Esri have released a free ‘Development and Testing’ ArcGIS Online subscription to get developers creating apps using the platform. On top of being able to create and host their own feature and tiled services; developers can access a range of services to integrate GIS functionality into their custom apps (Native and Web).
- Directions and Routing
- Basemaps (No credit usage)
- Feature Services
- Data Enrichment
- Spatial Analysis Services
- World Traffic (No credit usage)
The key thing here is that the account includes 50 credits a month to play with – to see how far this will get you, take a look at: https://developers.arcgis.com/en/credits/.
Essentially developers are able to develop applications for 3 scenarios:
- Develop applications for members of their own organisation
- Develop applications for external clients, which will utilise their own ArcGIS Online subscription (and credits). ArcGIS Online supports OAuth 2.0 technology so apps don’t need to store user credentials: https://developers.arcgis.com/en/authentication/.
- Develop applications that pull in individual Esri services behind the scenes (the user will not need to enter in ArcGIS Online credentials). Here service credits will be consumed on the developer account. If you go down this route then you will need to upgrade to a paid plan on deployment: https://developers.arcgis.com/en/plans/
Along with the services, there is a rich amount of documentation and samples to help developers utilise them affectively: https://developers.arcgis.com/en/documentation/
So sign up for a subscription here: https://developers.arcgis.com/en/terms/faq/
For more information go here https://developers.arcgis.com/en//