I found another thread at ArcObjects Resources that asked for general ArcObjects resources but most of the resources in that thread are obviously about building add-ins for ArcMap.

I need help getting started with building a completely custom application. In other words, if an ESRI logo or ArcGIS button shows up on my program, something's gone really wrong.

Where can I look for resources on this topic? So far, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1118442547/?tag=stackoverfl08-20#reader_1118442547 looks possibly relevant but it's hard to tell because I can't see if the book talks about custom development from the first few pages that Amazon.com provides.

To be super specific, I'm trying to write a program that takes coordinates and a layer that's in an Enterprise Geodatabase (aka ArcSDE) and figures out whether or not each point is inside the layer. I've already found a helpful function in the ArcObjects SDK.

  • I got the book you referenced a couple of months ago... best money I've ever spent. You'll need to know some C# though, if you're a beginner programmer then you'll struggle a little bit. Jul 24, 2013 at 23:43
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    You are really looking more for resources from the ArcEngine standpoint; these are more stand-alone applications that use ESRI logic but are written from the front-end by you the developer. I am not sure if there really is much published content dead-tree edition; but pretty much anything you find through resources.arcgis.com and developer.arcgis.com will get you source information. Just focus on ArcEngine.
    – D.E.Wright
    Jul 25, 2013 at 0:08
  • Thank you for the advice. Fortunately, I have programming experience with the .NET Framework, among other technology stacks.
    – Zian
    Jul 26, 2013 at 22:29
  • What is the RDBMS behind your geodatabase? You might be able to just use spatial SQL operators to do your point in polygon query. Writing a standalone ArcObjects application may be overkill. You might also look into ArcGIS Runtime which is newer and lighter weight. Basically, you need a better reason to be using ArcObjects than the reasons you've stated.
    – blah238
    Oct 10, 2013 at 2:06

3 Answers 3


It is possible to leverage ArcObjects without launching an ESRI product but the software must be installed. If you don't want to install the ESRI suite then try Engine.

I have ArcGis installed and have written several programs that run as executables outside of a map/catalog session. In order to use ESRI objects it is necessary to initialize a license: http://edndoc.esri.com/arcobjects/9.2/ComponentHelp/esriSystem/AoInitialize.htm and then you can do what you need without launching map or catalog... don't forget to shut down the license on exit or it may remain claimed by your workstation after program termination.


If seeing an esri logo is such an issue why not consider something like mapwingis or the .net topology suite or just use quantum gis?

But if you intend to use Arcobjects then Engine is the way foward.


blah238 hit closest to the real solution.

I was able to make a ArcGIS geoprocessing service with ArcGIS Server and Python, expose it via REST, and build a .NET program that called the service and handled all the communication with SQL Server.

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