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Summer 2004
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Comprehensive, Server-Based GIS

ArcGIS Server Now Shipping

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Using ArcGIS Server, organizations can make focused applications available on demand via a thin client, such as a Web browser.

ArcGIS Server is a new product that gives distributed users access to GIS functionality via a centralized shared server. ArcGIS Server deploys GIS functionality, previously available only in GIS desktop solutions, in an information technology (IT) standards-based server environment. For example, capabilities such as mapping, geocoding, spatial query, editing, tracing, and high-end analysis can all be served to end users who do not have a desktop GIS.

With this centralized approach toward data management and application support, users of particular GIS applications (e.g., transaction systems such as utilities and land records) are able to develop server-based business logic for their applications and make it available on demand using a mix of thin/thick and mobile/stationary clients.

ArcGIS Server uses open, standards-based application program interfaces. This approach allows enterprise integration platforms to leverage ArcGIS Server, thus helping organizations achieve enterprise-level application integration.

Key features of ArcGIS Server include

  • Serverside GIS capabilities—ArcGIS Server provides a wealth of server-based GIS functions. Examples of applications that developers can build using ArcGIS Server include facility network modeling, property management, land records, forest management, transportation, customer service, geomarketing, logistics, and dozens of others.
  • Lower cost of ownership—Because all processing capabilities are centralized, software updates do not need to be installed on hundreds of PCs. GIS enterprise application server software can be implemented on an organization's standard server hardware, and the same IT staff can be used to maintain both. This significantly reduces the administrative cost of version synchronization, certification, and installation across the organization.
  • Scalability—As more users need to be provided with GIS applications, capability can be easily increased by upgrading the memory or disk space in an existing server machine or by adding additional ArcGIS Server instances. The load can be readily shared and balanced between these multiple instances with the administrative tools that come with ArcGIS Server.
  • Open platform—ArcGIS Server is an open platform that can be easily implemented using a variety of commercial application servers and database management systems. It supports key standards, such as Java and .NET for building local and wide area network enterprise applications, and XML/Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) for messaging and data transfer over Web network connections.

The standards-based approach makes ArcGIS Server ideal for providing GIS capabilities to a wide range of distributed users. In addition, the ease of maintenance and scalability means that organizations can create compelling business cases that demonstrate a good return on investment. As a result, Esri expects numerous organizations new to GIS to build systems based on this architecture, and many existing GIS organizations will leverage their existing systems with a GIS enterprise application server.

For more information, visit Esri at, call Esri directly at 1-800-447-9778, call your Esri regional office, or contact your local Esri reseller. Outside the United States, contact your local Esri distributor.

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