Esri Web AppBuilder 2.4, Empty Basemap Gallery Follow-Up

A while ago I posted a work-around for a problem I was having with a Web AppBuilder application. Working with Esri tech support, we determined what I was doing to cause the problem.

In my config.json, I was using a relative path to the proxy. Note that I had the proxy as a separate application at the root level of our domain because I intended to have a shared proxy for all of our applications instead of individual ones. So the WAB application would be using

   "httpProxy": {
	"useProxy": true,
	"alwaysUseProxy": true,
    "url": "/proxy/proxy.ashx",
    "rules": []

Well, that was causing the hiccup in the Basemap Gallery Widget. I simply modified the url parameter to have the full path of our domain, undid my custom code, and the Basemap Gallery Widget was happy.

  "httpProxy": {
     "useProxy": true,
     "alwaysUseProxy": true,
     "url": "",
     "rules": []

Score one for Esri Tech Support.

Although, in my defense the documentation on the configuring the proxy is silent on the pathing.


Esri Web AppBuilder 2.4, Empty Basemap Gallery

I recently downloaded Web AppBuilder 2.4, Developer’s Edition and built a quick & dirty app. For some reason, it worked fine in Web AppBuilder but once I deployed it, no basemaps would show in the Baseman Gallery widget, it would just spin, spin, spin.

Digging around, I found some old posts where users were experiencing similar problems but none of the solution resulted in a great solution. I was able to get it to work by listing the basemaps individually in the config_BasemapGallery.json file but I that was more of a work-around. Notice in the thumbnailUrl, I have to put the full path to the thumbnails. Note that for brevity’s sake, I’m only showing one of the basemaps in this sample.

  "basemapGallery": {
    "showArcGISBasemaps": true,
    "basemaps": [{
      "layers": [{"url": ""}],
      "title": "Imagery",
      "thumbnailUrl": "http://<org><id>/info/thumbnail/tempimagery.jpg",
      "spatialReference": {
         "wkid": "102100"

Eventually, I started comparing the requests generated by the version in the development version and the one in production and tracked the problem down to this POST request in production, which was returning a 400 Bad Request error:


To this one in dev:


I stripped off the “&wab_dv=2.4” parameter from the production request and Boom! it worked. So I now knew what was causing the problem. Just had to figure out why it was occurring. I had actually already seen part of the answer while digging around in env.js while looking for a way to test my changes without having to clear my cache or remember to use an Incognito session. On line 81 of env.js, there is this variable, deployVersion which is set to 2.4.

I had recently worked on a solution that involved appending a time stamp onto scripts we were loading so I was familiar with what is going on–the code was appending a version onto the call so that if you change the deployVersion, the browser would load a new version of the code. The appendDeployVersion function on line 307 of env.js was doing the append. Notice the if statement on line 312, it checks for “?” in the url. If it finds one, it appends “&wab_dv=” and the version, otherwise it appends “?wab_dv=” and the version–the difference being the “&” vs “?”. A question mark is used before the first parameter in an URL, each additional parameter is separated by a ampersand (&) so that logic makes sense.

However, the monkey wrench is that I’m using a proxy, so my URL has a question mark related to the proxy:


So the code was dutifully appending an ampersand and the version parameter “&wab_dv=2.4” to my URL so the proxy would be requesting:


when it should have been requesting:


Once I had determined the problem (99% of the battle), I was able to quickly put in a patch that works for my instance. This patch isn’t a great one that Esri should use but it solves it in my case. I just added logic so that it would ignore proxy-related question marks:

function appendDeployVersion(url){
    if(/^http(s)?:\/\//.test(url) || /^\/proxy\.js/.test(url) || /^\/\//.test(url)){
      return url;

	var proxyURL = url.toLowerCase().replace(".ashx?","");
    if(proxyURL.indexOf('?') > -1){
      url = url + '&wab_dv=' + deployVersion;
      url = url + '?wab_dv=' + deployVersion;
    return url;

And voila! my Web AppBuilder now had all the basemaps options a mapineer could hope for:

Feature classes and Tables with names starting with “nd_”.

