What's included with ArcGIS for Server

ArcGIS for Server includes the following as parts of a server-based GIS:

Web service publishing

As soon as you install ArcGIS for Server, you get the ability to publish web services from your GIS resources such as maps, imagery, and geoprocessing models. You also get several preconfigured services described below.

Your ArcGIS Server web services are exposed through REST and SOAP and can be invoked by both Esri and non-Esri clients. Advanced developers can extend the out of the box services using server object extensions.

Preconfigured services

ArcGIS Server comes with a variety of preconfigured services that help you perform common tasks.

Caching controllers

The CachingControllers service helps process map, image, and globe caching jobs. The maximum number of instances you allow for this service determines how many cache jobs can run at one time.

The CachingControllers service works together with the CachingTools service. Both must be running in order to build caches. Both must run on the same cluster.

Caching tools

Instead of your map, globe, or image service being heavily utilized during caching, the work is offloaded to a geoprocessing service named CachingTools. This service is preconfigured in the System folder when you create your ArcGIS Server 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.

The CachingTools service is started by default. You should leave this service running so that it can respond to caching requests. If the service is stopped or unavailable, caching requests will fail. You cannot delete the CachingTools service and you must leave its execution mode as Asynchronous.

The CachingTools service works together with the CachingControllers service. Both must be running in order to build caches. Both must run on the same cluster.

Geometry service

The preconfigured Geometry service can perform geometric calculations such as buffering, simplifying, calculating areas and lengths, and projecting. It also includes functions used in web editing. If you are building a web application with the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight, or the ArcGIS web APIs, you can reference the geometry service through its REST endpoint to perform geometric calculations and editing in your web application.

The geometry service is preconfigured in the Utilities folder and is stopped by default. You must explicitly start it before you can use it.

Learn more about geometry services

Printing tools

PrintingTools is a geoprocessing service that you can deploy to help you print web maps. When you develop your web applications, for example, with the ArcGIS web APIs, you can call the PrintingTools service and get a printable image of high cartographic quality in return from a map service.

The PrintingTools service is preconfigured in the Utilities folder. It is stopped by default. You must explicitly start the PrintingTools service before you can use it.

Learn more about printing in web applications

Publishing tools

When you publish a service using Manager or ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS Server uses a geoprocessing service named PublishingTools to upload the service definition file, unpack it on the server, and deploy it for use as a service.

The PublishingTools service is preconfigured in the System folder and is started by default. You should leave this service running so that it can respond to publishing requests. If the PublishingTools service is stopped or unavailable, service publishing will fail. You cannot delete the PublishingTools service.

Reporting tools

A geoprocessing service named ReportingTools helps generate reports on the status of your map and image service caching jobs.

This service is preconfigured in the System folder and is started by default. You should leave this service running so that it is available to report the status of caching jobs. If the ReportingTools service is stopped or unavailable, you will not be able to view the status of your caching job. You cannot delete the ReportingTools service.

Sync tools

You can enable a sync capability on feature services, which allows clients to download a local copy of the data to use when offline, and synchronize changes between the client and feature service when the client is back online. These download and synchronization operations can be run synchronously or asynchronously. The SyncTools service is used when sync operations are run asynchronously.

The SyncTools geoprocessing service is preconfigured in the ArcGIS Server System folder and is started by default. You should leave this service running if you have sync-enabled feature services. If the SyncTools geoprocessing service is stopped or unavailable, sync operations will fail when run asynchronously. You cannot delete the SyncTools service.

SampleWorldCities map service

The SampleWorldCities map service is provided to allow you to preview the functionality of ArcGIS Server. You can click on thumbnail of this map service in ArcGIS Server Manager to immediately display it in a web application. You can also consume this sample in ArcGIS clients just like any other map service.

The SampleWorldCities map service is preconfigured in the Site (root) folder and is started by default. If you no longer need the service, you can delete it from your ArcGIS Server site.

Learn more about map service clients

Search service

The preconfigured Search service can create a searchable index of your organization's GIS content for use on the local network. For example, you can allow the search service to index your GIS data folders, then allow ArcMap users in your organization to reference the service when they search for data.

The search service is preconfigured in the Utilities folder and is stopped by default. You must explicitly start it before you can use it.

Learn more about search services

ArcGIS Server Manager

ArcGIS Server Manager is the application you use to work with your GIS server. From Manager, you can add and remove services, tune and secure your services, and organize services in folders. Additionally, Manager allows you to configure the machines and directories in your ArcGIS Server site and troubleshoot the GIS server using its logs.

