During the user conference, Cityworks showcased the changes and enhancements that have been made to their platform over the last 18 months. They also informed attendees of their intended direction (Product Roadmap) and release schedule. This gives organizations an opportunity to plan for what’s coming in the future, both near and long-term. Below are some of the topics discussed:
Software Development Direction
Cityworks announced a couple major changes in terms of the direction of their platform. First is “wigitization” of their software. In other words, functions of Cityworks that are outside of the core Office functionality are going to become (and have already started becoming) their own “apps”. These apps are developed on the same responsive/HTML5 framework as Respond and can have their user interfaces (UI) customized without XML manipulation (does not apply to office or field/tablet modes) via the new “Cityworks Style” app. The reason for doing this is so that each app can have their own development and release cycle independent of the core Cityworks software. This allows bug fixes and enhancements to be pushed out much sooner. Here is a list of all Cityworks Apps:
- Migrating from Office to an App
- New Apps
- Existing Apps
- Performance Budgeting
- Web Map Manager
- Operational Insights
Users will be able to switch between apps using the “My Apps” section of the user settings.
The second major change that was announced was a project that Cityworks termed “Cityworks Athena.” By the looks of this, I believe this is going to fundamentally change the way that Cityworks is implemented, configured and used moving forward (in a good way!). Without getting technical, this project essentially will allow users to build and deploy their own Cityworks widgets. The image to the right is an example of what can be done. This would be a single page for a call-taker that includes the map and the entry form for creating a new service request. They could use this without ever having to interact with Cityworks Office. It also streamlines their workflow.
This provides a way to make Cityworks your own without the limits of XML updates.
The graphic below illustrates the release schedule for 2018. Most notably, 15.3 will be launched very soon (June) and 15.4 is scheduled to be released prior to the end of the year. You can also see how the widgetization allows for each app to be on its own development cycle.
It was also mentioned that service packs will be released more rapidly and ONLY include bug fixes, not enhancements. This will allow organizations to install the service packs without having to worry about impacting end-users workflows (we still recommend you test these prior to a production install).
Across the various tools in Cityworks, there are a number of specific enhancements that were highlighted.
- Office mode is getting a UI update in one of the upcoming versions. Nothing too different from the existing, just some improvements to make it more user-friendly.
- There are a couple new map tools (15.2.6+)
- Split line tool
- Choose which segment to keep the original attributes/work history. Can also choose to associate work history to both new segments
- Will honor any established geometric network and topology rules
- Can split the line with a feature
- Enhanced searching
- Includes advanced querying capabilities – much like the select by attributes tool in ArcMap
- You can choose to only show layers that are defined as assets in Cityworks when searching
- Filter by Map Extent
- Search for work activities in the map and filter further by saved searches
- Split line tool
- Moved to its own app
- Allows the scanning of a bar-codes with a device camera and has a quick-button to access this function
- Integration with full-service barcoding systems (Radley Barcoders)
- Adding attachments to transactions (i.e. issues, receives) is in development
Native Mobile Apps
Cityworks continues to improve their native mobile applications. What were once very limited and simple apps, are now very powerful but still intuitive and easy-to-use for field operators. Enhancements to the apps include:
- A partial sync option. This will sync only updates when users select the sync button, which allows for quicker response time
- An inbox sorted by work type (WO, SR, Inspection, Case) and grouped by saved searches (if used)
- A free-form search bar in the inbox that will allow users to filter results
- The ability to create Service Requests
- The ability to create linked Work Orders and Inspections
- The ability to add assets to an existing Work Order
- Create Work Orders on multiple assets
- A display of related work activities
- More editable fields (e.g. submit to, priority)
- Integration with ESRI apps (if configured)
- The ability to use vector tiled map service.
- Editable Universal Custom Fields (UCFs)
- Includes a GIS validation option, which essentially just checks for duplicates
- Scores calculated by the tool can now be written to the GIS.
- Moving from an Excel-based solution to an ESRI Insights solution
- Still supported with Excel 2013
Cityworks recently re-designed MyCityworks.com and it is now running at: https://mycityworks.force.com/ . You can also access this by going to Cityworks.com and clicking on the MyCityworks option in the top-right. The old MyCityworks site is still up, and we didn’t hear anything regarding is discontinuation.