Is it possible to create an algorithm in ArcMap Modelbuilder that could then become a fully standalone applet? I would like to be able to provide this processing algorithm even to users who do not own an ArcMap license.

3 Answers 3


Modelbuilder is an interface for chaining together proprietary ArcGIS tools, which require a license to run. There's no way to operate a model outside of Modelbuilder or Arcpy, both of which also require a license.

  • 2
    As @Wes said its not legally possible without an ArcGIS license however you may want to look into open source GIS like QGIS which has its own equivalent of Modelbuilder called "Graphical Modeler" and a Python scripting equivalent PyQGIS. Users can download this software for free and run your models/scripts. Aug 14, 2014 at 12:51
  • Unfortunately I've had my share of disappointments with the QGIS graphical modeler. I am taking a break from it because of the innumerable annoying bugs it contains...
    – user32882
    Aug 14, 2014 at 13:10

Not as such, but if you are linked with ESRI you can publish your model as a geoprocessing service on the Web. This requires a specific licence on your side (ArcGIS server), and the tool will run on your computer.

Alternatively, you can use some Open source software, but the core software will most of the time need to be installed on the users computer in order to run your model.


You may build custom tools and algorithms using ArcGIS Engine.

Common Questions

Is an application that's built with ArcGIS Engine dependent on ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo?

No. Custom applications built with the ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit are not dependent on ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo. Custom ArcGIS Engine applications only need ArcGIS Engine Runtime.

  • coooool I wonder if it supports all those amazing arcpy functions like focal stat, batch processing, raster processing and the like...
    – user32882
    Aug 14, 2014 at 13:08
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    You'll still have to pay for an EDN Subscription to use ArcGIS Engine. As it says on the bottom of the link you posted: "ArcGIS Engine is part of the Esri Developer Network (EDN) annual subscription."
    – Fezter
    Aug 15, 2014 at 2:56

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