ArcGIS Web Adaptor

The ArcGIS Web Adaptor is an optional setup that you can install to allow ArcGIS Server to work with your own web server. ArcGIS Server exposes web services through HTTP for simple development and testing scenarios, but if you want to customize the URL and port number for your site or configure security policies at the web tier, you should install the Web Adaptor.

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

ArcGIS Server Services Directory

When developing web applications, you'll occasionally need to supply URLs to some of the resources on your server. The ArcGIS Server Services Directory is a tool that uses representational state transfer (REST) technology to help you discover information about your services and the corresponding URLs that you can use for development.

The Services Directory is also an excellent way to let your server be discovered through browsing or searches. For example, through the Services Directory, users of your server can access a geographic footprint of all available services. Users can also retrieve service-level metadata about your services and preview them in a web browser, ArcMap, ArcGIS Explorer Desktop, and Google Earth.

You can open the Services Directory through the installed shortcut or by typing http://gisserver.domain.com:6080/arcgis/rest/services in a web browser.

REST API and command line utilities for server administration

The ArcGIS REST API allows you to script common server administration tasks such as adding a machine to a site, publishing a service, adding permissions, and so on. The ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory provides simple interactive access to this API. This is helpful for learning the hierarchy of commands and constructing HTTP requests to put in your scripts. Once you understand the API, you can completely manage your ArcGIS Server site with any tool or programming language that can make HTTP requests.

You can open the Administrator Directory by typing http://gisserver.domain.com:6080/arcgis/admin.

ArcGIS Server also installs a set of command line utilities that can be used in batch files. These eliminate the need to write any code for the most common administrative actions.

To learn more, see Scripting ArcGIS Server administration.

Configure ArcGIS Server Account utility

The Configure ArcGIS Server Account utility is a small application included with the ArcGIS for Server setup that allows you to quickly reconfigure the ArcGIS Server account. If you encounter a situation where you need to modify the account, such as changing its password, you can launch the utility from your ArcGIS Server installation location.

For more information, see The ArcGIS Server account.

Configurable web applications

Available as free downloads, the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex and ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight help you create a GIS web application without any programming. The viewers support a variety of Esri and non-Esri web service types, and can even embed maps that you have created using the ArcGIS.com map viewer and saved on ArcGIS Online. The viewers support printing, geoprocessing, web editing, and more.

Learn more about the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

Learn more about the ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight

Web APIs

Esri offers application programming interfaces (APIs) to help you build web and mobile apps that use your ArcGIS Server site. The ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight are fully documented with conceptual help, samples, and API reference topics, and have been designed to offer similar functionality so you can choose the platform with which you're most comfortable programming.

ArcGIS API for JavaScript

The ArcGIS API for JavaScript allows you to build interactive web GIS applications using HTML and JavaScript. All the code runs in the browser, and neither the client nor the web server needs to have any GIS software installed. One advantage of using pure JavaScript is that it does not require the user to have any browser plug-ins.

ArcGIS API for Flex

The ArcGIS API for Flex enables you to create web applications with an intuitive, visually appealing, and responsive user interface. The ArcGIS API for Flex takes full advantage of the powerful mapping, geocoding, and geoprocessing capabilities of ArcGIS Server services.

ArcGIS API for Silverlight

The ArcGIS API for Silverlight provides a cross-browser, cross-platform development environment for building and delivering interactive applications for the web. You can create interactive and expressive web applications leveraging ArcGIS Server services—such as maps, locators, and geoprocessing models—and Microsoft Silverlight components—such as grids, tree views, and charts.

ArcGIS for SharePoint

ArcGIS for SharePoint leverages the Microsoft SharePoint framework to provide configurable mapping components for use with Microsoft SharePoint sites. It is designed to work with ArcGIS Server services, ArcGIS Online services, and Microsoft Office document libraries.

Mobile APIs

Mobile devices, such as Windows Smartphones, Apple iOS devices, Android devices, Tablet PCs, and in-vehicle mounted systems, can access GIS services hosted by ArcGIS Server. These applications can help you view maps, search for locations, and do GIS analysis in the field. Esri has developed various APIs to simplify building mobile applications that work with GIS services.

For more information, see the Mobile GIS page in the ArcGIS Resource Center.


The optional extensions to ArcGIS for Server allow you to add capabilities to your system. In many cases the extensions have separate Desktop and Server offerings; the Server extension allowing for the functionality to be published through an ArcGIS Server service. Available extensions include the following:

ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension

The ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension includes a set of 3D GIS functions to create and analyze surfaces. These functions include slope, aspect, and hillshade analysis. They can be invoked on the server through geoprocessing services.

