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Set up a development environment

In this topic, you'll set up your environment for developing Operations Dashboard extensions to run on your Windows machine.

Using a shortcut with a local folder

  1. If you don't have Operations Dashboard installed, install it from ArcGIS Online.
  2. Start the Operations Dashboard app.
  3. Find the install location of the app by opening Windows Task Manager, right-clicking the OperationsDashboard process, and clicking Open file location.

    Task manager

    Windows Explorer opens, and the file is highlighted.

  4. Right-click OperationsDashboard.exe and click Create shortcut.

    Alternatively, copy or move the shortcut to a convenient location on your machine.

    Create shortcut

  5. Right-click the shortcut, and click Properties.
  6. On the Shortcut tab, append the following text to the end of the string in the Target text box: " /extdbg:", followed by the path to the folder that contains your extensions. Note: notice that there is a space between the Target path and /extdbg connector.

    When Operations Dashboard starts, it will load all the valid extensions under this folder. These extensions will be hosted temporarily on your machine's local server and are accessible through http://localhost.

    For example:

    <Install location of Operations Dashboard>\OperationsDashboard.exe /extdbg:C:\Extensions

    Tip: Add double quotes to your extension's folder path if it contains a space.

    The shortcut now points to a folder containing your extensions.

    set shortcut flag

    Note: When you run the shortcut, the app will launch in developer mode (indicated by the text Dev Mode at the upper right corner of the app). The extensions in the folder will be available in the app, and you can add them to operation views for testing and debugging.

    Dev mode

You are now ready to start developing your own extensions. To learn more, see Overview of widgets, map tools, and feature actions.

Using a shortcut with a web server

In the previous section, you created and configured a shortcut to have your extensions run from a local server when Operations Dashboard starts. This is convenient for development, since you don't need a web server to host the extensions.

However, with this approach, you'll need to keep the Windows version of Operations Dashboard running to load your extension in the browser version of Operations Dashboard for additional debugging. In addition, with the extensions running from a local server, you may run into a mixed content issue when you open the operation view in a browser. To illustrate this, consider the following URL, which opens an operation view in developer mode:

https://<org name>.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboard/index.html#/<view id>?extdbg=http://localhost:5001/<name of the extensions folder>

Note: In this URL, the HTTPS-based operation view contains extensions served through the unencrypted HTTP connection. In this scenario, the HTTP content will be blocked by some browsers, and your extension will not load in the browser version of Operations Dashboard.

To overcome this limitation, you can further configure the Operations Dashboard shortcut created in the previous section to point to a web server hosting your extensions. See Set up a web server for details, and follow the steps below to update your shortcut:

  1. Right-click the Operations Dashboard shortcut, and click Properties.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, find the Target property. Append a comma at the end, followed by the URL to your extension folder. Make sure that the physical folder directory matches the URL location with no space between the comma and URL. For example:

<Install location of Operations Dashboard>\OperationsDashboard.exe /extdbg:C:\Extensions,https://foo.domain.com/extensions

Web Server Setup

When you add an extension running from your web server into an operation view and open the view in the browser version of Operations Dashboard in developer mode, the URL of the operation view will look like the following:

https://<org name>.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboard/index.html#/<view id>?extdbg= https://<machine name>.<domain name>.com/<name of the extension folder>