Automation pillar

Enterprise systems typically incorporate many components, inter-dependencies, processes, and workflows, and interacting with or delivering on these manually can consume a great deal of time. Automation allows organizations to manage these processes and configurations using consistent, repeatable steps, initiated or orchestrated through automation engine, tool or layer. This frees organizations to spend time building new features, capabilities, and experiences rather than completing the same backend workflows, setup procedures or data edits using manual processes.

ArcGIS supports a variety of automation approaches, from infrastructure and software deployment through application automation and workflow-based automation with webhooks. Common automation processes might include:

  • Using a software deployment automation tool like Chef or Powershell DSC to deploy a development system of ArcGIS Enterprise
  • Scheduling a repeated task using an ArcGIS Online hosted Python notebook to report on user activity within a certain group or content area
  • Running a data migration model or ETL on a daily basis using a scheduled geoprocessing tool in ArcGIS Pro
  • Automating a user invitation workflow using a Survey123 form and webhooks

Well-architected systems rely on automation throughout their operations – deploying software in a consistent and repeatable fashion, but also automating workflows that do not need manual intervention, and monitoring the automation tasks to ensure consistent completion.

Automation practices

This architecture pillar and section provide an overview of automation topics and practices, including:

  • Software deployment automation, which describes tools and approaches for deploying ArcGIS Enterprise components, mobile apps and ArcGIS Pro, both to speed up deployment and support consistent, repeatable processes.
  • Infrastructure as code (IaC) and DevOps which provides guidance on architecting enterprise systems to fit with existing IaC patterns, as well as compatibility with popular software and application deployment approaches through DevOps.

Automation approaches with ArcGIS

To elaborate on the automation approaches that are available with specific ArcGIS software components, these three sections provided guidance and recommendations:

In addition, Workflow automation systems are described, in several different levels of detail covering ArcGIS Workflow Manager and other external workflow automation platforms.

Another important topic often related to automation is the use of Webhooks, which is discussed extensively in the Integration pillar.