What's new in ArcGIS Server 10

ArcGIS Server 10 includes a number of improvements to performance, data access, editing, search, map cache management, and more. Some of the highlights are listed below along with links that will lead you to more information.


This section lists general changes and improvements to ArcGIS Server at version 10.

More flexibility in the installation process

The ArcGIS Server 10 installation process now consists of two setups: GIS Services and Web Applications. This gives you more flexibility when choosing which components to install.

GIS Services

The GIS Services setup includes Server Object Manager (SOM), Server Object Container (SOC), Python, Web Services (SOAP, REST), and the portion of Manager that allows you to create and administer GIS services. If you intend to exclusively create, publish, and host services, such as map services and search services on your GIS server, you only need to install ArcGIS Server 10 GIS Services.

Web Applications

The Web Applications setup includes the Web Applications Developer Framework (ADF), ArcGIS Applications and ArcGIS Web APIs shortcuts, and the portion of Manager that allows you to build a Web ADF application using a wizard.

See the ArcGIS Server 10 Installation Guide for complete details on how to install the GIS Services and Web Applications setups.

Data extraction tools

The Server toolbox has been expanded with a Data Extraction toolset. These tools help you expose interactive data downloads, and are primarily intended to be published as ArcGIS Server geoprocessing services. They are similar to the various "clip, zip, and ship" examples that have been documented in previous versions of ArcGIS Server. Some of the tools can even e-mail the data to the recipient.

Increased monitoring of SOC processes

A new process, ArcSOCMon.exe, runs on each server object container (SOC) machine, monitoring the state of the SOC processes. This increased monitoring results in faster recovery when the SOM comes back online after unplanned downtime.

Logging offloaded to SOCs

Log files are now kept on each SOC machine by the ArcSOCMon process. Offloading the logging to the individual SOCs is a more scalable approach than was used in previous versions, in which the SOM kept one log file for all messages. You can use Manager or the ArcObjects Server API to generate a chronological list of log messages compiled from all SOC machines.

Option for log file cleanup

A new property for log files allows you to specify the maximum number of logs that are allowed to exist in your log directory. When the limit is exceeded, the server removes the oldest log. This prevents your log directory from becoming too big.

Checks for invalid data connections

You can now optionally configure your services to be checked periodically for invalid connections when the services sit idle. If you have configured these checks and a broken connection to ArcSDE is detected while the service is idle, the server will repair the problem immediately. This prevents users from encountering unresponsive services if the connection to the database is interrupted overnight or during other periods of downtime.

Improved help search

The Search tab of the help now uses ranking logic to list the most relevant topics at the top of the results.


This section lists the new services available with ArcGIS Server 10 and some of the changes to existing services.

Feature service added

ArcGIS Server 10 introduces feature services, which expose access to vector feature geometries and attributes. A great benefit of feature services is the ability to expose feature editing through JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight applications. Feature services are published from map documents, and the source datasets are required to reside in a single ArcSDE geodatabase.

Search service added

Search services allow you to index GIS content and folders throughout your enterprise and make them easily findable by users. Your intranet clients can then use the updated search interface in ArcGIS Desktop to connect to your search service and find useful content. They can then drag the results into their maps.

Search services are most useful for scenarios where browsing to the data would be cumbersome because of the sheer volume of the data or the distribution of the data through many folders and geodatabases.

Geometry service expanded to facilitate Web editing

The geometry service exposes a number of new methods to help with geographic feature editing. These are especially useful in Web editing scenarios. Some of the editing widgets exposed in the Web APIs require a reference to a geometry service for this reason. New operations include:

  • Auto complete
  • Convex hull
  • Cut
  • Densify (was not available in REST at 9.3.1)
  • Difference
  • Distance
  • Generalize
  • Intersect
  • Offset
  • Reshape
  • Trim / Extend
  • Union

MSD-based services support Maplex, cartographic representations, and new layer types

The map service definition (MSD) is a type of file that can be used to publish a map for fast dynamic drawing by ArcGIS Server. MSDs support a subset of ArcGIS mapping features that is growing with each release. ArcGIS 10 adds support for cartographic representations and the Maplex labeling engine in MSD-based services.

These features are computationally intensive by nature and are only recommended when using MSD-based services to create map cache tiles. However, judicious use of cartographic representations and Maplex can contribute to an effective, visually-appealing map cache.

Several new map layer types in ArcGIS 10 are available through MSD-based services, including query layers, parcel fabric layers, and mosaic layers. Stand-alone tables are also accessible through MSD-based services.

