When you invest in Esri’s ArcGIS for Desktop software, you have access to an extensive suite of GIS functionality, including a rich set of mapping and geoprocessing tools. You also have the ability to build on this functionality in an infinite variety of ways through customization options. For example, Python scripting allows a user to streamline processes, develop their own particular workflows and create custom geoprocessing tools and toolboxes. The add-ins framework, introduced with ArcGIS for Desktop version 10.0, allows for the development of plug-in functionality that can be as simple or as complex as required. Add-in developers working with Microsoft .NET or Java can take advantage of the full suite of Windows controls along with the ArcObjects technology on which the desktop software is based to create new tools that are easily distributed and maintained. Version 10.1 extended the add-ins framework to include Python development, making the possibilities even more accessible to many users.
This presentation will demonstrate the power of add-ins through simple .NET and Python examples. Attendees will be able to see that using free development programs (Visual Studio Express and PyScripter), add-in development need not be intimidating and with a few straightforward steps they can be well on their way to seeing a significant return on their learning effort. Coding is an increasingly important consideration for the GIS practitioner and getting started with add-ins can be a rewarding way of opening the door to a whole new world of GIS possibilities as well as getting the most out of your ArcGIS for Desktop investment.