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FAQs for project owners

What is a Workforce project?

A Workforce project is the item type used by the Workforce web app and Workforce mobile app to provide a common view in the field and the back office. When opened in the web app, a project allows dispatchers to create and assign work assignments. When opened with the mobile app, a Workforce project lets mobile workers see and complete their assignments, launching other apps as required for their workflows. The project includes references to maps, assigns users dispatcher or mobile worker roles, tracks workers, and defines the apps mobile workers can launch through Workforce, such as Collector for ArcGIS.

During project creation, the project, along with the maps and layers it uses, are created for you. The maps include one for your mobile workers (used by the mobile app), and one for your dispatchers (used by the web app). Two maps are used to present different but similar views of the system to the workers and dispatchers. The maps are created based on a template, with feature layers that use predefined symbology and configuration, such as pop-ups, and using the topographic basemap. You can modify these maps, adding additional operational or asset feature layers based on the work the users will be doing with the project. For an example, see Customize the map in Create your first project.

The four layers that are created are based on predefined templates and are used to store the information specific to the Workforce project. The layers contain the assignments, mobile workers (including their last known location), dispatchers, and tracking information about where the mobile workers have gone if location tracking is enabled. Both the web and mobile apps require the feature layers to contain required fields.

When the project is created, a folder and a group are created for it in your ArcGIS organization. The project and all its associated items (maps and layers) are stored in the folder that was created, and they are all shared with the group. As you add dispatchers and mobile workers to the project, they are automatically added to the group, granting them access to the project, maps, and layers. As the project owner, you are the only one who can configure or delete the project. You, as the project owner, are also added to the project as a dispatcher so that you can test the project.

Since Workforce puts all of these components in place for you, you can use the Workforce project immediately following creation, with minimal configuration.

Caution:

Although the project, maps, layers, and group are in your portal and can be edited when signed in to ArcGIS in a browser, you need to be careful with the changes you make outside of the Workforce app. If you decide to manipulate these items outside of Workforce, you should avoid these actions:

  • Unsharing any of these items with the project's group
  • Deleting the project's group
  • Deleting or modifying the predefined fields in the layers
  • Deleting or modifying the predefined layers

While you can change ownership of the items, do so carefully, making sure to follow all the guidelines in Troubleshooting: How do I move project ownership to another member?

What apps can I integrate with Workforce, and what do those integrations provide?

Workforce supports integration with Navigator for ArcGIS, Collector for ArcGIS, and Survey123 for ArcGIS. App integrations maximize the efficiency of your mobile workers by providing directions as well as the maps and surveys needed to complete their work.

Navigator gets your mobile workers to the locations of their assignments using Esri-provided maps or your own maps. Add Navigator integration so that Workforce can open Navigator to provide directions from the worker's current location to the assignment location. Integration with Navigator is enabled by default.

Collector is a map-centric field data collection app used to collect new information and inspect existing data managed in your organization. Add Collector integration so that Workforce opens the right map and locates the assignment for rapid data collection. You can also pass the assignment ID and location to particular fields in Collector.

Survey123 is a form-centric data collection app that can be used to conduct a survey with predefined questions that use conditional logic to provide easy-to-fill-in answers. Add Survey123 integration so that Workforce opens the right survey. You can also pass the assignment ID and location to particular questions in Survey123.

The following versions are required:

  • Navigator for ArcGIS 2.0 or later
  • Collector for ArcGIS 17.0.3 or later
  • Survey123 for ArcGIS 1.6 or later

When integrating with Collector or Survey123, you'll need to provide a map or survey, respectively. For details on configuring the apps, see Tip: Integrate other Esri apps.

Caution:

Mobile workers need to sign in to each app separately, as credentials are not passed between apps.

What kinds of notifications are sent to mobile workers?

Notifications are used to draw your mobile workers' attention to certain assignments when the assignments list refreshes, which occurs every 60 seconds.

When the app is in the foreground, a banner is added for newly assigned assignments. If the assignment is critical, the banner is red and persists on the screen until you interact with it or the assignment. Additionally, critical assignments present a dialog box on other screens, such as the Projects screen. If the assignment is not critical, the banner is blue and displays temporarily. Notifications for noncritical assignments only display on the assignments list.

If the app is in the background, Apple notifications are used, which are less predictive. The notification timing is based on the frequency with which you use the app. So notifications for more frequently used apps come in faster than new or less-used apps.

If the app is closed, notifications aren't sent. The team is currently looking into this behavior.

Can I integrate Workforce with my work order or asset management system?

Some of the most common requests received for Workforce are around integration with other systems, such as third-party work order, asset, or maintenance management systems, as well as how to handle recurring or repeating assignments.

The best way to handle each of these scenarios is to follow examples of how to accomplish these tasks through the REST API for feature layers. With this in mind, the schema for a Workforce project is documented and published. Assignments created with the same schema can be interpreted by Workforce. You can also use the sample scripts that demonstrate the best practices for integrating Workforce with your own systems. The scripts are available at https://github.com/Esri/workforce-scripts.

We're looking forward to reading your comments and feedback on the scripts, and any ideas for other scripts that you'd like us to provide.

How do I create recurring or repeating assignments?

Some of the most common requests received for Workforce are around integration with other systems, such as third-party work order, asset, or maintenance management systems, as well as how to handle recurring or repeating assignments.

The best way to handle each of these scenarios is to follow examples of how to accomplish these tasks through the REST API for feature layers. With this in mind, the schema for a Workforce project is documented and published. Assignments created with the same schema can be interpreted by Workforce. You can also use the sample scripts that demonstrate the best practices for integrating Workforce with your own systems. The scripts are available at https://github.com/Esri/workforce-scripts.

We're looking forward to reading your comments and feedback on the scripts, and any ideas for other scripts that you'd like us to provide.