Preview, test, and publish

After exploring the templates and deciding which one to use, you're ready to create and publish an app. Opening Instant Apps from a specific map, scene, or group allows you to preview and test the app before creating it. If the default settings and app capabilities are acceptable, you can create the app and publish it as is. You can also modify the configuration settings or select or change the data to display in the app before publishing.

Publish instantly

To publish an app, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Create tab, click Preview to test an app with your data (or preview a sample if you haven't chosen a map yet).

    If you haven't preselected a map, scene, or group, click Choose map to browse for content to use or preview in the app.

    If you want to change your selection before creating the app, click Choose map, Choose scene, or Choose group (depending on the type of content you already have selected).

  2. To create the app from the preview window, click Choose.
  3. Provide a title and tags, choose a folder in which to save your app, and click Create app.
  4. In the configuration window that opens, click Publish to use the template defaults with the preselected map, scene, or group.

    You can customize your app by modifying the settings and tools using the options in the configuration panel. As you make changes, a draft is saved automatically and the app preview refreshes so you can test the app before publishing. You can also preview how the app will appear on a tablet or mobile device by using the Views menu.

  5. If you've already created apps with Instant Apps, you can also preview and create apps from the My Apps tab.
    • Click Choose to create an app with the same template and settings used by your existing app.
    • If you've preselected a map, scene, or group, click Preview first to try it out before creating the app.

When you publish, a proxy is automatically created for public access to subscriber content in your app. You'll be prompted to authorize any premium content so anonymous users don't need to sign in to access the content if you share the app publicly. Authorizing premium content will consume credits based on the number of times your app is viewed.

Share the app

When publishing is completed, the Share window appears, which includes a link to the app, options to share the app via social media, an option to embed the app in a website, and the date and time the app was last published.

  1. In the configuration window, click the Share button on the vertical toolbar, if necessary.
  2. In the Share window, click Change share settings.
  3. Choose how you want to share the app by selecting the appropriate sharing level (owner, organization, or everyone) and specifying any necessary groups. Refer to Share items to learn more about these options.
  4. Click Save.
  5. If the Update sharing window appears, click Update so the content used by your app is shared in the same way as your app. (You'll be prompted to synchronize the sharing level of the source map or scene and its dependent items that you have permission to update.)

    Click Launch to open your published app and test it in a new window. Click Views in the configuration panel to preview and test how the app will work on a mobile device. Choose from portrait and landscape orientation.

  6. Close the Share window and click Exit. When prompted, confirm that you want to exit.

    The app's item page opens, where you can edit the item details. (You can also get the app's URL here on the Overview and Settings tabs to provide a direct link to your app.)


    As a best practice, edit the item details to help others discover your app and learn more about it. For example, add a summary, description, tags; change the thumbnail image, turn on or off the Save as option, and include any necessary terms of use and data attribution.

Thumbnail images

For apps created after the October 2023 release, the thumbnail in My Apps and the app's item page match. The default thumbnail uses the map, scene, or group used in the app and remains in sync as the content changes. You can edit the thumbnail image in the app's item details, but it will no longer automatically update. For apps created before the October 2023 release, you must republish the app to synchronize the thumbnail. Otherwise, My Apps will display the default template thumbnails for apps that don't already have a custom thumbnail image.