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I am trying to develop a GIS web application. I am using ArcGIS for desktop as the database. I need to use existing ArcGIS Restful services but also need to publish some new services. I think that ArcGIS for server would be the best choice for me. But I cannot afford it. And I want to know:

  1. If there is a free lightweight version of ArcGIS for server?
  2. Does a open source alternative such as GeoServer have APIs to use ArcGIS Restful services?
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When you say "using ArcGIS for desktop as the database", do you mean you are wanting to create map services from a file geodatabase? – PolyGeo May 16 '13 at 2:30
yes, that's what I mean. – user1101148 May 16 '13 at 2:50

The answer to what you are asking, is that there is no other geoserver which has the exact same REST API as ArcGIS Server. There are several license-levels for ArcGIS Server, and the price differs accordingly.

Now coming to solving your actual problem. You say that "I need to use existing ArcGIS Restful services". I would ask why?

Other FOSS servers like Geoserver & MapServer, have their own API/protocol called the WMS which is used in web maps. It is an OGC standard, and many clients/libraries including Openlayers, Leaflet, and even ArcGIS Web APIs support it.

Depending on your requirements, you could serve out your data as a WMS/WFS service and consume it in a JavaScript Web App.

share|improve this answer
e.g. I'd like to use the Geocode/Geoprocessing restful service provided by ArcGIS – user1101148 May 16 '13 at 3:28
@user1101148 If your requirements are that you need to use ArcGIS Server, then tautologically you'll have to use ArcGIS Server – Devdatta Tengshe May 16 '13 at 3:36
Have you considered WPS as alternative to GP services? – PolyGeo May 16 '13 at 3:58
I suspect that an OGC GeoServices REST specification may have been more along the lines of what you are after but that looks to be getting a lot of resistance. – PolyGeo May 16 '13 at 9:13

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