A quick tour of geoprocessing in the runtime

Geoprocessing in the runtime

Geoprocessing in the runtime provides you with a framework for answering your GIS questions. The API works with geoprocessing though geoprocessing service tasks. These tasks are either hosted online, through an ArcGIS Server, or can be hosted locally, by providing the local server with a runtime enabled geoprocessing package (GPK).

Geoprocessing services can host one or more tasks, which come from a tool, script, or model, authored in ArcGIS for Desktop and then published to ArcGIS for Server or packaged as a geoprocessing package. Tasks have a set of service parameters that define how to interact with the task and what kind of information must be passed to it in order to execute the task.

To use these geoprocessing tasks the API has a Geoprocessor Task class that requires a URL to a specific task within the geoprocessing service. The developer must populate the required parameters to run the task. When the task completes, the developer can then use the results. Results can come back in a variety of ways, so it is important to understand the different parameter types that can come back from a geoprocessing task in order to handle the results properly.

Additionally, geoprocessing tasks can return a Map Service to show the results. This allows for the display of complex data and raster data.

Geoprocessing packages

A geoprocessing package is a convenient way to share geoprocessing workflows by packaging one or more tools and the data used by the tools into a single compressed file (.gpk). All resources (models, scripts, data, layers, and files) needed to rerun the tools are included in the package. Geoprocessing packages are authored in ArcGIS for Desktop from one or more results in the Results window in ArcMap. In order for a geoprocessing package to work with the runtime local server, it must be created with ArcGIS Runtime support enabled. Not all geoprocessing tools or functionality are supported in the runtime local server. Please see the supported geoprocessing tools list.


Geoprocessing models can be created using ModelBuilder in ArcGIS for Desktop. ModelBuilder is an application you use to create, edit, and manage workflows that string together sequences of geoprocessing tools, feeding the output of one tool into another tool as input. ModelBuilder can also be thought of as a visual programming language for building workflows.

Python scripts

Python is an open-source, general-purpose programming language used as a scripting language in ArcGIS geoprocessing. Python scripts can be shared for use with the runtime as geoprocessing packages. Scripts can be turned into script tools, and then packaged into a geoprocessing package. The ArcGIS Runtime contains its own imbedded Python.