Introducing ArcGIS for Server

ArcGIS for Server takes the GIS resources you’ve always used on your desktop, and shares them as open web services that can be used in a wide variety of devices and apps. It's eventually an on premises private GIS server for your organization. Types of GIS services you can publish with ArcGIS for Server include:

  • Map services
  • Image services
  • Feature services
  • Geoprocessing services
  • Geocoding services
  • Globe services
  • Geometry services

For example, you can take an ArcMap document and create a map service from it. You can share this service through common web protocols for easy access and integration, for example, using REST, KML, and OGC specifications such as WMS. These GIS services are then combined and integrated for use in all kinds of applications—desktop applications, web browsers, mobile clients, and tablets.

ArcGIS for Server supports workgroup, departmental, and enterprise GIS implementations, as well as cloud GIS deployments.

ArcGIS for Server is centrally managed, supports multiple users, provides access to rich GIS functionality, and is built using industry standards.

ArcGIS for Server includes the following:

  • A set of comprehensive GIS and map services and tasks
  • Open, standards-based, web service interfaces
  • An administrative console for setting up and managing your server
  • Enterprise geodata and image management using a number of DBMSs and file types
    • Oracle
    • SQL Server and SQL Server Express
    • DB2
    • Informix
    • PostgreSQL
    • Netezza

You can access your GIS web services in, desktop, mobile, and browser-based applications and combine them with services shared using ArcGIS Online.

Standards-based services that are easy to integrate

ArcGIS for Server is engineered from first principles to support widely adopted web standards. Publishing your information using ArcGIS for Server enables your content to be easily used in numerous settings without any heavy lifting.

ArcGIS for Server leverages standard web interfaces for all services, including:

  • REST, using the GeoServices REST Specification
  • SOAP XML
  • KML
  • OGC services, including WMS, WCS, WFS, WPS, and WMTS.
  • SQL for multiuser geodatabase management

High performance web maps

ArcGIS for Server includes tools for making tile caches for your web maps. Regenerating your maps in this way allows you to incorporate top-of-the-line cartography without worrying about performance drawbacks at runtime. You can get size estimates and progress reports as you build your caches, helping you to allocate your server resources appropriately toward the caching job.

Geodatabase management

ArcGIS for Server includes capabilities for managing multiuser geodatabases in a number of DBMSs. When you need a large multiuser geodatabase that can be edited and used simultaneously by many users or that can be synchronized across many copies (replicas) of the database, the geodatabase provides a good solution.

ArcGIS for Server adds the ability to manage shared, multiuser geodatabases as well as support for a number of critical multiuser database workflows. The ability to leverage your organization's enterprise relational database is a key advantage.

Geodatabases take full advantage of underlying DBMS architectures to support the following:

  • Extremely large, continuous GIS databases
  • Many simultaneous users
  • Long transactions and versioned workflows
  • Relational database support for GIS data management (providing the benefits of a relational database for scalability, reliability, security, backup, integrity, and so forth)
  • SQL types for spatial in all supported DBMSs (Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Informix, and DB2)
  • High performance that can scale to a very large number of users

DBMSs are efficient at retrieving and working with records containing the type of large geometry elements required for GIS data. In addition, GIS database sizes can be much larger, and the number of supported users greater, than with file-based GIS datasets.

These enterprise geodatabases are enabled using the ArcSDE technology that is part of ArcGIS for Server. For information about the ArcSDE geodatabase architecture and how ArcSDE geodatabases leverage relational database technology, review the book of help topics starting with The architecture of a geodatabase.

Connections to external DBMSs

Many GIS users want to integrate data coming from any external DBMS into their GIS. ArcGIS for Server includes capabilities to connect to, query, apply, and update spatial information from any external relational database.

Image Management

You can manage and serve massive image collections with ArcGIS for Server. Staging and opening up access to your image services is rapid and efficient. Access and performance is unprecedented.

Supported platforms and cloud computing environments for ArcGIS for Server

You can deploy ArcGIS for Server on premises using your own servers, or in the cloud using Amazon EC2. ArcGIS for Server runs in both Windows and Linux environments.

Instead of installing and managing ArcGIS for Server, you can alternatively subscribe to an organizational license for ArcGIS Online to publish services in a hosted environment managed by Esri. ArcGIS Online currently supports feature services and tiled map services. You can publish these to ArcGIS Online directly from ArcMap.