What's new in ArcGIS 10.1 for Server

The architecture, functionality, and workflows used with ArcGIS for Server have seen significant changes at version 10.1. This topic highlights many of those changes and is of particular interest to users of previous versions of ArcGIS for Server.


ArcGIS for Server is now a 64-bit application

ArcGIS for Server runs as a native 64-bit application so that your GIS services can take full advantage of your hardware. This change enhances the throughput and scalability of ArcGIS for Server. Given that 64-bit hardware is the current industry standard, support for 32-bit operating systems has been discontinued.

As an exclusive 64-bit application, ArcGIS for Server requires a 64-bit Windows computing platform, such as Windows Server 2008 R2. If you are unsure whether your operating system is supported with ArcGIS for Server, see the system requirements.

Setups distinguished by Windows or Linux

Previously, two setups of ArcGIS for Server were offered: ArcGIS Server for the Microsoft .NET Framework, and ArcGIS Server for the Java Platform. At 10.1, the setups are distinguished by operating system. The two setups are now ArcGIS for Server (Windows) and ArcGIS for Server (Linux).

Simplified installation

The ArcGIS for Server installation experience has been greatly simplified to eliminate many dependencies and steps that were required in previous releases.

  • You are no longer required to install the .NET framework or a particular Java runtime.
  • Integrating with a separate web server (Microsoft IIS, WebSphere, and so on) is no longer a requirement. Installing ArcGIS for Server provides you with a ready-to-use web services-based GIS server, which includes all web management tools and applications.
  • During the setup you provide you'll be asked to provide just one account that will access your GIS resources, data, and run the ArcGIS Server service. This account is called the ArcGIS Server account. At 10.1, there is no postinstallation to complete, and there are no SOM, SOC, or ArcGIS web services accounts to configure.
  • There are no dependencies on DCOM, simplifying the configuration of firewalls within your network.

The process of creating a multiple-machine deployment of ArcGIS Server has also been simplified. You run the same installation on each machine and connect the machines using ArcGIS Server Manager.

The Getting started after install book of this help system contains topics and step-by-step instructions that can help you configure and deploy ArcGIS for Server.

Configure ArcGIS Server Account utility

Configure ArcGIS Server Account is a small utility included with the ArcGIS for Server setup that allows you to change the ArcGIS Server account. If you encounter a situation where you need to modify the account, you can launch the utility from your ArcGIS for Server installation location.

The ArcGIS Server site replaces the SOM-SOC model

In previous versions of ArcGIS Server, the GIS server was composed of two distinct parts: the server object containers (SOCs) and server object manager (SOM). SOCs hosted GIS services, while the SOM managed these services and provided them to clients for use.

In ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, the SOM-SOC model has been replaced by the ArcGIS Server site. A site is a deployment of one or more machines (GIS servers) that have ArcGIS for Server installed and work together. The 10.1 site architecture is more robust than the SOM-SOC model. It reduces the chances of failure, and simplifies the provisioning and recovery of new machines.

To learn more, see Inside an ArcGIS Server site.

ArcGIS Web Adaptor

The ArcGIS Web Adaptor is a setup that you can install to allow ArcGIS for Server to work with your own web server. ArcGIS for Server can expose REST and SOAP web services out of the box, but if you want to configure a custom URL for your site or integrate with your web server's security model, you should install the ArcGIS Web Adaptor. This component is also recommended when you configure a site with multiple machines, or when you want to tighten security on your GIS server.

For more information, see the topic About the ArcGIS Web Adaptor.

Site administration

ArcGIS Server Manager has a new look and feel

You'll use ArcGIS Server Manager as the primary tool to administer your site. Although Manager has a new look and feel, it has a lot of the same functionality as in previous releases. New features in Manager include the ability to deploy server object extensions (SOEs) and an improved interface for viewing logs.

A difference with Manager in 10.1 is that you will usually not use it to publish services. Most of the publishing can happen directly from ArcGIS for Desktop. If you need to publish something from Manager, you can create a service definition (.sd) file in ArcGIS for Desktop and transfer it to the machine running Manager. At 10.1, Manager only supports the publishing of service definitions and cannot publish other file types.

To get started using Manager, see Logging in to Manager.

