What are the best books/web sites for C# development with ArcObjects?

The ArcGIS Resource Center is very helpful, but I am trying to find sources with more examples.

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    @whuber - They shouldn't have been merged; my question was about resources for buying the software, this is about training. Can you remove my down votes and repost the question please, they are very different
    – Hairy
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 17:11
  • @Hairy Thank you for explaining what you mean by "resource." I was fooled because neither the existing reply nor the people who flagged your question understood it in that sense. I'll be glad to reopen it, now that the difference with this one is clear, but please edit it as soon as you can to remove the possibility of confusion.
    – whuber
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 17:19

8 Answers 8


ESRI does not do cheap. Instead of providing users with a comprehensive printed resource manuals they want us to take their overpriced instructor-led courses. There isn't much in terms of printed resources out there. (The online ArcObject Help for .Net Developers is good and extensive but it's not as convenient as a book with excercises would be) There used to be a large 2 volume resource/exercise book for Programing with ArcObjects that included both VB6 and C# code examples but that was many years ago in version 8 when the ArcObjects library was introduced for the first time. There were also several courses such as Migrating Avenue to VB6/C#, developing with ArcObjects, etc.

Instead, ESRI is currently hard at work on implementing their own certification system 3 of which are focused on development:

  • DesktopArcGIS Desktop Developer
  • Web Application Developer
  • Mobile Developer

All certifications will eventually have 2 levels Associate and Professional. Unfortunately, only two developer certifications are ready and only at the Associate level.

Still there are some recommended resources for the Associate Desktop Developer. There are no publications available but instructors do provide participants with official printed material at the instructor-led courses which usually consists of an instructional manual and a workbook:


  • ArcGIS Desktop I: Getting Started with GIS Programming
  • ArcGIS Desktop Using Add-Ins
  • Introduction to Geoprocessing Scripts Using Python

Web Training

  • Getting Started with GIS (for ArcGIS 10)
  • Understanding Map Projections and Coordinate Systems
  • Using Python in ArcGIS Desktop 10

Training Seminars

  • Developing Add-ins for ArcGIS 10

You can find out the details for the above here

The other set of resources that might be of interest is the Web Application Developer Associate certification resources

Unlike ESRI, Microsoft and their partners have published many books on developing applications with .Net. Personally, I only develop in VB .Net so I do not know which would be a good self paced study book for C#. I strongly recommend you become proficient in developing applications in C# before tackling ArcObjects.

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    (+1) This is a wonderful, well-crafted answer Jakub. I acted on suggestions to migrate it here because this is a more suitable place than the question that originally prompted it. But if you think I have made a mistake, please let me know and I'll try to rectify it.
    – whuber
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 17:20
  • No Prob. Here is where it belongs. You are doing a great job! Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 21:07
  • Updated link for ArcObject Help for .NET Developers: resources.arcgis.com/en/help/arcobjects-net/conceptualhelp/…
    – TheLastGIS
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 3:31
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    That is exactly why I started the Youtube Channel (IGeometry) .NET Programming with ArcObjects, for that very reasons, for users to learn ArcObjects without banging their heads with the manuals youtube.com/…
    – hnasr
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 18:13

This book is the best I've found, its annoying that the code is in VBA but its not hard to convert it to C# http://www.amazon.com/Programming-ArcObjects-VBA-Task-Oriented-Approach/dp/0849327814

Here are some code snippets which come in handy http://help.arcgis.com/en/sdk/10.0/arcobjects_net/componenthelp/index.html#/Draw_Polyline_Snippet/0049000000nr000000/

This is helpful to get a good overview of the inheritance chain http://resources.esri.com/help/9.3/arcgisengine/java/api/arcobjects/allclasses-noframe.html

They have a new API page,


To find source code I usually use search for a topic or interface/class name with google and add different site constraint depending on if it's ArcGIS 10 or 9.x and earlier.

For ArcGIS 10 I add: site:forums.arcgis.com

For ArcGIS 9.x and earlier I add: site:forums.esri.com

It's also possible to skip the forums part but it usually gives to many hits. Now that we have started to get more content on this site I've stated to google it too.


I think Getting To Know ArcObjects is an excellent beginners book.

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    I agree. IMO currently the best one out there for AO. However, it is for VBA, and not C#
    – jakc
    Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 10:58

This book came out in March 2013 and covers 10.1 Lots of examples and how-to's... Well worth purchasing... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1118442547/

  • I should have noted in my answer that this book is essentially the replacement for the "Getting to Know ArcObjects" book (although it's not published by ESRI...) Commented Jun 22, 2013 at 11:18

Although ArcObjects Online reasons (resources.esri.com) are pretty good, they are out of context. Esri list functions that you don't know when to use.

This is one of the reasons I made sure IGeometry (My new Youtube Channel) are there to provide a context wise .NET Programming with ArcObjects from scratch. I start the series with a fictional project called Bestaurants where we add functionality to this project in each episode, while introducing and explaining new interfaces in each episode!

Browse for the youtube link below, we are now at Episode 14,



The Pennsylvania State University recently released for free acces its GIS Application Development course. It teaches basics of ArcObjects in VB.NET


Hope this mignt help you -Getting into ESRI ArcGIS Add-in Development in .Net and ArcObjects

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