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Mastering ArcGIS Server Development with JavaScript by Ken Doman

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Developing against an ArcGIS Online webmap

If your organization is happy with the webmaps and tools offered by ArcGIS Online, you could potentially run your public facing GIS from the website and never develop another tool. Sometimes you need custom functionality. Sometimes you need an application that makes custom requests from other data sources when you click on a map. Maybe you need a complicated query page or a query builder to collect results. Whatever your specialized needs, you can bring the ArcGIS Online webmap to your custom app.

What does using an AGOL webmap do for your application? It cuts out many of the map configuration steps. All the tiled, dynamic, and feature layers we would normally hardcode in the application can now be mashed ...

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