We are on Citrix and would like to provide 3 shortcuts to our users so they can launch the three license levels (ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo). We can't do this through desktop admin as the users don't have admin rights and we would like an intuitive workflow anyway.

How do others provide access to the different license levels in their organisations for the users to quickly open the product license that they want?

  • 1
    You might want to ask your ESRI support. In my experience this is the sort of question they can answer quickly. Apr 23, 2012 at 11:26

2 Answers 2


If you want to control the license on a per-application basis, you could create batch files that set the ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS variable to either Professional,Editor,Viewer and then start ArcMap/ArcCatalog.

enter image description here

A SET ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS=Viewer statement will switch to ArcView: enter image description here

And a SET ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS=Editor will switch to ArcEditor:
enter image description here

If you create the batch files, the ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS variable is only in scope for that instance of the application. So you could start an ArcView and ArcEditor at the same time (if the license manager has available licenses).

enter image description here

Alternatively, a user could set a user system variable of ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS to the desired license and then every application would be at the same license level.

Related Bug: http://support.esri.com/en/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/32729

  • Excellent! Do you know if this works when the user does not have admin rights?
    – Rob
    Apr 23, 2012 at 13:27
  • 1
    I think so, but I haven't tested it. By setting the ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS in a variable, that would create a user variable, not a system variable. Apr 23, 2012 at 13:48
  • 1
    Here's a knowledge base article: support.esri.com/en/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/24633 Apr 23, 2012 at 13:49
  • Perfect answer, vote +answer!
    – Rob
    Apr 23, 2012 at 14:11
  • I have a .NET exe that I've been using on 10.1 (but should work for other versions): dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1156285/ArcMapEditor.exe If you rename the exe to ArcMap<ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS> (e.g. ArcMapBasic.exe or ArcMapProfessional.exe), it will start the ArcMap with that software class. Jun 20, 2014 at 18:40

From our internal KB article, which I adapted from @jay-cummin's post here, and then wrote some scripts to make using them quick and painless:

As many of you have discovered, at times you can’t switch from ArcGIS Basic to ArcGIS Advanced because the radio buttons in ArcGIS Administrator are disabled:

ArcGIS Administrator with disabled controls

Fortunately there is a workaround, set the license level in an environment variable first and then run ArcMap/Catalog. We’ve placed scripts for this in Z:\Tools [GitHub]:

ArcMap-Advanced.bat run ArcMap using Advanced (ArcInfo) license
ArcMap-Editor.bat run ArcMap using Editor (ArcEditor) license
ArcMap-Viewer.bat run ArcMap using Viewer (Basic) license

I actually prefer the workaround to the original method: you don’t have to close all your sessions down first just because you want to run an Advanced-only tool for 5 minute job like Create Random Points, and you can run Advanced and Basic side by side at the same time.

You can also set license server this way. Port number and @ are optional. (ref):


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.