I have a database (SQL Server) with a table having lat-long information for sites that keep getting updated daily. I want to create a web application to plot the same on map and add other features to it like buffer creation, shortest distance, heatmap etc.

We have the Standard (editor) license level of ArcGIS Desktop and we have made a geodatabase connection in the same.

How can we proceed to create a web map for the above requirement?

We don't have an ArcGIS Server license.

Is there a way we can publish a service on GeoServer from ArcGIS desktop and then use the same in ArcGIS API for JavaScript considering our data will keep changing on a daily basis?

  • How many records do you have? You might want to pick a different solution depending on if you have just a few thousands or millions of sites... Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


You can use GeoServer to consume your SQL Server database as a datastore. Then configure GeoServer to provide a WMS &/or WFS, which you can then consume in ArcGIS desktop (or other GIS desktop client, or any web GIS).

For desktop applications there would be no need to any coding.

Is there a way we can publish a service on GeoServer from ArcGIS desktop

No, you would make a direct connection to the SQL Server database using the ArcSDE plugin


You've correctly identified that the missing piece is a server to publish the geodatabase onto the web, from where you can consume it in a JavaScript API.

Here are some potential options:

  1. ArcGIS Server - this is definitely one option, however it may be overkill at this stage.

  2. ArcGIS Online - Your ArcGIS Desktop Editor license should include an ArcGIS Online license. This is Esri's hosted version of ArcGIS Server, where instead of purchasing the software you pay with credits for various operations. A certain number of credits is included with your Editor license. ArcGIS Online can be used to serve the geodatabase onto the web, allowing you to consume it in a JavaScript API map.

  3. Portal For ArcGIS - for handling confidential data and keeping it on-premises, you could look at Portal For ArcGIS which is an in-house version of ArcGIS Online.

  4. GeoServer would be another good option using the methods described by @nmtoken.

  • 1
    Thanks Stephen, this was helpful. Our organization is not a fan of ArcGIS Online considering we have some confidential data. I went ahead adding the sql server extension to geoserver and then configuring that as a data store.This seems to be doing a pretty good job for now :)
    – Viv
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 7:15
  • It sounds like you already have a good (free!) approach, but for completeness I added information on Portal For ArcGIS, which can be useful for confidential information Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 23:34

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