From map to app in minutes

What is needed to build a web application? HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a developer or programmer are some of the tools needed for web application building. Previously, GIS professionals who didn’t have any developer skills would leave application development to programmers.

With Web AppBuilder, GIS professionals with an ArcGIS Online organizational account can quickly build a customizable web application without needing developer knowledge. A saved map and a few clicks lead to a functionally web application that can be shared with coworkers and clients. A web application is stored remotely on a server and runs in an internet browser, where the user interacts with the application.

Create a map

Before a web application can be built, a web map must be created and saved in My Content.

A web map of police stations and schools in Maryland.

Share the map

  • To access the web app builder, click the Share button after saving your map.
  • Depending upon the content in this map, select who can view this map.
  • The link that is generated can be copied and pasted to allow access to this map. Keep in mind that this link is dependent upon how you set up sharing capabilities.
  • Click the Create a Web App button.

Create a new web app using Configurable apps

  • The Configurable Apps tab provides a template style display where you can select from already customized applications fit for your exact needs. Apps are broken out into groups so that you can narrow down what you are looking for.
  • Once you select an application, you have the option to Preview, Download, or Create a Web App.
  • Keep in mind that the settings in these applications cannot be edited or customized further.
A web application of the Maryland police stations and schools using the basic viewer configurable app. Notice the different capabilities this application has.

Create a new web app using Web AppBuilder

  • The Web AppBuilder tab allows you to create a new application and fully customize it the way that you’d like.
  • Enter a title, tags, and summary to create your web app.
  • Navigate through the different options to customize your application.
  • Save, preview, and launch application.


A widget is an icon that represents a function within the web application. By default, some widgets are automatically added to each theme. However, you can add additional widgets to your web application.

  • Hovering over a widget shows the location of that widget in your application.
  • Hovering over a widget also gives you options to hide the widget or edit the widget.
  • The widgets on top are pre-configured.
  • Click the numbered placeholders below the pre-configured widgets to add widgets.

Some of the most commonly used widgets are:

  • Attribute Table: tabular view of data layers
  • Bookmark: spatial extents saved in your application that can be pre-configured or after the app opens
  • Filter: limit the visibility of point, line, or polygon features in your layers. An expression is set up; if the features meet the criteria of the expression, those features and only those features will be displayed in the application
  • Layer List: list of layers, their symbols, and the ability to turn layers on and off
  • Legend: shows the labels and symbols for the layers in the map
  • Query: inquire information about the data
  • Search: find addresses or place names when a geocoding service is tied to your organizational account

You can find additional information on each widget and how to configure each one on the ArcGIS website.