Random luck me to discovering a bug related to feature classes whose names start with “nd_”.  It appears that you are allowed to create feature classes starting with “nd_” but ArcCatalog will not display them.  Further research shows this behavior also occurs for table and for ArcSDE (PostGres) geodatabases,  personal geodatabase, and file geodatabases–I am using ArcCatalog 10.0.

I first noticed something odd was occurring while importing a series of shapefiles into a geodatabases.  After importing 15 shapefiles, I only had thirteen feature classes despite receiving no errors during the process.  The two shapefiles that failed to import were named ND_oil_and_gas.shp and ND_Bendix_Study.shp.  Subsequent attempts to import them individually returned an error “Invalid Target Name”.

I discovered in pgAdmin III (Postgres SDE Geodatabase) that the table existed and there was an entry in sde.sde_layers for the feature class but ArcCatalog refused to show it.

I used some un-supported methods to try to resolve the problem and despite some sweating, I failed to find a way to get ArcCatalog to display these feature classes.  I did, however, at least found a way to delete them–arcpy can detect that the feature classes exists so it is able to delete them.

At least by deleting them, I can prevent leaving “invisible” feature classes from hanging out in my geodatabase.

I suspect the problems stems from how ESRI has implemented the Network dataset table-naming structure –dirty areas are stored in tables named nd_<itemid>_dirtyareas  and nd_<itemid>_dirtyobjects.  Possibly the developer  working on the ArcCatalog GUI ended up suppressing showing feature classes and tables whose names start with “nd_”.

And, just for posterity’s sake, here is a python code snippet listing the feature classes in a workspace:

import arcpy

arcpy.env.workspace = “c:/temp/_nd/F.gdb”

print arcpy.env.workspace
for fc in arcpy.ListFeatureClasses():
print fc

print “Done!”

Walkthrough: Building custom UI elements using add-ins (ArcObjects .NET 10 SDK)

I was working my way through this ESRI Walkthrough: Building custom UI elements using add-ins (ArcObjects .NET 10 SDK).  And came across a couple minor errors that I had to correct during the process.

First, while implementing the OnClick() code for ZoomToLayer.vb, Visual Studio gave me a “Name ‘ArcMap’ is not declared.” error.

In the walk-through, they mention that the ArcMap method of your class.  For me, however, it appeared under the .My method.  Not sure if this is something specific to my set-up or, as I’m guessing, something that got changed after the first documentation was created and the final libraries published.

The fix is just adding  “My.” to the namespace in this line:

ZoomToActiveLayerInTOC(TryCast(ArcMap.Application.Document, IMxDocument))

To get this:

ZoomToActiveLayerInTOC(TryCast(My.ArcMap.Application.Document, IMxDocument))

When I added the code for AddGraphics.vb, I got 8 errors.  There was essentially two errors, repeated four times.  I took a screen shot after fixing the first error pair:

The fixes in this case was also to use the complete name space path.  Examples:

Change this:

(geometry.GeometryType) = esriGeometryType.esriGeometryPoint Then

To this:

If (geometry.GeometryType) = ESRI.ArcGIS.Geometry.esriGeometryType.esriGeometryPoint Then)

And change this:

simpleMarkerSymbol.Style = esriSimpleMarkerStyle.esriSMSCircle

To this:

simpleMarkerSymbol.Style = ESRI.ArcGIS.Display.esriSimpleMarkerStyle.esriSMSCircle

Overall, the walk-through is very well done, just a couple minor tweaks.  I am now working my way through modifying an existing solution–one that included seven projects–to see if I can create an ArcGIS 10 Add-In.

ArcGIS 9.3.1 to ArcSDE 10 Connection Error

We finally installed an instance of ArcSDE 10 today.  My first attempt at connecting in ArcCatalog 9.3.1 failed with the following error:

Failed to connect to the specified server.

