The ArcPad Team Blog

Unofficial stuff from the team behind the World's leading mobile GIS platform

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Designers vs Developers

Over the years, I've identified two distinct types of people who customize ArcPad's out of the box functionality. Designers and Developers.

Designers are integrators who use the Toolbar Editors, Quick Forms and ArcPad Studio to perform customization of toolbars and forms and provide business rules in scripts. Workflow is driven by projects.

Developers are coders who use their learned skills to build beyond out of the box experience for ArcPad. I've seen a variety of solutions with a sophistication ranging from ArcPad Extensions, Interprocess Communications and ActiveX components. Workflow is driven by core business activities such as consultancy or building 3rd party products.

Do you customize ArcPad? Are you a Designer or Developer? Vote Here!!


  • At Saturday, February 11, 2012 4:57:00 am, Blogger VtMobileGis said…

    I would slightly disagree that the "workflow is driven mainly by consultancy or building 3rd party products". At our organization, development is driven by our users. The field personnel that really embrace the technology always want it to do. Without our users we would never have developed ArcPad so that interfaces with email web-services, voice tags and Microsoft InfoPath forms. We have found that no matter how great the developer thinks his/her widget is, if it isn't something the users are asking for it will never work. To really see the benefit from ArcPad, designers or developers must make the product fit the workers because the workers are never going to change to fit the product.

  • At Monday, February 13, 2012 5:26:00 pm, Blogger Stephen Quan said…

    Hi VtMobileGis, thanks for your feedback. I actually don't disagree. The WHY always comes down to people's needs.

    My post was trying to clarify the WHO with respect to customizing ArcPad.

    This is a reflection of Customization ArcPad Help which actually contains a mixture of two techniques of HOW to customize ArcPad.

    The first being Customizing ArcPad via Extensions. The second being Customization not via Extensions (i.e. Object Model, Forms, Toolbars, Scripting, etc). Perhaps the DEVELOPER and DESIGNER terms were somewhat crude but this was my attempt to simplify the distinction between the two techniques.

    When I wrote in my post regarding "Workflow is driven by..." I was commenting on my observations on WHEN each technique was being used. i.e. the only time I've seen ArcPad Extensions were being built were when they were used in a product, for example, "GPS Correct". I can name other ArcPad Extensions, but, from what I can tell, they are all a result of productization.

    I would be most pleased to be shown examples that depict otherwise.


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