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I am a newbie to both ArcGIS and Python. My requirement is to automate the below MANUAL process:

  1. Creating a layer in ArcGIS for Desktop. To put it in another words, creating an ArcMap document (.mxd).
  2. Publishing the created ArcMap document (in Step 1) as a service to ArcServer.

Currently we are doing this manually. I have come across scripts to automate step 2 using Python. Any guidance to automate step 1 and step 2 would be great.

share|improve this question
Is it possible to automate this using Java. Just curious to know... – user15051 Feb 14 '13 at 19:27
Your Java question would be better researched/asked separately rather than tacked on as a Comment. – PolyGeo Jun 20 '14 at 23:20

Sample code to do 1. is on the Online Help for AddLayer (arcpy.mapping).

The steps for 2. are in the Online Help for Publishing a map service with Python.

Note that it is not possible to create an MXD using ArcPy - you need to have an existing MXD to which you can add layers. That design decision is described in the Online Help on Guidelines for arcpy.mapping , but being able to create a new Map Document from nothing in ArcPy is an ArcGIS Idea that I would like to see implemented.

See @Luke answer for an advanced Python and ArcObjects method that I have not tested but may provide you with a workaround for creating an MXD from a Python script that ArcPy can then go on to manipulate.

share|improve this answer
+1 Ditto on wanting to see mxd creation from scratch. – om_henners Feb 12 '13 at 23:35
Thank you PolyGeo... Pouring over the material and will get back... – user15051 Feb 13 '13 at 18:33

This isn't really a standalone answer, more of an addition to @PolyGeo's answer as it addresses the 'mxd creation from scratch' in python issue.

Note: it's probably a bit advanced for a python 'new bee'...

You can create MXD's from scratch in python if you access ArcObjects. You will need the comtypes package and if using ArcGIS 10.1, you need to make a small change to See ArcObjects + comtypes at 10.1

Below is some code to create an MXD from scratch in python:

import comtypes,os

def CreateMXD(path):
    import comtypes.gen.esriCarto as esriCarto
    pMapDocument = CreateObject(esriCarto.MapDocument, esriCarto.IMapDocument)
    pMapDocument.Save() #probably not required...

def GetLibPath():
    """ Get the ArcObjects library path

        It would be nice to just load the module directly instead of needing the path,
        they are registered after all... But I just don't know enough about COM to do this

    import _winreg
    #Little kludge for 64bit OS
    if 'PROGRAMFILES(X86)' in os.environ:path='SOFTWARE\\Wow6432Node\\ESRI'
    keyESRI = _winreg.OpenKey(_winreg.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, path)

    #Little kludge juuust in case ArcGIS 10.1 uses a different registry key,
    #i.e. "Desktop10.1"...
    for i in range(nkeys):
        if subkey[:7].lower()=='desktop' or subkey.lower()=='arcgis':
                keyDesktop = _winreg.OpenKey(_winreg.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, path+'\\'+subkey)
                if os.path.exists(compath):return compath

def GetModule(sModuleName):
    """ Generate (if not already done) wrappers for COM modules
    from comtypes.client import GetModule
    sLibPath = GetLibPath()

def CreateObject(COMClass, COMInterface):
    """ Creates a new comtypes POINTER object where
        COMClass is the class to be instantiated,
        COMInterface is the interface to be assigned
    ptr = comtypes.client.CreateObject(COMClass, interface=COMInterface)
    return ptr

if __name__=='__main__':
    import arcpy
    if os.path.exists(filepath):os.unlink(filepath)
share|improve this answer
Thank you Luke for the code... As you sai a bit complex one for a new bee but will get to it..... – user15051 Feb 13 '13 at 18:34

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