What's included with ArcGIS Server

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

GIS server

The GIS server hosts and manages your GIS services and is composed of two distinct parts; the server object manager (SOM) and one or more server object containers (SOCs). The SOCs host your GIS services while the SOM manages these services and provides them to clients for use.

ArcGIS Server Manager

ArcGIS Server Manager is the application you use to manage your GIS server. The functionality of Manager is derived from the ArcGIS Server installation process, which consists of two setups: GIS Services and Web Applications.

The GIS Services setup will install Services Manager, which is the portion of ArcGIS Server Manager that you can use to:

The Web Applications setup will install Applications Manager, which is the portion of ArcGIS Server Manager that you can use to:

If you want the functionality of Services Manager and Applications Manager, install both the GIS Services and Web Applications setups.


Esri offers Web application programming interfaces (APIs) that can help you build applications that use your ArcGIS Server. 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 JavaScript APIs

ArcGIS Server can be used with three JavaScript APIs for embedding access to ArcGIS Server in your Web applications. All the code runs in the browser, and neither the client nor the Web server needs to have any GIS software installed. Three JavaScript APIs are available:

ArcGIS API for JavaScript

The ArcGIS API for JavaScript is a browser based API for developing high performance, easy-to-use Web applications. The API allows you to easily embed maps in into Web pages, based on ArcGIS Server services.

ArcGIS Extension for Bing Maps

The ArcGIS Extension for Bing Maps combines the ease of mapping available in Microsoft's Bing Maps with the power of ArcGIS Server. To use this API, you will take advantage of services created with ArcGIS Server and made available to you over the Internet or your local network.

ArcGIS Extension for the Google Maps API

The ArcGIS Extension for the Google Maps API allows you to extend the Google Maps API to use ArcGIS Server services. With this extension, you can add your own data to a Google map and embed this map in your own Web page.

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 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, MapIt, and Bing Maps resources—such as maps, locators, and geoprocessing models—and Silverlight components—such as grids, treeviews, and charts.

ArcGIS configurable Web applications

Available as a free download, ArcGIS Viewer for Flex and ArcGIS Mapping for SharePoint are configurable Web applications that work with ArcGIS Server, so you can easily create functionality for GIS services on the Web without the need for programming.

ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

The ArcGIS Viewer for Flex is a ready-to-deploy, configurable Web application built on the ArcGIS API for Flex. It allows you to create your own GIS Web application without any programming. The ArcGIS Viewer for Flex is designed to work with ArcGIS Server services and ArcGIS.com, and supports Web editing.

ArcGIS Mapping for SharePoint

ArcGIS Mapping 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.com, Microsoft Office document libraries, and Esri MapIt Spatial Data Services.

Services Directory

When developing Web applications, you'll occasionally need to supply URLs to some of the resources on your server. The ArcGIS Services Directory is a tool that uses representational state transfer (REST) technology to help you discover information about your server 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, which they can open in ArcGIS Explorer. Users can also retrieve service-level metadata about your services and preview them in a Web browser, ArcMap, ArcGIS Explorer, and Google Earth.

You can open the Services Directory through the Start menu shortcut or by typing http://<server name>/<instance name>/rest/services in a Web browser.

ArcGIS Server Web ADF

ArcGIS Server comes with a Web Application Developer Framework (ADF) that contains tools for building GIS Web applications. You can drag the Web ADF controls onto a Web form to quickly create an application that does mapping, editing, geocoding, geoprocessing, and more. For advanced GIS applications, you can use the Web ADF developer libraries to leverage the power of ArcObjects.

When you install the Web ADF, it is automatically integrated into your development environment so that you can begin using it the next time you use Visual Studio, Eclipse, or NetBeans.

ArcGIS Mobile and the mobile project server

ArcGIS Mobile allows you to create and manage field projects that can be deployed to vehicle-mounted Windows devices and handheld Windows Mobile devices. These projects contain the set of map resources and tasks that are used to accomplish a variety of field workflows. When you install ArcGIS Server on your Web server, a mobile project server is created for you. The project server is represented by a new directory on your Web server, where you can store your mobile projects for deployment. To build mobile projects to go into this directory, you need to install ArcGIS Mobile. Visit the ArcGIS Mobile Help for more information.

