ArcGIS Server

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ArcGIS Server
Esri-10GlobeLogo sRGB .png
Developer(s) Esri
Stable release 10.0 / June 2010
Operating system Windows, Solaris, Linux
Type GIS
License Proprietary
Website ArcGIS Server product page

ArcGIS Server is part of the ArcGIS product suite developed by Esri that creates the ability to share data and maps through GIS Services. The services created by ArcGIS Server can be used in Desktop, Web, or Mobile applications. Starting at the 9.2 version of ArcGIS Server, the spatial data management software (formerly known as ArcSDE) that is central to building an enterprise GIS is included in this product.

ArcGIS Server supports software development on the  Microsoft.NetFramework and the Java Platfrom. ArcGIS Server supports interoperability standards such as OGC and W3C. Several services like Mapping, Geocoding , Geodata , Geoprocessing, Globe, and Network Analyst services are available via a SOAP and a REST API. The several services also support the OGC defined standards like WMS, WFS, WFS-T, WCS and KML.

ArcGIS Server is part of a general trend in GIS development to abstract data delivery mechanisms from physical storage formats. In the services paradigm, services are consumed by applications through a specified interface. ArcGIS Server provides several additional SDK to build WebApplications: JavaScript, Flex, Silverlight, .NET based and Java based applications. The product also introduces Representational State Transfer (REST), that provides a simple, open Web interface to services hosted by ArcGIS Server. All resources and operations exposed by the REST API are accessible through a hierarchy of endpoints or Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) for each GIS service published with ArcGIS Server.

Accounts used by the GIS server

The SOM account

The SOM account runs the Server Object Manager Windows service. This process manages the container processes on the container machines as well as the GIS server's configuration information and log files. Consequently, the SOM account has privileges to write to the locations where the server configuration information and log files are stored (<ArcGIS Server install location>\server folder). It also has privileges to start container processes on the container machines.

The SOC account

Container processes actually host the services and do the work. Container processes are started by the server object manager but run as the SOC account. Therefore, the SOC account must have read access to any GIS resources (maps, locators, data) that preconfigured and application-specific services require to do their work. In addition, the SOC account must have write access to the server directories of the GIS server so that services running in container processes can write their output. These aspects of the SOC account are important for administering your site, especially when considering privileges on shared network drives, and so on.

One important aspect of the SOC account is that, since the container processes run as that account, a user who connects to the GIS server can do anything that the SOC account can do. Because developers are free to create their own objects on the server, they have access to a wide range of functionality, including the ability to read data that the SOC account has read privileges on. More important, developers can edit, delete, and otherwise affect files that the SOC account has write privileges to.

It can be dangerous to use a domain account with many privileges as the SOC account for your GIS server. The SOC account should only have enough privileges to access necessary data and perform the task of running services. The ArcGIS Server installation can create SOC accounts with the following minimum privileges on each container machine:

  • Ability to start and activate container processes
  • Write access to the system temp directory

It is up to the GIS server administrator to grant this account access to any necessary data and write privileges to the server's output directories.

The ArcGIS Web Services account

The ArcGIS Web Services account is used to process Web service requests on the GIS server. This account is used internally by the Web server to communicate with the GIS server when a user makes an Internet connection.

Like the SOM and SOC accounts, you can either specify an existing account or have the postinstall create the account for you.

You will be asked to enter the ArcGIS Web Services account when you run the Web Applications Post Install on the Web server machine and when you run the GIS Server Post Install on the SOM. You should enter the same account information on the SOM as you do on the Web server. The postinstall will add the account to the agsadmin group on the SOM.

You can use either a local or domain account for the ArcGIS Web Services account. Using a domain account for the ArcGIS Web Services account does not pose the same security risk as it does for SOM and SOC accounts, as long as you do not give the domain account any privileges other than inclusion in the agsadmin group.

If you're using a local account for the ArcGIS Web Services account, you must use the operating system tools to manually create the account on any SOC machine that does not have the SOM or Web Applications components installed. When you create the account, enter the same name and password for the account that you used on the other machines in your system.

Available ArcGIS Server APIs

ArcGIS Server Extensions

External links