Background: I have been tasked with porting a 9.3 .NET toolbar to ArcGIS 10 / 10.1. I am a dyed in the wool Python programmer and, while digging through someone else's .Net is interesting, it isn't the most fun in the world!

Once ported I have a number of improvements that I want to implement.

The existing tool is a toolbar with 4 buttons. Each button launches a menu that accepts parameters, performs some processing* and generates output files (shapefile in GDB and text logs).

Question Is it possible to create this same style workflow, toolbar > button > menu > run, using python add-ins? This needs to be shippable to a wide range of users (10 & 10.1) so I do not want to generate windows using WxPython (for example).

*By in large the processing is not digging into ArcObjects geoprocessing functionality that is not accessible via Python. Anything geoprocessing that is, is pretty easily recoded in pure Python.

Edit: Both posters so far have noted that the functionality I am really looking for is ArcGIS10.1. I should have noted that I realize this, but still wanted to hear some options. This should be targeted at 10.1+ (for when 10.2 rolls...)

  • 1
    One issue you'll run into is that python add-ins are only supported at Arc 10.1, and not at Arc 10
    – Zachary
    Feb 19, 2013 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Well, if your product needs to be deployable to 10.0, then using a Python Add-In isn't going to be an option for you, as Python Add-Ins are only available at 10.1 (which you might already know). I'm dealing with this on a project now; if I could use 10.1, life would be much easier.

How much work is it going to be to port the .NET Add-In from 9.3 to 10.x? Might not be that bad and worth your time to just do that.

Another option is to port it over to one or a series of Toolbox Tools with Python backends, but again, this might be more trouble than it's worth and more work than just porting the existing .NET code.

  • 1
    Looks like I'm going the .Net update route. It looks like this will be a longer term supported tool as well, so I guess I can port at my leisure as Arc opens more functionality to Python (without having to use IPython or com types gymnastics).
    – Jay Laura
    Feb 20, 2013 at 15:01

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