I have a Python script that will need to be given to a client.

We are currently evaluating what license level the client will need in order to run the script for their software acquisition purposes.

We all have ArcGIS 10.1 Advanced license in our company.

I checked all the tools and extensions used in the script against the web help and found that they should work on the Standard license level.

Is there a way I can test the script against the Standard license level, when we have no Standard license level in or company (only the higher Advanced level)?

  • 3
    I myself was interested in doing this gis.stackexchange.com/questions/78738/…. Seems as you need a float license to return ArcInfo license and borrow ArcEditor before running the script. Jan 20, 2014 at 20:35
  • My former employer's IT department implemented a selection for power users to choose all three levels of licensing. It was accessed via the start menu and desktop shortcuts. Non power users did not have the option to choose ArcInfo but may have had the option to use ArcView or ArcEditor. All licenses were on a dedicated GIS server and was a floating license for unlimited users. So it depends on how your IT department has things set up. The other option is to find a machine to install again and simply install ArcView license.
    – danagerous
    Jan 20, 2014 at 20:39
  • Related: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/24002/… Jul 10, 2020 at 17:22

5 Answers 5


If this will be a recurring effort where you need to test your products at various license levels, it might be worth purchasing an Esri Developer Network license.

Esri Developer Network (EDN) is available through an annual subscription and provides a cost-effective way to license Esri ArcGIS products and tools. Whether you're a Web, desktop, mobile, or server developer, EDN has the resources you need for building GIS applications and solutions.

  • Do you have more information about that? Specifically, I would be interested to know if I would need to buy one license for each license level that I want to test scripts on? For now we found a computer that we can install an ArcGIS Standard License on to test this script.
    – Kat
    Jan 21, 2014 at 15:35
  • You should contact your local ESRI rep for details. Jan 21, 2014 at 16:07

There is an existing ArcGIS Idea for support of Inclusive license levels (Allow checking out of lesser license levels).

The justification for this request seems to match your use case precisely:

Currently if you have a need to test for a license level, say basic, you would need to purchase a basic license, for standard, you need a standard license, etc. If you have already purchased an advanced license, you should be able to consume that license at all three levels.


I don't think the functionality to run a lower license option exists yet, though it has been a suggested Idea to implement. you could find a computer without ArcGIS installed and get a trial version. either that, or maybe someone on here running a standard license could test it for you.

  • 1
    I think this needs a new ArcGIS Idea because the one you referenced does not seem to address the use case of the Question where the only ArcGIS for Desktop level licensed is Advanced but testing is wanted to happen while masquerading as a Basic and/or Standard level license.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 22, 2014 at 0:38

The following requires only an ArcGIS Basic license however numerous tools require an ArcGIS Standard or higher license.

import arcview

Maybe try

import arceditor 
import arcpy

See the help doc at Accessing licenses and extensions in Python. It is not 100% clear to me that this will do what you want but maybe try a script where you know it should only work with Advanced and see what the script does.

  • 2
    This will not help unless the user has an available Basic (ArcView) or Standard (ArcEditor) license. See my answer to Why does import arcview/arceditor give gp.setProduct() RuntimeError: ERROR 999999: Error executing? Jan 21, 2014 at 3:42
  • @RyanDalton: I just tested using 'Identity (Analysis)' in a gp script (which requires Advanced license). I get 'ERROR 000824: The tool is not licensed.' if using 'import arceditor' but it runs if using 'import arcinfo'. Your answer using is using setProduct(), which is 'a legacy function' maybe the import syntax works differently. Or am I missing something regarding this question?
    – dark fader
    Jan 21, 2014 at 17:35
  • 3
    You missed the point of my answer. As I stated: "you are not able to "upgrade" or "downgrade" to a different license which is unavailable to the user without getting a failure." To summarize what I tried to explain, you cannot "dumb down" (or "up") a license unless you actually HAVE a lower license available, which is exactly what your test proved out. Neither import <license> nor gp.setProduct() allows users to use a product level that is not licensed. Jan 21, 2014 at 22:08

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