Network Analyst extension

Using the Network Analyst extension to ArcGIS for Server, you can publish network analysis tools and datasets to an ArcGIS Server site and expose them in desktop, web, and mobile applications. You can also use the Network Analyst extension to solve advanced routing problems on a central server, such as changing a driving route based on historical or live traffic data, and report the results to clients.

For example, with the Network Analyst extension, you can answer questions like the following:

To answer these kinds of questions using the Network Analyst extension, first you need a network dataset, which represents the transportation network. Then you can create network analysis layers on the network dataset and solve them to find solutions to network problems. The network analysis layer contains the parameters, inputs, and outputs for a network problem. There are currently six types of analyses you can perform:

The ArcGIS Help describes network datasets and network analysis in more detail. See the following topics for more information:

Working with network analysis on the server

Network analysis services are the way that you'll make network analysis available on the web. You'll create network analysis tools and datasets in ArcGIS for Desktop using the Network Analyst extension, then publish them to ArcGIS Server as network analysis services. Internal or external client applications, such as web browsers and mobile applications, can then send network problems to ArcGIS Server and receive responses that may include routes, driving directions, or other information.

Additionally, ArcGIS for Desktop users can consume network analysis services out of the box using the Find Route tool, getting simple point-to-point routing without requiring a network license. ArcGIS developers have many choices of platforms that can work with network analysis services, such as the ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight and the ArcGIS Server SOAP and REST APIs.

To learn more about network analysis on the server, see Network analysis services.