I am currently involved in a project where we need a few services for complex geometry processing.

At the moment, some services has been implemented as Python GP-tools and deployed on an ArcGIS server. This is an ugly approach, thinking of debugging, error handling, performance etc.

ArcGIS Runtime has started to become a reasonably capable API, and most of the functionality we need is there.

It is intended as a client API though, has anybody tried to use it on the server side ? I am thinking of ASP.NET Web Api.

  • You could always just use the runtime in an ASP application. When the request comes in, verify, process, and return your result. If you're doing your own GP tools in python, where are you have problems with debugging and error handling? Python is capable of doing all those things just as well as .NET.
    – Branco
    Sep 11, 2015 at 12:41
  • Check your license agreement, you most likely are not allowed to do this Sep 11, 2015 at 14:59
  • @Branco: Yes, Python is capable of that, and I use PyCharm for development which is great. However, Python is also full of traps. No strong typing etc. ArcPy and error handling is not smooth either. Also debugging and unit-testing is clunky when working with GP tools, not to mention the interface to the GP REST-services..
    – Oyvind
    Sep 11, 2015 at 16:42
  • @JasonScheirer: Yes, that is a concern. My client is an ELA though, so there might be room for it.
    – Oyvind
    Sep 11, 2015 at 16:44
  • What did you end up doing? Looking at building some server services using ArcGIS Runtime also. Was going to use ArcEngine but it looks like they stopped adding new features.
    – Donny V.
    Jul 26, 2017 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


As an alternative to ArcGIS Runtime, have you taken a look at possibly creating a Server Object Extension (SOE)? This is written using ArcObjects in .NET or Java so it should have fast performance on the server side, and then be accessed by the client through HTTP like any other resource in the REST API.

  • Yes, that has been coined. However, these are tied to map/image services, not intended for generic REST-services. I'm afraid it would be messy.. in addition ArcObjects are also somewhat clunky to work with (errorhandling, debugging and general oddities)
    – Oyvind
    Sep 11, 2015 at 14:54

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