ArcGIS for Server

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ArcGIS for Server
Esri-10GlobeLogo sRGB .png
Developer(s) Esri
Stable release 10.1 / June 2012
Operating system Windows Server, Linux
Platform 64-bit only
Type GIS
License Proprietary
Website ArcGIS for Server product page

ArcGIS for Server (previously known as ArcGIS Server) is a 64-bit core component software application of the ArcGIS product suite developed by Esri that allows users to share their Geographic Information System (GIS) resources with users across an enterprise or over the web through secure and reliable web services. ArcGIS for Server offers services for all GIS related work such as mapping, geocoding, geoprocessing, imagery analysis, 3D data, network analysis, mobile data extraction, and serving geographic features. Users can host GIS resources on ArcGIS for Server and allow sharing with tablets, smartphones, laptops, desktop workstations, and any other devices that can connect to web services. Sharing ArcGIS for Server web services with ArcGIS Online ensures other users can consume and leverage the GIS resources. ArcGIS for Server also gives users access to a broad suite of security, logging, and tuning options.

With ArcGIS for Server, users can:

  • Deliver maps and GIS services - Users get complete control and centralized management over how and where their GIS services are delivered.
  • Respond to the demand for GIS - Users are provided with a scalable GIS server platform that gives them total supervision of all their maps and GIS services.
  • Power applications with GIS - Users' existing enterprise applications have access to powerful GIS capabilities and server-side processing.
  • Easily scale their servers by adding more machines.
  • Deploy their server on-premises or in a cloud computing environment.
  • Use many supported data types with access to optional extensions for network analysis, data interoperability, geostatistical analysis, and more.
  • Extend the functionality of their services using custom ArcObjects development through a scriptable administrative Application Programming Interface API.


ArcGIS Server was renamed to ArcGIS for Server with the release of version 10.1 of the ArcGIS product suite, in line with Esri's rebranding exercise.[1] With ArcGIS for Server version 10.1, its architecture, functionality, and workflows have seen significant changes as well.

32-bit to 64-bit

ArcGIS for Server now runs as a native 64-bit application, as 64-bit hardware is the current industry standard, and has discontinued support for 32-bit operating systems. This change enhances the throughput and scalability of ArcGIS for Server. As an exclusive 64-bit application, ArcGIS for Server requires 64-bit computing platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 R2.

Operating System Setup

In previous ArcGIS Server versions, two setups of ArcGIS Server were offered: ArcGIS Server for the Microsoft .NET Framework, and ArcGIS Server for the Java Platform.

In ArcGIS for Server 10.1, the setups are distinguished by operating system with ArcGIS for Server (Windows) and ArcGIS for Server (Linux).

System Requirements

The ArcGIS for Server installation experience has been greatly simplified to eliminate many dependencies and steps that were required in previous releases, as per the following:

  • Users no longer need to install the .NET framework or a Java runtime.
  • ArcGIS for Server is a ready-to-use web services-based GIS server, which includes all web management tools and applications. Integrating with a separate web server (Microsoft IIS, WebSphere, etc.) is no longer required.
  • Only one ArcGIS Server account is required to access the GIS resources, data, and run the ArcGIS Server service. There is no postinstallation to complete, and there are no SOM, SOC, or ArcGIS web services accounts to configure.
  • ArcGIS for Server has no dependencies on DCOM, simplifying the configuration of firewalls.

Supported Platforms

ArcGIS Server requires a 64-bit operating system and Python 2.7 (64-bit). The following are the supported platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012
  • Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (64-bit only)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6
  • SUSE Linux 11 Enterprise Server
  • Ubuntu - when deploying on Amazon Web Services

Supported Databases

ArcGIS for Server supports the following databases:

  • IBM DB2
  • IBM Informix
  • IBM Informix Dynamic Server
  • IBM Netezza
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server Express
  • Microsoft Windows Azure SQL
  • Oracle
  • PostgreSQL

Supported Environments

All components of ArcGIS for Server are fully supported on virtual environments as long as they run on supported platforms, while hardware requirements vary based on users' development or production environments.


ArcGIS for Server consists of the following components.[2] :

  • GIS Server - This is the core software that installs on a server machine and enables an ArcGIS Server site to be created. An ArcGIS Server site is an instance of ArcGIS for Server that can share GIS resources as web services.
  • Web Adaptor - The Web Adaptor is a lightweight application that allows to integrate ArcGIS for Server with the organization's existing web server architecture.
  • ArcSDE technology - This is a separate software that users can install to manage connections to their enterprise geodatabases.

An installation of ArcGIS for Server is called an ArcGIS Server site. An ArcGIS Server site can consist of a single machine, several machines (a multi-machine deployment), or part of a cloud solution. Regardless of how it is physically deployed, its capabilities are the same. An ArcGIS Server site has three main components:

  • ArcGIS Server Manager - A web browser-based application that enables users to administer the site by managing web services, configuring site properties, and viewing logs.
  • Services Directory - A web browser-based view of all the GIS resources that are available from the site. A GIS resource, such as a map, geoprocessing model, or locator, is shared from the ArcGIS for Server site as a web service. These web services communicate through a Representational State Transfer (REST) -based architecture.
  • ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory - Commonly called the REST Admin API, it is a web browser-based view of the ArcGIS Server site's configuration settings. It provides a programmatic endpoint to administer the site. Automated scripts can be written (in Python, for example) to remotely access and configure the site.

ArcGIS for Server is offered in Basic, Standard, and Advanced editions that provide increasing license levels of functionality. The Basic edition includes geometry services, geodatabase management, the ability to publish geodata services, and feature services for map visualization and query (no editing). The Standard edition includes all the features of the Basic Edition plus GIS web services, web-based editing using feature services, and the Schematics extension. Users can also publish geoprocessing services from any tools included in ArcGIS for Desktop Standard. The Advanced edition includes all the features from the other two editions as well as the ability to publish geoprocessing services from any of the tools included in ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced. It also includes all types of GIS web services, a mobile applications SDK, and four additional powerful analytic extensions.


  1. A Note About Names. ArcNews (Esri). Summer 2011. Accessed 24 April 2013
  2. ArcGIS for Server Architecture. ArcUser (Esri). Spring 2013. Accessed 24 April 2013

External Links