I want to know about the future of ArcGIS web development; is it HTML5?

I used to work with ArcObjects and .NET Web ADF so what is the best technology I must follow, especially when I know that Silverlight version updates have been stopped?

So I think that the best technology that must follow .NET in the future is JavaScript with HTML5. Is it true?

  • 2
    Interesting question but I voted to close it as it is not a good fit for the QnA format. There is no way to definitively answer this question. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion
    – R.K.
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 6:29

3 Answers 3


I believe that everything is moving in that direction, mobile browsers only support javascript/html and even in win8 javascript/html is a supported stack for metro-apps. ESRI will have to follow, and they are (arcgis online etc.)

But, if your users still use older versions of IE on the desktop, right now adobe flex or silverlight is a better choice.

On modern browsers with a good framework like jquery or dojo javascript is really powerful. On the server you can still use asp.net, but instead of generating html, you will be generating Json, that is parsed on in browser.

  • 3
    +1 for recognizing that at the present Flex and silverlight are still valid options. Most people get blown away by the HTML5+javascript vibe and do not get this important point. Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 11:36
  • so .NET Developer should shift to javascript or stay working with siverlight?
    – geoid
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 10:21
  • 1
    In my opinion, any webdev (.net / java / php) should learn some javascript: Most important: more and more clients/users will want support on mobile browsers. And because because indeed silverlight and flex will go away on the desktiop, but that will take at least another 4 or 5 years.
    – warrieka
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 11:51

I think the ArcGIS Java Script API will be the best option.

As per your question Java Script API +Dojo +ArcGIS is the best option and it supports Desktop,mobile and TAB platforms.

Check out the pros/Cons of Java Script API here

  • Also please check gis.stackexchange.com/questions/18737/…
    – Sunil
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 11:05
  • Thank for your replay it's very helpful I agree that flash and sliverlight are dead so no way out from JavaScript but it is difficult
    – geoid
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 11:15
  • Javascript is not that difficult but it is very different from .net. One piece of advice: Work with the debugging tools integrated in in the browsers (firebug etc.) don't rely on your IDE for debugging.
    – warrieka
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 12:18

I'd actually say it's the present more than the future. There's a number of ways to consume ArcGIS Services, but the Javascript/HTML5 libraries are by far the most portable and widely usable of the group. They work on virtually everything these days.

ESRI has already moved away from the Web ADF, and Silverlight. It's only a matter of time before Flash follows suit given it's on a gradual downward trend. (I kind of hope they keep WPF support around because it's so handy for desktop application development, but that's a secondary thing.)

For a general purpose web app, Javascript is the way to go. Having used it personally, it's something I honestly find pretty easy to work with... doubly so compared to a beast like the Web ADF.

  • It's good to hear that javascript is easier than Web ADF
    – geoid
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 5:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.