I've been tasked with developing a geoprocessing service in ArcGIS Server 9.3.1 that in addition to providing the resultant feature sets, it needs to produce a pdf in which the layers can be toggled on & off. Upgrading to ArcGIS Server 10.0 is not going to happen (even with my begging & pleading).

The most simplistic workflow possible is outlined below. Step 1 is easy, I am already doing this with the python geoprocessor - steps 2 and 3 are where it gets difficult. I know creating a mxd and exporting to pdf are NOT possible with the python gp, so what are my options? I have been looking at some SOE examples, but they seem far to complex for my needs.

  1. Geoprocessing service does some magical processing and creates a geodatabase with result feature classes.
  2. Create a mxd document containing result feature classes and apply symbology from layer files
  3. Export pdf from mxd - store on server somewhere.

Just to clarify, the mxd is only temporary to create the pdf. No services will need to come from it and it can be destroyed after pdf creation. This workflow be initiated from a Flex app.

2 Answers 2


Using a 3rd party pdf utility like PDF4NET or the OS ITextSharp will be mandatory if you want to be able to toggle layers in the pdf you want to create.

One approach is to export the images from the mxd, either one in memory or via a rest endpoint, and put them back together using the pdf utility as raster layers. This then gives you the toggle ability.

There is an open source project that runs in ags 10 (as a rest soe) but the concepts can be used in 9.3.1. It's called wvsPrint. Check out the source code and you can get a head start on your custom app.

  • At my last shop I spec'd the use of ITextSharp for our PDF output engine and it worked out pretty well. Sure you are relying on code to get to the output elements and to get things in the right orientation; but I found it to be very reliable for server-automation. The key for me was getting my basic page settings right; then the outputs would be consistent.
    – D.E.Wright
    Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 19:34

Terrago has publisher for arcgis server.
Not sure I can recommend using though.
I have many issues with the interface of publisher for arcgis (desktop).
It seems this would eliminate the need for creating an mxd though.
Terrago is the recommended vendor for adobe geo-pdf creation.
Read section "Acrobat Pro Extended, 3D PDF, and geospatial PDF".

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