Developer Tools


ArcGIS offers Java developers a robust, standards-based set of components for building and deploying GIS applications and services with the Java platform.

Desktop Applications

Developers can use their Java Standard Edition (SE) experience to create custom desktop GIS applications or embed GIS functionality with ArcGIS ArcObjects component libraries.

  • Edit, update and manage your geospatial databases.
  • Embed 2D and 3D mapping controls in your application to allow users to zoom, pan, and rotate maps with ArcGIS Engine.
  • Display, track, analyze, and manipulate temporal data within a Java Engine desktop application.
  • Add graphic objects-such as points, polygons, multipoints, polylines, and multipatches-to represent specific features in your application.
  • Create non-visual GIS data processing programs.

To learn more about building GIS desktop applications, visit the ArcGIS Engine Resource Center.

Web Applications

Rich Internet and Pure Browser

Esri provides cross-browser, client-side ArcGIS Web Mapping for JavaScript and Flex that allows you to build lightweight Internet applications using ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS for Server services.

  • Display your data on an ArcGIS Online or a Bing Maps basemap.
  • Add graphics and markup to a map interactively.
  • Locate addresses and display the results.
  • Embed JavaScript components in standard Portlets.

The APIs are free to use in noncommercial external environments. Download ArcGIS API for Flex or reference ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript in your applications.

Server Side

For Java EE developers, Esri offers the Web ADF for the Java platform, a Java web framework that extends the JavaServer Faces (JSF) specification.

  • Create "stateful" or "stateless" GIS Web applications without writing code using the Web mapping template in ArcGIS for Server.
  • Use AJAX-enabled Web controls to pan and zoom, display maps, find addresses, and perform GIS data processing tasks in your application.
  • Use the Web ADF AJAX library to access the Web controls in JavaScript.

To learn more about the Java Web ADF, visit the ArcGIS for Server Resource Center.

Web Services

The ArcGIS for Server platform provides spatial Web Services and a Web Services SDK that help developers in delivering geographic information to Java enterprise applications.

  • Consume ArcGIS for Server services to serve maps, find address locations, perform routing analysis, access raster data, and provide 2D and 3D spatial analysis.
  • Use standards-based Java APIs for REST and SOAP to interact programmatically with ArcGIS Web services.
  • Publish and share your maps and data in KML and Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), format using ArcGIS Web services.

To learn more about publishing and consuming Web services, visit the ArcGIS for Server Resource Center.

Extending ArcGIS with Java

Esri provides a framework for developing your own extensions that plug-in seamlessly with other Esri software components called ArcObjects. ArcGIS provides support to develop and deploy extensions in a native Java environment through Eclipse IDE plug-ins and tools. These extensions can be consumed in ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, or ArcGIS for Server applications because of their common ArcObjects platform. The following types of extensions can be developed and deployed:

  • Server Object Extensions and utility objects that add custom functionality and optimize performance in ArcGIS for Server applications.
  • Custom GIS data processing tools for advanced spatial analysis and modeling.
  • Feature renderers for custom visualization of data.
  • Custom data behavior and eventing in a Geodatabase.
  • Custom plug-in data sources to integrate external or proprietary data formats.

Learn more about Extending ArcGIS in the respective help areas.

How Do I Get Started?

To develop on the ArcGIS platform and gain access to Java-based Esri products and tools, subscribe to the Esri Developer Network (EDN).

Web Mapping APIs

This application, built with ArcGIS Web Mapping for Flex, delivers regional information such as land value and rates.