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I am trying to enter the market for GIS. I wish to test some of the things I have written against a ArcSDE server since that is what I used before I became unemployed and that is where my skill set is.

For programming/servers there is a multitude of options if you need windows servers or database rental. Is there a ArcSDE equivalent?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

What you are probably looking for is a EDN License; this will give you access to ArcGIS Server which includes ArcSDE. Plus you have access to the core ArcGIS Engine runtime as well so you can make your work flexible between the two.

The default package does not include a desktop license so you will want to get the up-product license for a ArcGIS Desktop Standard so you can access the ArcGIS Server to instance for service management easier. The main ESRI site will give you and idea of the functions you might want to look for in the desktop side.

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I appreciate your comment. This is the American EDN. I am told the Canadian EDN is different (and have confirmed the price is different), but the small staff at ESRI Western Canada refuses to confirm anything. If I could buy this product (they won't sell it to a Canadian) I would have already – user13395 Dec 19 '12 at 20:36
I had a brainstorm and called the Edmonton office. They confirmed the price was the only difference between the two versions. They were very helpful. – user13395 Dec 19 '12 at 20:50

EDN allows developer access.
You can even point it at amazon and use the free tier pricing to develop on server class machines.

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