ArcGIS Server extensions

The ArcGIS Server optional extensions allow you to add capabilities to your system and create applications leveraging advanced features. For the most recent list of extensions, see http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgisserver/extensions.html. The extensions include the following:

3D extension

The ArcGIS Server 3D extension includes a set of 3D GIS functions to create and analyze surfaces. These functions include slope, aspect, and hillshade analysis.

Spatial extension

The ArcGIS Server Spatial extension provides a powerful set of functions that allows you to create, query, and analyze cell-based raster data.

You can use the Spatial extension to derive information about your data, identify spatial relationships, find suitable locations, calculate travel cost surfaces, and perform a wide range of additional raster geoprocessing operations.

Geostatistical extension

The ArcGIS Server Geostatistical Extension turns your advanced geostatistical analytics produced in ArcGIS 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 Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst across the Web.

Network extension

The ArcGIS Server Network 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.

Geoportal extension

The ArcGIS Server Geoportal extension allows you to manage and publish metadata for your geospatial resources. It also gives users the ability to discover and connect to these resources. It supports standards-based clearing house and metadata/service directory applications.

Image extension

The 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.

Data Interoperability extension

Available as a separate install, the ArcGIS Server Data Interoperability extension enables you to easily use and distribute data in many formats.

You can use the Data Interoperability extension to directly read more than 70 spatial data formats and export to more than 50 spatial data formats. ArcGIS Server complements the Data Interoperability extension by allowing 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 the Spatial ETL tool.

Workflow Manager extension

The Workflow Manager extension for ArcGIS Server allows you to organize, centralize, and standardize project workflows.

Schematics extension

The ArcGIS Server Schematics extension provides a set of functions to allow diagram generations and updates within a Web application, along with the ability to share your schematic diagrams across your enterprise and across the Web within ArcGIS Server.

ArcPad extension

The ArcGIS Server ArcPad Extension allows you to author and publish ArcPad projects to ArcGIS Server and synchronize data between ArcPad to ArcGIS Server via any Internet connection. The ArcGIS Server ArcPad extension was introduced at the ArcPad 8.0 release. To learn more about this extension, see the ArcGIS ArcPad Help.


ArcGIS Server comes with ArcSDE, which is software that allows you to manage your GIS data in one of the following database management systems: IBM DB2, IBM Informix, SQL Server, Oracle, or PostgreSQL. ArcSDE allows you to store your data in a central database and support the concurrent multiuser editing necessary for many data management workflows.


ArcGIS.com is a Web site where you can find and use maps, applications, and tools; and share your GIS services with others. Within the site, you will find ready-made applications, such as ArcGIS.com map viewer and ArcGIS Explorer Online, that you can use to build and share GIS maps and services. You will also find a repository of useful basemaps, data, applications, and tools that you can view and use, plus communities you can join to focus your ArcGIS Server audience.

ArcGIS Resource Center

The ArcGIS Server page in the ArcGIS Resource Center is a central location on the Web where you can quickly access the most up-to-date help and information about ArcGIS Server. Here, you'll find references to the ArcGIS Server Help, ArcGIS Server Blog, forums, videos, ideas, knowledge base articles, system requirements, the ArcGIS Server Installation Guide, and more.

The ArcGIS family of products

ArcGIS Server is just one of an integrated family of GIS software products for building a complete GIS. These include ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Explorer, and ArcGIS Mobile. To learn more about these products and their relationship to each other, visit Esri.com.

Like ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Server is built on ArcObjects; a common library of shared GIS software components. ArcObjects components are software objects that have multiple developer APIs. These include Component Object Model (COM) .NET, Java, and C++. Developers can use these APIs to build applications that make use of ArcObjects functionality.

ArcObjects is at the core of all ArcGIS products, with ArcGIS Server providing the framework for running ArcObjects in a server environment. Developers can access the flexibility of ArcObjects by writing server object extensions.