versioning is done so that edits are not made in error and it is a way to keep track of what data is getting updated and when. I had never worked with versioning before, nor had I ever worked with ArcServer so all of this was brand new to me. Because of this, I ran into errors while trying to download the map onto the IPad when using Collector, I was not supposed to check off a box when I registered the feature class as versioned. So I had to stop the service, unregister the data as versioned and then re-register it, while remembering not to check off the box.

Once we were able to fix that glitch, the edits we made on Collector were showing that they were synching to the server but we could not find those edits anywhere! It seems as though every time we managed to take a step forward, we had to take 5 steps back. Heather and I ended up talking on the phone to an ESRI rep who walked us through reconciling and posting our versioned data. We contacted the rep again the following day to help us enable photo attachments on our database.

This certainly is a learning experience for me! But I am happy to be doing it!

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