Customizing the Web Mapping Application

You can start with the Web application generated by Manager in the Visual Studio IDE and continue to customize it to meet your specific needs. The Web Mapping Application is also integrated with Visual Studio as a template. Whether created in Manager or Visual Studio, a Web Mapping Application contains standard Web page design elements plus Web controls. These Web controls include both standard ASP.NET Web controls, as well as those specific to ESRI's Web ADF.

There are two general levels of customizing a Web Mapping Application:

In versions of ArcIMS prior to 9.2, ArcIMS included an application named Manager, which allowed you to author ArcIMS services, design Web sites, and manage services and servers. This Manager was removed from ArcIMS 9.2. For authoring services, use ArcIMS Author. Use ArcIMS Designer to design Web sites using the HTML Viewer, Java Custom Viewer, or Java Standard Viewer. Use ArcIMS Administrator or the ArcIMS Service Administrator to manage services and servers. Use ArcGIS Server Manager to create Web applications.

Comparing Manager with ArcIMS Designer

To better understand the functionality available in Manager, the following table compares functions in ArcIMS Designer and the corresponding function in Manager. In many cases, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the two, although the format and order are different.




Set Web application name

Type the name.


Set title for application

Type the title.


Add services

ArcIMS services only. The HTML Viewer allows only one service per viewer. The Java Custom and Java Standard viewers allow more than one ArcIMS service per viewer. Access to service is through HTTPS.

ArcIMS, ArcGIS Server, WMS, Bing Maps. Services can be accessed from one or more sites. Access to ArcIMS services is through HTTP or TCP.

Set map extent

Initial extent is based on the extent of the service or on a layer in the service. Extent limit is the maximum extent allowed by service or layer.

Custom extents are allowed. Default extent is derived from the primary map resource.

Select overview map

Any image or ArcMap image service on the same server as the map.

Can be any service.

Select scale bar

Set data source and scale bar units.

Set scale bar units and color.

Select toolbar (See below for more details on tools and tasks.)

Select which tools to include in toolbar.

Select whether to include toolbar or not.

Select tasks


Pick from Search, Query, Print, and Find Address tasks.

Select north arrow

Included by default.

Selection provides look and feel for navigation tool.

Select table of contents

Legend and layer list included by default.

Select whether to include table of contents (TOC), service in TOC, and swatches.

Select look and feel


Part of page elements.

Add Web links in title bar


Part of page elements.

Choose Web application location

Default is virtual directory established during postinstallation.

Default is wwwroot directory.

Modify output



Tools and tasks

Many of the operations in the HTML Viewer, Java Standard Viewer, and Java Custom Viewer that are handled through the toolbar are also in the Web Mapping Application. However, in some cases, a new approach has been taken to handle some of the operations. One big difference is the use of tasks. The task framework offers a standard way to deliver GIS functionality in your Web Mapping Application. Besides making the out-of-the-box functionality easier to use, you can also use the model to build your own custom tasks. Each task is a unit of work where there is often a dialog box requiring user interaction. For example, in the HTML Viewer, when you click the Find tool, a dialog box appears where you can type in a search string. In the Web Mapping Application, there is no equivalent tool on the toolbar. Instead, a Search task can be configured that allows users to type in a search string. In addition to a Search task, other tasks available for ArcIMS users are Query, Print, Find Address, and Find Place.

The following table compares the tools available on the HTML Viewer, Java Standard Viewer, and Java Custom Viewer toolbars and the equivalent tools or tasks in the Web Mapping Application.

HTML Viewer, Java Custom Viewer, Java Standard Viewer

Web Mapping Application

Toggle between legend and layer list

TOC includes layers and swatches together in a collapsible, dockable panel.

Toggle overview map

Included in collapsible, dockable panel.

Zoom in, zoom out, pan

Included on toolbar. You can also use the scroll wheel or keyboard strokes.

Zoom to full extent

Included on toolbar.

Zoom to active layer

N/A. No concept of an active layer.

Back to last extent

Included on toolbar.

Pan north, south, east, west

Navigation tool allows users to pan the map.


Included on toolbar.


Included as Query task.


Included as Search task.

Stored query

Use a Query or Search task.


Included on toolbar.

Set units

Included as part of measure dialog box.


See tip.

Select by rectangle, line, or polygon

See tip.

Find address

Included as Find Address task.

Clear features

Features are highlighted by turning on each selected feature individually. They are cleared by turning off each feature.


Included as Print task.


Magnify tool on toolbar.


Buffer and Select Features are not included on the toolbar. ArcGIS Server users can create a Geoprocessing task to support these operations. ArcIMS users can customize the Web Mapping Application to add these operations.

The ArcIMS Java Custom and Java Standard viewers have the same tools as those listed for the HTML Viewer. They also have the following additional tools:

Java Custom or Standard Viewer

Web Mapping Application

Open Project, Save Project, Close Project

No equivalent when using a Web Mapping Application. However, you can save, close, and open maps using ArcGIS Explorer.


Available through the Layers tab of Manager (on the Records tab of the Layer Properties dialog box).

Layer Properties

Available through the Layers tab of Manager.


An Editor task is available in Manager.


Not available as part of Manager, but a Web Mapping Application could be customized to support similar functionality.

Customizing Web Mapping Applications

Further details about customizing Web Mapping Applications can be found in the Developer Help under the section "Customizing the Web Mapping Application."