Network extension

The ArcGIS Server Network extension gives you access to network analysis tools in a server environment. These tools are designed for transportation networks and can be a great way to expose routing functionality and report driving directions in your Web applications. You can also use the Network extension to solve advanced routing problems on a central server and report the results to clients.

The following list is a sample of the kinds of questions the Network extension can help you answer:

To answer these kinds of questions using the Network extension, first you need a network dataset, which represents the transportation network. Then you can create network analysis layers on the network dataset and solve them to find solutions to network problems. The network analysis layer contains the parameters, inputs, and outputs for a network problem. There are currently six types of analyses you can perform:

The ArcGIS Server Network extension is similar to the ArcGIS Desktop Network Analyst extension. The Network Analyst Help describes network datasets and network analysis layers in more detail.

What is a network dataset?Types of network analyses

Working with network analysis on the server

Once you've created a map with network analysis layers, the Network extension allows you to make that map accessible on a server. Once you have published the map and enabled the network analysis capability, internal or external client applications can send network problems to the server and receive responses that may include routes, driving directions, or other information. ArcGIS Desktop users can consume network analysis services out of the box using the Find Route tool, getting simple point-to-point routing without requiring a network license. ArcGIS developers have many choices of platforms that can work with network analysis services, such as the ArcGIS APIs for Silverlight, Flex, and JavaScript; the ArcGIS Server SOAP and REST APIs; and ArcObjects.

Learn more about publishing a network analysis service and using it in a client application