Map services support time-aware layers

ArcGIS offers time-aware layers that store information about the state of a dataset over periods of time. You can make many of your layers time aware using ArcMap. When you publish your map to ArcGIS Server, the time-aware information is preserved and is accessible through the map service. You can use this information to change the display of your maps or perform temporal queries.

Map services expose feature attachments

ArcGIS 10 introduces feature attachments, which is a way to upload and associate files with certain geographic features in your map. Examples of attachments could include TXT, PDF, or image files that contain supplemental information about the feature. When you publish your map as a service, clients can see and download the attachments.

Clients can also upload and delete attachments if you enable the Feature Access capability on the map service.

Map services expose symbology information

Map services now contain information about the renderers and symbology used for drawing vector features in your map. This information is especially helpful when displaying layers in a Web client that you might build with the ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript, Flex, or Silverlight. You can assign client-side graphics the symbology that you retrieve from the map service, instead of fabricating your own symbology for the graphics.

Map services expose subtypes and domains

Enforcing data integrity when working with map services is now easier because of added support for subtypes and domains. Subtypes and domains offer a way to organize your data so that certain operations, such as editing, become more efficient while the integrity of the attributes is maintained. For instance, if you are performing a Web editing session on a county zoning infrastructure database, you could choose the desired subtype, such as City, then choose from the appropriate domain, such as Residential, Commercial, or Industrial. The domain description Residential is available for display instead of the coded value R.

Map services expose relates and stand-alone tables

Map services now expose information about relates and stand-alone tables. Relates simply define a relationship between two tables without appending the associated data in each table. In many cases, the relates point toward stand-alone tables, which lack geometry but often contain valuable attribute information. For example, if you published a map that contained relates between city parcels and a stand-alone table of parcel owners, you could utilize search, query, and identify tasks to return the owners and locations of the parcels.

For a complete list of supported stand-alone table types, see the data types section of the help topic Supported functionality in MSD-based map services.

Map services support querying of raster fields

Map services now support querying of raster fields. Suppose you maintain a vector dataset of street lights in your city. On this dataset, you've created a field of type Raster to store a picture for each street light. Through the map service's new method QueryRasterValue, you can retrieve the picture to display in your client.

Maximum record count property increased and exposed in ArcCatalog and Manager

The default number of records ArcGIS Server allows a service to return in response to a query has been raised to 1,000. Previously, the only way to change this number was to manually edit the service configuration file. Now, this property is exposed in the service properties in ArcCatalog and Manager.

Serve mosaic datasets

Mosaic datasets are a new dataset that can be served as an image service or inside a globe or map service. There are also additional capabilities to query and interact with image services derived from mosaic datasets.

Enhanced image service parameters

The image service properties page now allows you to control a greater number of default service parameters. This gives you more control over the amount of data a user can request, the type of information that can be requested, and the allowable mosaic and compression methods.

  • Maximum image size per request
  • Maximum number of rasters per mosaic
  • Default resampling method
  • Allowed compressions
  • Allowed mosaic methods
  • Maximum number of records returned per request
  • Metadata level
  • Allowed fields
  • Maximum number of downloads per request

New supported operations for image services

Images services have been expanded to allow more operations. Export Image has been improved to allow you to specify mosaic rules and properties. Additionally, Query, Identify, and Download have been added.

Network analysis services expose three new solvers

Three new Network Analyst solvers are exposed through the SOAP API, Web ADF, and ArcObjects APIs. These are:

  • OD cost matrix solver
  • Vehicle routing problem solver
  • Location-allocation solver

Geocode services support single-line address format

ArcGIS geocoding now allows users to enter an address in a single-line string such as "300 peachtree st nw atlanta ga". This enhancement is exposed through the geocode service, including through the REST API.

Other OGC service enhancements

Following are some ways that support for Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) services (WMS, WFS, and WCS) has been extended in ArcGIS Server 10.

  • Specific style templates can be applied to the information returned from a WMS getfeatureinfo request.
  • Publishers can now add more CRS information to the service configuration file, which is then read by the server and displayed as part of the "capabilities" response.
  • WMS layers can now be referenced using name strings. The string must match the layer name used in the map's table of contents. Previously, layers in WMS services published by ArcGIS Server were only accessible through zero-based integers representing the layers' positions in the table of contents.
  • A style can now be specified in the WMS getmap request. This allows users to "dynamically" send SLD information rather than persisting that information in an SLD file.
  • When image services are based on a mosaic dataset, it is possible to access individual images using WCS/WMS. ArcGIS allows users to enter URLs that append the base WMS URL with the /RasterID of an individual image and get a WMS/WCS service of only that image. This enables access to the individual images in a large catalog. The big advantage of this is that a catalog of the images can return separate URLs for each image. There are many use cases for this. For example in a service of Landsat image, a user may want to have a WMS/WCS of only one image.
  • WFS services now respect any aliases, definition queries, and field visibility settings from the source MXD.
  • SLD support is available for raster symbolizers.