Connect to ArcGIS Server with a 'Publisher' role

In previous releases of ArcGIS Server, you had to connect to the server as an administrator in order to create or update services. In 10.1 you can now assign users the publisher role. This way you can allow users to publish, stop, and start services without giving them access to advanced administrative tasks such as adding machines to a site.

Script the administration of your server

ArcGIS for Server exposes a new administrative REST API that allows you to script common actions such as adding a machine to a site, publishing a service, adding permissions, and so on. You can use the ArcGIS Server Administrator API with any programming language that supports the use of HTTP requests, such as Python, PHP, Perl, JavaScript, or PowerShell.

To learn more, see Scripting ArcGIS Server administration.

GIS server clusters help you organize hardware resources in your ArcGIS Server site

The GIS servers you have configured to participate in your site can be organized into groups, called clusters. Each cluster you create can be configured to run a dedicated subset of services. For example, if you have five machines participating in your site, you could configure one cluster of two machines to run all your map services and a second cluster of three machines (perhaps with higher processing power) to run all your geoprocessing services.

For more information about clusters, see About GIS server clusters.

New logging framework and user experience in Manager

At ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, logs are distributed among all GIS server machines participating in your site. It's recommended that you view and query the 10.1 logs using ArcGIS Server Manager or the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory, rather than attempting to sort out the logs on your own.

For more information about logging, see About server logs.

Server object extensions are deployable from Manager

Server object extensions (SOEs) allow you to extend the base functionality of ArcGIS for Server by using ArcObjects code to work with GIS data and maps. Deploying SOEs becomes a lot easier at 10.1. In your development environment, such as Eclipse or Visual Studio, you create a .soe file that encapsulates all the necessary parts of the SOE. You can transfer this .soe file between machines and deploy it in one step using ArcGIS Server Manager. The help for SOEs has been expanded and describes the entire process.

Learn more about SOEs

Set of basic services preconfigured for you

ArcGIS for Server comes with a collection of preconfigured services that you will see when you first create a site.

The SampleWorldCities map service is available to allow you to immediately preview the functionality of ArcGIS Server. You can click its thumbnail in Manager to open it in a web application. If you no longer need the service, you can delete it.

The System folder contains services used internally to perform basic operations such as map caching or publishing. Only users with Publisher and Administrator access to the server can see and use these services. These services start automatically, and you can't delete them.

The Utilities folder contains the following services which are stopped by default. If you want to use them, you'll need to explicitly start them.

  • A geometry service that allows your server to accommodate requests for geometric calculations such as buffering, simplifying, calculating areas and lengths, and projecting. For more information, see About the geometry service.
  • A PrintingTools service that generates maps for printing from your web applications. For more information, see Printing in web applications.
  • A search service that you can use to make a searchable index of your organization's GIS content available on your local network. Search services are most useful in large enterprise environments where GIS data is distributed among multiple geodatabases and file shares. For more information, see Search services.

Publishing services

ArcGIS for Desktop offers a unified publishing experience

At ArcGIS 10, you could publish GIS resources such as maps, tools, and locators to ArcGIS Server using Desktop or Manager. The method that you chose for publishing was based on a variety of factors, such as your level of permissions, experience, or personal preference. At 10.1, GIS resources that you attempt to publish to ArcGIS for Server are put through a more rigorous analysis process to make sure they are ready to be exposed on the web. You'll need to analyze your GIS resources in ArcGIS for Desktop before you can publish them to the server.

The publishing of services to on-premises or cloud-based ArcGIS for Server can be invoked directly from the main menu in ArcGIS for Desktop by choosing File > Share As > Service. Additionally, you can right-click certain GIS resources, such as a geodatabase, in ArcCatalog or the Catalog window in ArcGIS for Desktop and choose Share As Service. The items on the Share As Service dialog help you configure, analyze, and publish your GIS resource as a service to ArcGIS for Server.

To learn more about the 10.1 publishing experience, see About publishing services.

You can optionally copy your data directly to the server when publishing

At 10.1, you can optionally allow any data referenced by your GIS resource to be copied to ArcGIS Server at the time you publish a service. There are pros and cons to this approach, but it is useful when you want to completely separate the tasks of authoring and publishing services, when your datasets are small and do not change frequently, or when you are not able to log on to the cloud-based server.

For more information, see Copying data to the server.