This release of the GeoDatabase is either invalid or out of date. [Please run the

ArcSDE setup utility using the -o install option.]

DBMS table not found[sde.sde.GDB_Release]


Turns out the solution was simple, this article points out that Service pack 2 is required.  After updating my ArcGIS, the problem was solved:

I was the proud, new recipient of a non-misleading error message.  After some minor head-slapping, I realized that 9.3.1 and older versions of ArcGIS are not able to connect to ArcSDE 10.  Doh!  My bad–I should have read ESRI’s clear information on this topic.  At least I never actually tried to install ArcSDe with the -o option as the first error message instructed me to do.

Workstation Arc/Info Interchange Import Error

I have been working on updating some data that was published using Arc/Info Workstation Export (.e00) files, converting them to shapefiles, or in the case of annotation, to a geodatabase feature class.

While converting some INFO tables, I have received this error:

Unable to encode the 38th item in the 65th record for the INFO file

It turns out that Workstation can create export files that contain values that did not fit within their field–I’m guessing that somehow you are actually able to enter invalid values into those fields but I did not confirm that.

The error, “Unable to encode the 38th item in the 65th record…” was only partially helpful.  The error was in the 65th record but I was not able figure out which field contained the error.  The nature assumption that it was the 38th column was incorrect, at least if you are counting from left to right.  Whatever logic that is used, is consistent, at least within a specific table, because I had numerous records with problems and when the error messages indicated it was the same item, it did turn out to be the same field.

What I ended up having to do was open the export file in my favorite text editor, locating the info for problematic record and go through the columns one-by-one, comparing the value in the text file with that in the table.  In this case, 14.1 was suppose to be the value in the WP_TIO2 field.


One thing I noticed, and this is consistent with behavior I have observed in ArcObjects in other cases, is that the record with the invalid value in a field ends up with the same value in that field as the previous record.  So in this case, the bad record has a value of 1.12 in the WP_TIO2 field because that is what previous record has.   That leads me to believe that ArcObjects is re-using a variable as it does the import, just updating each value, field-by-field.

Just to make sure that I had diagnosed the problem right, I attempted to change the value to 14.1 in an ArcMap edit session and got this message:

A look at the field properties confirmed that the field would not accept 14.1 as a value. The precision (3) means the field can hold 3 digits with 2 (the Scale) of them being right of the decimal point–leaving only one digit available to the left of the decimal point.

Once I identified the problem, I used two methods to correct it. The majority of my cases were actually cases where a psuedo-null value was being used to indicate that a field was really Null. In some cases, either -999.9 or 100 were being used. In these cases, I just substituted a different psuedo-null value (-99.9) that conformed to the field limitations. The data I was working with was not tightly controlled in the past and there were other existing records that used these value for the same fields, so I was able to do this without much concern.

Some values, however, were not nulls and I felt needed to be retained. These, I had to add a new field that could contain the values, copy the values over and then edit the ones that had caused problems during the import. Once complete, I exported the data to a new table with the new table structure I created.

ArcMap-Excel Join Error

Came across a new ArcMap bug today. A staff member was trying to join an Excel 2007 file (.xlsx) to a point shapefile in ArcMap and it did not appear to be working. She only had Office 2003 on her machine so I tried it on my spanking new machine that has 2007 installed. Same result–the fields get appended but they are all blank.

I discovered, however, that when I had the table open, if I switched form showing ALL records to only the selected, Poof!!! The values filled in. From there I was able to successfully export the data to a new shapefile that always showed the values.

I have an inkling that the file name, which contained space and other special characters, may have been a factor.

August 11, 2010 Addendum:

I was just working with some more and, after joining a table to an Excel table, having all the fields look blank, I discovered that if I close and then re-open the table all looks good–all fields have values.

Another problem I had is that even after successfully joining a table to the Excel table and creating an XY Event Theme from it, I was unsuccessful in exporting it to either a shapefile or a personal geodatabase feature class.  My personal opinion at this point would be to convert the Excel file to a different format before working with it in ArcGIS.