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I am working on a spatial tool that we do not want to publish as a geoprocessing service due to certain organizational needs; instead we are publishing up a .NET MVC application that calls a python script. This python script utilizes ArcPy to do some spatial analysis and thus it needs Desktop or AGS to run. Since the .NET application sits on the web server once it is published, that is also where desktop would need to be installed so the script can run.

Aside from probably not being best practice, can anyone forsee any problems with this?

Has anyone done this before?

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    I'm not a lawyer, but I'd guess its probably against the Terms of Service - using Desktop as a service. If you google around you'll find similar questions here and geonet. Not a lot, but I've seen them come up in the past. – KHibma Mar 26 '18 at 17:15
  • If your solution runs on Microsoft Windows Server, then the Python script invokes the underlying (ArcGIS For Desktop) COM interfaces/objects. In my experience, there are two main things to watch out for. First, some of the COM interfaces/objects are not multithread-friendly, hence you need to handle this yourself. But again, invoking them via the Python scripts sort of mitigate this problem to a certain degree. Second, the "unstable" or "buggy" nature of the COM subsystem requires that you periodically restart the server. But again, this depends on what and how you use the ArcObject COMs. – Ralph Tee Mar 27 '18 at 2:11
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    Yes, using a Desktop seat as a server is a violation of the Desktop license agreement. It would also be far more difficult to make stable and robust than Server, which has been architected for that purpose. – Vince Mar 27 '18 at 3:44
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As commented by @KHibma:

I'm not a lawyer, but I'd guess its probably against the Terms of Service - using Desktop as a service. If you google around you'll find similar questions here and geonet. Not a lot, but I've seen them come up in the past.

and by @Vince:

Yes, using a Desktop seat as a server is a violation of the Desktop license agreement. It would also be far more difficult to make stable and robust than Server, which has been architected for that purpose.

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