Map service capabilities

When you publish a map service, you can enable capabilities such as WMS, KML, Mobile Data Access, and so on. Capabilities create additional services that work from or with the map service. They allow users to access your map in an expanded variety of applications and devices. Capabilities also allow users to do a greater variety of things with your map service, such as network analysis and geoprocessing.

Some capabilities require that your map document contain specific types of layers. The available capabilities also depend on which edition of ArcGIS Server you have and whether your map service is based on an .msd (published inside ArcMap with the Map Service Publishing toolbar) or an .mxd (published by browsing to a map document in Manager or ArcCatalog).

This table lists the capabilities that are available with map services and any special requirements for enabling the capability. This help system contains topics on each of the service types created by these capabilities, which you can access by clicking the capability name below:


What it does

Special requirements

Available with MSD-based service?


Provides access to the contents of a map document.

This capability is always enabled for any map document.



Uses the raster layers in the map document to create a service compliant with the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.'s (OGC) Web Coverage Service (WCS) specification.

Requires raster layers.



Uses the layers in a map document to create a service compliant with the Open Geospatial Consortium's Web Feature Service (WFS) specification.

Requires vector layers. Raster layers are not included in the service, since the purpose of WFS is to serve vector feature geometry.



Uses a map document to create a service compliant with the Open Geospatial Consortium's WMS specification.



Mobile Data Access

Allows extraction of data from a map document to a mobile device.




Uses a map document to create KML features.



Geodata Access

Allows an end user to perform replication and data extraction in ArcMap.

Requires a layer from a geodatabase. This creates a geodata service that works with the map service.



Provides access to geoprocessing models from a tool layer. A tool layer represents a model that has been added into a map document's table of contents.

Requires a tool layer. It creates a geoprocessing service that works with the map service.


Network Analysis

Solves transportation network analysis problems using the Network Analyst extension.

Requires a network analysis layer referencing a network dataset.


Feature Access

Allows access to vector features in the map. It is often used for simple editing through Web APIs (JavaScript, Flex, Silverlight).

Requires vector layers.