I am building a Web Application for the first time using the ESRI's Javascript API and wanted to know the basic fundamental concepts that I should keep in mind?

  • 2
    Suggest this should be a community wiki, since the poster "wants to understand more about the kind of questions that can be asked in interviews"
    – user3461
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 15:39
  • 1
    To clarify my last comment, there may be multiple "correct" answers.
    – user3461
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 16:13

2 Answers 2


Here are some questions that should be asked when designing any web-mapping app. The questions are inter-related, in that the answers to either will affect the others.

  • What is the purpose of the map/application?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What capabilities need to be included in the application, e.g.
    • can users edit features;
    • is a buffer tool needed;
    • is a zoom slider sufficient or does the audience expect/require zoom boxes?
  • What browsers/platforms need to be supported? (note that this isn't as relevant to your question, since you've specified the JS API)
  • What basemaps and feature data will be shown?
  • Where will the data come from and are the data services available to the environment where the application will be hosted (e.g. intranet vs. public internet)?

Here are some other questions specific to a JS API.

  • Is there intellectual property in the application tools or design that would be detrimental to expose via JavaScript?
  • Is the web-map going to be part of an application that is built in a different JS framework, e.g. jQuery or EXT JS? If so, what extra work will be needed, or considerations will need to be made?
  • Will it be suitable to call the API from ESRI's servers, or should it be served locally from the application's servers?
  • Thanks @Kevin that was very insightful. Could you elaborate a bit more on the intellectual property? Most of my tool is from the Javascript API gallery and sample code. Does that comprise of intellectual property?
    – Sam007
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 16:04
  • The tools in the API gallery/samples are not your intellectual property (IP). However, the design, branding, and custom tools of your application may be considered IP. A JavaScript application means the source-code is visible to anyone with access to the app, potentially exposing any IP included in the app.
    – user3461
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 16:12
  • Well presently only the IP of the ArcGIS server would be visible when I adding the basemap.
    – Sam007
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 16:47

Your question is vague so it's hard to know where to start or when to stop but here are some things I wish I did when I started my project.

  • Decide if OpenLayers is a better choice
  • Get a good understanding of dojo
  • Build unit tests from the beginning
  • Create an automated build process
  • Avoid the temptation of putting everything in one js file
  • Locate the JSAPI examples and become familiar with them
  • Download JSAPI locally and beautify it...it's still a nightmare but it helps
  • 1
    +1 to Avoid temptation of putting everything in one js file
    – Sam007
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 17:08

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