ArcGIS for INSPIRE extension

The standardized data you maintain using ArcGIS for INSPIRE can be viewed and downloaded through ArcGIS Server using the INSPIRE extension. For example, data conforming to standards in accordance with the INSPIRE implementing rules can be exposed to clients using INSPIRE network services hosted by ArcGIS Server.

For more information, see ArcGIS for INSPIRE extension.

ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension for Desktop

The ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension for Desktop allows you to author maps and geoprocessing tasks that support nonnative data sources on your desktop and publish them to ArcGIS Server. You can publish maps that contain nonnative data sources using the Data Interoperability extension's direct-read capabilities and Interoperability Connections. You can also publish geoprocessing tasks that contain conversion functions such as Quick Import, Quick Export, and custom Spatial ETL tools.


The Data Interoperability extension is not supported on ArcGIS for Server (Linux).

ArcGIS Data Reviewer extension for Server

The data quality workflows you implement using the ArcGIS Data Reviewer extension for Desktop can be made available as web services and accessed through web or mobile client applications using ArcGIS Data Reviewer extension for Server. For example, you can publish multiple types of web services to support manual and automated validation of data, data quality reporting, and error life cycle management.


ArcGIS Data Reviewer for Server is not supported on ArcGIS for Server (Linux).

ArcGIS GeoEvent Extension for Server

ArcGIS GeoEvent Extension for Server extends the capabilities of ArcGIS Server, enabling real-time event-based data streams to be integrated as data sources in your enterprise GIS. Event data can be filtered, processed, and sent to multiple destinations, allowing you to connect with virtually any type of streaming data and automatically alert personnel when specified conditions occur, all in real-time.

Esri Roads and Highways for Server

With Esri Roads and Highways for Server, you can publish your Esri Roads and Highways LRS networks and registered event layers as map services. As services, your linear referenced data can be shared to your organization. Networks and events can be consumed by any client application compatible with ArcGIS Server map services. Additionally, developers can use the ArcGIS web APIs to create web and connected mobile applications to visualize your data.


Esri Roads and Highways for Server is not supported on ArcGIS for Server (Linux).

Geoportal extension

The ArcGIS Server Geoportal extension has been replaced by Esri Geoportal Server, which is an open source server that allows you to catalog the locations and descriptions of your organization's geospatial resources in a central repository. These resources can then be published and made available on your local network and the Internet.

ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst extension

The Geostatistical Analyst extension turns your advanced geostatistical analytics produced in ArcGIS for Desktop into web services. These web services give you the tools you need to generate statistically valid surfaces and use these surfaces in GIS modeling and visualization with other ArcGIS extensions such as ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension and 3D Analyst across the web.

ArcGIS Image extension

The ArcGIS Image extension allows you to process large volumes of raster data and serve them throughout your enterprise. Image services can include datasets with different formats, projections, and resolutions. One of the key features of the image extension is that it supports image data in its native format and does not require a special format to be created.

ArcGIS Network Analyst extension

The ArcGIS Network Analyst extension provides network-based spatial analysis capabilities including routing, travel directions, closest facility, and service area analysis. Developers can use it to build and deploy custom network applications.

Portal for ArcGIS extension

Portal for ArcGIS is an extension to ArcGIS Server that allows you to share maps, applications, services, and other geographic information with people in your organization. The content that you share is delivered through a website. You can customize the website to fit your organization's look and feel.

Portal for ArcGIS puts GIS in the hands of people who might not otherwise have any experience with it. For example, Portal for ArcGIS includes geographic viewers designed for those who are just beginning with GIS. Experienced GIS users can connect to Portal for ArcGIS from ArcGIS for Desktop, developer APIs, and other applications.

To learn more what you can do with the extension and what you get with it, see What is Portal for ArcGIS? For information about how to integrate the extension with ArcGIS Server, see About using your server with Portal for ArcGIS.

ArcGIS Schematics extension

The ArcGIS Schematics extension allows you to publish schematic content to ArcGIS Server and expose that content through web applications built with the ArcGIS web APIs.

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension

The ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension allows you to publish advanced spatial datasets and models to ArcGIS Server. You can use Spatial Analyst to derive information about your raster data, identify spatial relationships, find suitable locations, calculate travel cost surfaces, and perform a wide range of additional raster geoprocessing operations on the web.

ArcGIS Workflow Manager for Server

The ArcGIS Workflow Manager for Server allows you to publish information about your GIS project workflows as web services. Once the Workflow Manager extension is enabled, Internet or intranet users can access workflows in supported clients, such as web browsers and mobile applications.


The Workflow Manager extension is not supported on ArcGIS for Server (Linux).