Service definitions encapsulate your GIS resources and data for later publishing

Service definition files offer you a way to take a snapshot of your GIS resources and data and publish them as services to ArcGIS Server at a later time. This can be useful in cloud environments, in secure environments, or when the server is not immediately available.

To learn more, see About service definitions.

Data registration helps guarantee ArcGIS for Server can access your data

At 10.1, ArcGIS for Desktop offers tools that allow you to register a specific set of enterprise geodatabases and data directories with ArcGIS for Server. Data registration helps you ensure that the GIS resources and data you've made available to ArcGIS for Server are truly accessible by the server. This is often necessary in environments where you will be replicating data between an on-premises machine running ArcGIS for Desktop and a cloud-based ArcGIS for Server running on Windows or Linux.

To learn more, see About registering your data with ArcGIS for Server.

Server directories automatically exposed through virtual path, or URL

When you create a server directory (for output, jobs, cache, and so forth), it is automatically exposed through a virtual path, or URL. You no longer have to explicitly create a virtual directory on your web server and associate it with your server directory. See About server directories to learn more about this change.

Services Directory REST cache cleared automatically

Information in the ArcGIS Server Services Directory is cached so that you can have fast performance when navigating its links. In ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, if you add, remove, or modify a service, the REST cache is cleared automatically.

Detailed metadata can be applied to services

ArcGIS 10.1 for Server allows you to apply detailed metadata to your services. To do this, you use the same metadata editing interface that you are accustomed to using in ArcGIS for Desktop. In many cases, the metadata that you have applied to your map or other resource is applied automatically to the service once you publish the resource. You can then edit the metadata as desired.

The metadata you apply to your services is also available to web developers through REST.

There is no longer a distinction between MXD- and MSD-based map services

All map services now use the fast drawing engine that was associated with MSDs in previous releases. Thus, in ArcGIS for Server, there is no longer a distinction between MXD- and MSD-based map services. At 10.1, you'll simply publish your map document as a service using ArcGIS for Desktop.

To find out which functionality is supported with the map services drawing engine, see Supported functionality in map services.

Methodology for publishing geoprocessing services has changed

You create geoprocessing services by right-clicking a result in the Results window and choosing Share As > Geoprocessing Service. This opens the Share As Service step-by-step wizard and the Service Editor dialog box. For those of you that published geoprocessing services at 10.0, the major differences are:

  • Tool layers in a map document are no longer needed. In fact, creation of tool layers in 10.1 is no longer supported (you can still use them, however).
  • The option for right-clicking a toolbox and publishing to ArcGIS server has been removed—you can only publish results.
  • You don't have to edit your models to configure them as services—you use the Service Editor instead. The Service Editor gives you full control over the definition of the input and output parameters of your service.

Learn more about geoprocessing services

Map services allow clients to change layer appearance and behavior dynamically

Clients of ArcGIS for Server, such as the ArcGIS web APIs, can change layer appearance and behavior in a map service dynamically. Behaviors such as which layers will appear in a map, layer symbology, layer order and position, and labeling can be achieved on the server through the use of dynamic layers. In this way, dynamic layers can increase the amount of interaction that users are able to have with your maps.

For more information, see About dynamic layers.

Faster performance when using geocode services through REST

Performance for finding addresses and reverse geocoding using REST has been significantly improved in geocode services.

Batch geocoding using REST

In addition to finding single addresses and performing reverse geocoding, you can now do batch geocoding using REST.

Geometry service offers new options for precise buffering and measuring

The geometry service offers some new options for calculating buffers, areas, and lengths.

Geodesic buffers are now available when using the buffer method. These account for the earth's actual shape during the calculation of the buffers.

