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I am trying to fully understand the genius that is ArcGIS.

I want to develop a piece of software that uses the engine. This application needs to import user data (GeoTIFF, etc) and allow users to put points and polygons on a map. I would think this would be VERY straightforward.

I am unable to find sufficient detail on how to begin this process and was hoping someone here could help me.

There are APIs, there is the ArcEngine, there is ArcObjects, also SDKS. I don't know which I need to develop my application. I would love to make a Windows Form application in C#.

What would I need? ArcEngine? I am working on computers that have ArcGIS desktop installed. How can I know what else is installed (Engine, Objects, etc...)? How can I get ArcEngine if that is what I need?

Thank you.

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For what you've described you would need to have ArcEngine and the ArcObjects SDK for Microsoft .Net Framework installed. These programs should show up in the list of installed programs if they are installed. If not, they would need to be purchased and licensed as these are definitely not free. – JeremyFon Jun 4 '13 at 13:47
Okay, great. My computer has ArcGIS Desktop. If I understand correctly, that license can be used for ArcEngine as well? If that is the case, how do I get ArcEngine on a machine that already has ArcGIS Desktop? – Kyle Wright Jun 4 '13 at 13:50
Now that I look at it I think you might be right. And I don't think you have to actually install ArcEngine. When you install the SDK (which is definitely a requirement) you will be able to create a project in Visual Studio that utilizes ArcEngine tools (i.e. being able to add a map to a windows form). – JeremyFon Jun 4 '13 at 14:18
Thanks for the help. I can't find the ArcObjects SDK for Microsoft .Net Framework. A Google search leads me nowhere. This website:… makes me think that ArcGIS Desktop is enough, but does not lead me to the SDK at all. – Kyle Wright Jun 4 '13 at 14:27
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Last time I checked, ArcGIS desktop license does not provide you a design time license for the ArcGIS Engine TOC control. The TOC control used by ArcMap is not re-usable in a standalone exe.

You can use RuntimeManager.InstalledRuntimes to see what is installed on the machine, before initializing a license. Since Engine licenses are less expensive than Desktop licenses, some enterprises would likely prefer your app to use an ArcEngine license if one is available - and only use a desktop license if no engine licenses are available. The ArcGIS Visual Studio SDK have templates that use this sort of logic. Not sure if the templates are only a part of the Engine SDK or are included in the ArcGIS for desktop SDK. If you choose to develop with the desktop SDK, you will need to install it separately, but no additional license is required.

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If you're developing a standalone application you will require a ArcEngine runtime license on the users machine. This is different to the Desktop license which will work if you're developing plugins for Esri tools.

It may be worth looking at the ArcGIS runtime SDK for WPF. This is licensed differently and depending on the features you require, may not require your end user to require their own license.

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