Map caching

This section lists improvements to map caching, which is the process of pregenerating large banks of tiled map images for rapid display of Web maps.

Compact cache storage

You can now choose to use a compact cache format that groups tiles into large bundle files instead of storing each tile as a separate file. Compact caches consist of a smaller number of overall files and use less space on disk than traditional exploded caches. Compact caches can be moved much more quickly from one machine to another, which is helpful when copying caches between staging and production environments.

Mixed mode caches

A mixed mode cache allows you to use tiles of different image formats in the same cache. This is helpful when displaying a raster cache on top of another raster cache. You can use JPEG for the tiles in the middle of the cache to keep your relative file size low while using PNG32 on the periphery of the cache where part of the tile needs to be transparent.

Caches can be treated as a raster dataset

Caches can be added directly to ArcMap or ArcGlobe as a raster dataset using the Add Data button. Just browse to the location of your cache directory on disk and add the cache like any other dataset. This option removes the dependency of the cache on a parent map service.

Collaborative cache building tools added

New tools have been added for importing and exporting cache tiles to and from the cache directory. This makes it easier to collaboratively build a cache among a network of organizations and departments that are using the same tiling scheme.

Faster caching on distributed deployments of ArcGIS Server

If you have many SOC machines working on a map cache in the compact storage format, you can choose a new option to write tiles to a local cache directory on the server. This improves performance by first writing the tiles (in the compact .bundle format) locally, then copying the bundles into a shared cache directory as they are completed. This approach is faster than all machines writing the tiles directly into the shared cache directory.

Default tile size changed to 256 x 256

The default tile size is now 256 x 256. This corresponds to the tile size used by Google Maps and Bing Maps.

Direct drawing of map caches by ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGlobe

When you build a 2D cache with the ArcGIS Online/Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme, the cache can be drawn directly in 3D by ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGlobe at a speed faster than you would see if you were to use a globe cache. This allows you to expose your service to ArcGIS Explorer users in 2D and 3D mode while only maintaining one cache.


This section contains some of the highlights of new features in the REST API. Many of these changes are accessible in the ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight. For the full list of new features, see the online What's New page for the REST API, or open the ArcGIS Services Directory and click API Reference in the upper right corner, followed by What's New.

AMF a supported output format

The ArcGIS 10 REST API supports Action Message Format (AMF) as an output format. AMF is a binary format that can be directly read by Flash clients. Using AMF can improve performance when interpreting query and geoprocessing results.

Closest facility and service area network analysis support

You can now use ArcGIS Server network analysis services to perform closest facility and service area analysis through REST.

Server object extensions available for map services in REST

Server object extensions allow you to add to the base functionality of a service through custom ArcObjects code. Using ArcGIS 10, you can now expose your server object extension functionality through REST. This is available for map services only. To build server object extensions, you need to install the ArcObjects SDK.

Well-known text support for coordinate systems

Well-known text is now supported as a valid format for specifying coordinate systems. Previously, coordinate systems could only be specified in the REST API through a numerical ID. Now you can use a specially formatted text string to denote the coordinate system, allowing for customized properties such as central meridian and standard parallels.

REST admin cache can be cleared programmatically

ArcGIS Server maintains a cache of service information to improve performance when using the REST API. This cache must be cleared occasionally to detect changes such as new or deleted services. The REST API now provides developers a way to programmatically clear the cache, allowing for an immediate refresh when services are updated.

Web applications

At ArcGIS Server 10.0, there are new options available for creating Web applications that take advantage of GIS services.

Ready-to-use Web applications

The ArcGIS.com map viewer and ArcGIS Explorer Online are ready-to-use Web applications that allow you to build interactive maps and share them with others. You choose a basemap, find an area of interest, and add information layers. These layers can be from ArcGIS.com, your own ArcGIS Server, or other publicly exposed ArcGIS Servers. Once you've finished building your map, you can refine it, save it to your personal workspace, and share it with others.

For more information about each ready-to-use Web application listed above, please visit the links below:

Creating maps with ArcGIS.com map viewer

Exploring the world of maps with ArcGIS Explorer Online

Configurable Web applications

ArcGIS has two configurable Web applications, ArcGIS Viewer for Flex and ArcGIS Mapping for SharePoint, which are available as a free download.

ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

The ArcGIS Viewer for Flex is a configurable Web application built on the ArcGIS API for Flex. It offers an out-of-the-box solution for creating customized GIS enabled Web applications, without requiring programming. Designed to work with ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online Web services, it fully supports the new capabilities offered at ArcGIS Server 10, such as Web editing and support for time aware data.

For more information, visit the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex page in the ArcGIS Resource Center.

ArcGIS Mapping for SharePoint

ArcGIS Mapping for SharePoint leverages the framework Microsoft SharePoint provides to offer interactive and configurable mapping components. These mapping components can be used to interact with geographic data stored in ArcGIS Server map services and SharePoint lists on ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Server, or Bing Maps basemaps.

For more information, visit the ArcGIS Mapping for SharePoint page in the ArcGIS Resource Center.

New versions of the ArcGIS Web APIs released

Esri offers new versions of the ArcGIS Web APIs that take advantage of new functionality available at ArcGIS Server 10, such as editing, service area, closest facility, time-aware layers, geometry service unions, and generalization.

The ArcGIS Web APIs help you build rich internet applications that are powered by GIS services. They are fully documented with conceptual help, samples, API reference topics, and have been designed to offer similar functionality so you can choose the platform with which you’re most comfortable programming.

For more information about what’s new for the Web APIs at ArcGIS Server 10, visit the links below:

What's new in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript

What's new in the ArcGIS API for Flex

What's new in the ArcGIS API for Silverlight/WPF

Applications Manager and Web ADF

This section lists improvements to the Web Mapping Application built with either the Applications Manager or the Web Application Developer Framework (ADF).

ArcWeb Services removed as a data source

The ArcWeb Services product line has been retired with the recommendation that customers of ArcWeb Services transition to the capabilities of ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online. Consequently, ArcWeb Services has been removed as a data source in Web ADF applications.

Find Place task removed

The Find Place task, which relied on ArcWeb Services, has been removed from the Web ADF. You can achieve similar functionality through the Find Address task or the Search Attributes task.

Esri has made available a geocode service on ArcGIS.com that you can use to add place-finding capabilities in your Web applications. The locator references a geodatabase of over 6 million places worldwide.

The REST URL to the geocode service is:


Following this link takes you to the Services Directory where you can learn more about the service. You can also use this URL to access the service from REST-based Web applications such as those built with the ArcGIS JavaScript API and the ArcGIS API for Flex.

You can connect to the geocode service in Manager and use it as a supporting service to the Find Address task. To do this, you'll need to add an ArcGIS Server Internet connection to http://sampleserver1.arcgisonline.com/arcgis/rest/services, then browse to the service in the Locators folder.

Print task preserves either scale or extent

New options have been added to the .NET Web ADF Print task to allow the person printing the page to choose whether to preserve the scale of the map or the extent of the map. The Print task requests a higher-resolution version of the map for printing so it's not always possible to preserve both scale and extent.

Set Magnifier map resource in Manager

When creating a .NET Web application in Manager, you can now choose which layer will be shown through the Magnifier tool. Prior to ArcGIS Server 10, you could only change this property in Visual Studio.

Set zoom factor when zooming to point results

The tasks that you add to your .NET Web applications in Manager allow you to zoom to the results. When the result contains polygons, lines, or multiple points, it's easy to calculate how much zooming should occur. Automatically determining a proper zoom factor for a single point result can be more of a challenge, and Manager now gives you control over the amount of zooming that will occur if a result is a single point.

Web Mapping Application has new tools for zooming

The .NET Web Mapping Application that you create with Manager contains two new tools for zooming. One of the tools zooms to a specific scale, and the other tool zooms to an x,y coordinate that you supply.

ESRI.ArcGIS.Server.WebControls assembly removed

The ESRI.ArcGIS.Server.WebControls assembly, which represented the architecture of the .NET Web ADF prior to the 9.2 release, has been removed. This assembly was delivered in 9.2 and 9.3 for the purposes of easing the migration to the new architecture. The current and latest architecture offers all the functionality available in the old architecture.

Deployment on Amazon EC2

ArcGIS Server is available from Esri as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), allowing you to deploy ArcGIS Server in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). When you deploy ArcGIS Server in the cloud, the installation and postinstallation are done for you, taking much of the work out of the setup. You can choose from the different virtual machine specifications available from Amazon, allowing you to pay for only the hardware you need. Finally, when working in the cloud, you can resize your deployment in response to demand relatively quickly.