Also, when calculating lengths and areas of vector features, it's important to take the web map and its coordinate system into account. Therefore, some new calculation types have been introduced for the lengths and areasAndLengths methods:

  • Planar—The planar measurement uses 2D Cartesian mathematics to calculate area and length. In most cases, it's more accurate to use the Geodesic or PreserveShape options.
  • Geodesic—For a geodesic calculation, each line segment is interpreted as the shortest path on the surface of the earth between each pair of vertices in a polygon or polyline. If the unit for the area or length is not defined, the result is returned in meters. Use this calculation type if you want to know the geodesic length or area for a geometry. If you want to calculate the length or area for the geometry drawn on the map, use PreserveShape.
  • PreserveShape—In a PreserveShape calculation, areas and lengths for polygons or polylines are calculated on the surface of the earth's ellipsoid. The shape of the geometry is preserved in its coordinate system. This means regardless of the web map's coordinate system (geographic or projected), the geometry drawn on the map is always preserved when the area and length is calculated. For example, if you draw a long line across a flat world map, a geodesic measurement would give the length of the shortest path on the earth's surface between the two ends of the line, whereas the PreserveShape measurement would give the length along the exact line you drew (even though that line might not be the shortest path between the ends of the line).

Network extension improvements include live traffic support, as well as service area and vehicle routing tools

At 10.1, the Network Analyst extension adds live traffic capabilities, so now you can use current traffic conditions for visualization and network analysis purposes. Also, new geoprocessing tools facilitate creating and working with service-area and vehicle-routing-problem web services.

These new features, as well as others, are listed below:

  • Geoprocessing tools to support live traffic
  • Generate Service Area geoprocessing tool
  • Solve Vehicle Routing Problem geoprocessing tool
  • The Network Analyst module (Python)
  • Support for Python scripts in evaluators
  • Copy Traversed Source Features geoprocessing tool
  • Better support for real-time routing of moving vehicles

See What's new in the Network Analyst extension for more information.

OGC WPS and WMTS specifications are now supported

ArcGIS for Server now supports WPS (Web Processing Service) and WMTS (Web Map Tile Service) specifications as part of the OGC web services lineup for 10.1. WPS is a specification for serving and executing geospatial processing on the web and works in conjunction with geoprocessing services. WMTS is a specification for serving digital maps using cached image tiles, which are automatically provided through a cached map service.

See OGC support in ArcGIS for Server to learn more about OGC services at 10.1.

New platforms and technologies for services

This section describes some of the new platforms and technologies for publishing services with ArcGIS. Some of these are not included in the ArcGIS for Server installation, but they are new at 10.1, and it's important for you to know about them as potential supplements or replacements for your existing architecture.

Spatial Data Server

The ArcGIS Spatial Data Server is a small-footprint server that lets you serve the geometries, attributes, symbols, and template information for vector data stored in a database or geodatabase to your browser or custom client application. The Spatial Data Server exposes one service type: feature service. You write or build client applications to draw spatial features through the feature service.

The Spatial Data Server is appropriate when you want to place your spatially enabled enterprise data on a map without having to install ArcGIS for Server.

Separate installations of the Spatial Data Server are available for .NET and Java.

ArcGIS Online hosted services

You can now publish services directly to ArcGIS Online, an Esri-hosted cloud. When you publish to ArcGIS Online, you don't have to install any special software to publish to ArcGIS Online. In fact, you can publish services to ArcGIS Online directly from ArcGIS for Desktop.

The types of services you can publish to ArcGIS Online are tiled map services and vector feature services. When you publish a feature service, you can choose to make it available for web editing. When you publish a tiled map service, the tiles are built and stored in the cloud.

In order to publish services to ArcGIS Online, you must have an organizational subscription to ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Server on Amazon Web Services

The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) allows you to deploy software on virtual machines running in Amazon's data centers. You can quickly deploy ArcGIS for Server on Amazon EC2 using an Esri-provided Amazon Machine Image (AMI). The revised architecture of ArcGIS for Server, described elsewhere in this document, yields a better experience when publishing services, creating caches, and performing asynchronous geoprocessing in the Amazon EC2 environment.

Prior to 10.1, it was required that you use the AWS Management Console or a third-party administrative application to set up ArcGIS for Server on Amazon EC2. At 10.1, Esri created the ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services for setting up a site on Amazon EC2. Advanced users can still choose to use the AWS Management Console.

For more information, visit the ArcGIS Server on Amazon Web Services page on the ArcGIS Resource Center.

Caching services

You can define and build a cache at the time you publish a service

You can choose to define your cache tiling scheme and other parameters before you even publish the service. All the caching properties are available on the Service Editor, whether you've published the service yet or not. The initial dialog box for defining a cache has been simplified, with more advanced properties being relegated to another dialog box.

If you click Analyze Analyze, this allows you to see any warnings about potential problems with your tiling scheme.

New options in 10.1 allow you to build the cache at the time you publish the service, a convenient choice when you're caching just a small area or your tiling scheme's smaller scales.

You can get estimates of cache size before you start building tiles

When you first define your cache, you can click Calculate Cache Size to get an estimate of the amount of disk space your cache will require. You can also use this figure to get a better guess of the time required to create your cache. This will help you make a better decision about whether to create tiles automatically when you publish.

You can cache image services

You can create server-side caches of tiles for image services in the same way that you can create caches for map services. You use the same tools that are used for map caching to do this.

You can define your caching area of interest manually

When running the caching tools in ArcMap, you can just draw a polygon on the screen to define the area to be cached. Of course, you can always choose to supply a feature class as in previous versions.

Caching jobs are offloaded to a geoprocessing service

Instead of your map, globe, or image service being heavily utilized during caching, the work has been offloaded to a geoprocessing service named CachingTools. This service is configured for you when you create your site. You can confine the CachingTools service to run within a defined cluster of machines, thus freeing up other machines in your site to quickly respond to service requests.

See Allocation of server resources to caching.

You don't have to leave ArcGIS open while you cache

Using 10.1, you can request that your caching jobs run asynchronously. This means you can submit a large caching job to the server and close any running ArcGIS applications, such as ArcMap, without interrupting tile creation. At any time, you can re-open ArcGIS and request a status report on your job or suspend caching.

You can get detailed status reports on your cache as it builds

For any cached map, you can now request a report showing level-by-level statistics of cache completion status. You can also view the status of each caching job you've submitted.

See Viewing cache completion status.

Easier context menus are available for caching

When a service has a cache defined, you can now right-click it in the Catalog tree and choose Manage Cache to access a variety of caching tools.

Caches expose minimum and maximum cached scales

Another addition is the concept of Minimum Cached Scale and Maximum Cached Scale. This allows you to define a range of scale levels in your tiling scheme at which tiles can be created. The remaining scales still exist in your tiling scheme, but users of the caching tools cannot create tiles at those levels unless you change the minimum or maximum cached scale.

For example, to be interoperable with other cached web services, you might choose to use the ArcGIS Online / Bing Maps / Google Maps tiling scheme for your cache. However, you might not ever want to create tiles at the two largest scales (approximately 1:1100 and 1:2200). You can set the maximum cached scale at 1:4500 to prevent anyone from creating tiles at a larger scale.

When you choose to share your map as a service, ArcGIS Server reads your map and attempts to suggest a minimum and maximum cached scale based on the scale ranges and extents used in your map document. You are welcome to deviate from these suggestions.

New PNG format saves space while maintaining visual quality

The new PNG cache image format examines each tile as it's built and determines the most efficient bit depth for the PNG. Although this causes tile creation to take longer, it results in smaller caches while preserving excellent visual quality. You can still explicitly choose the formats of PNG8, PNG24, or PNG32 if don't want to use the new PNG format.


ArcGIS 10.1 for Server is the last release to offer the Web ADF for Microsoft .NET and Java. The ADF is available through a separate installation called ArcGIS Web Applications.

If you have developed a web ADF application in previous releases of ArcGIS Server, consider migrating your application to use the ArcGIS web APIs or the ArcGIS configurable viewers. Consult the help topic Migration to ArcGIS 10.1 for Server for more information on how to migrate your web application to the web APIs.

If you are interested in building web applications at ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, see the following topics:

ArcGIS API for JavaScript

ArcGIS API for Flex

ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

ArcGIS API for Silverlight

ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight

ArcGIS Web Applications Manager

When you install ArcGIS Web Applications, you also get the former component of ArcGIS Server Manager that allowed you to create a web ADF-based application using a wizard. This is called ArcGIS Web Applications Manager.

Availability of local connections to the server in the web ADF

Within web ADF applications, you cannot make local or Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) connections to 10.1 sites. Local connections were previously used for the purposes of web editing and working with fine-grained ArcObjects. At ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, ArcObjects can be used to extend the server through Server Object Extensions (SOEs) without the need for a local connection. If you want to build a web editing application, you can use feature services in conjunction with the ArcGIS web APIs, the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, and the ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight.

What is a server object extension?

What is a feature service?

Related Topics