Skip To Content

What's new in ArcGIS 10.3 for Server

In this topic

ArcGIS 10.3 for Server includes stability enhancements and improved functionality throughout the product. For a list of issues that are fixed in 10.3, see the 10.3 Issues Addressed List. For a summary of changes in the software, see the following sections.

It's recommended that you review the deprecation notice to determine if your hardware and software components are still compatible with version 10.3. To review which earlier ArcGIS product versions are compatible with ArcGIS 10.3 for Server, see Compatibility of ArcGIS for Server with earlier versions.

Monitor server statistics using ArcGIS Server Manager

ArcGIS Server records various service statistics, such as total requests, average response time, and timeouts, and reports this information in ArcGIS Server Manager as one or a series of graphs. Administrators and publishers can use this information to monitor service activity and better understand how clients are using services. To learn more, see About server statistics.

ArcGIS GeoEvent Extension stream services

The ArcGIS GeoEvent Extension for Server exposes a new type of service, called the stream service, which emphasizes low latency, real-time data dissemination, for client/server data flows. Clients connecting to a stream service begin receiving data immediately upon subscribing to the service. Clients can specify and reconfigure both spatial and attribute constraints without first unsubscribing and then reconnecting to the service.

To learn more, see Stream services.

Check for available patches and software updates

Esri periodically releases software patches and updates for all components of ArcGIS. Email notifications are sent out for each update and announced on the Patches and Service Packs page on the Esri Support website. You can also check if updates are available using a utility installed with the software.

The utility will only report update information for ArcGIS for Server, Portal for ArcGIS, and ArcGIS Data Store. Other products are not supported. If more than one of these products are installed, update information for those products will also be reported.

For full instructions, see Check for software patches and updates.

Portal for ArcGIS included with ArcGIS for Server standard

At 10.3, sites that use ArcGIS for Server standard or advanced edition can implement Portal for ArcGIS. Portal for ArcGIS allows you to share maps, services, applications, and other geographic information with people in your organization. To learn more about how to integrate your server with portal, see About using your server with Portal for ArcGIS.

Configure ArcGIS Server with your organization's highly available LDAP server

When you configure ArcGIS Server with your organization's LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) identity store, you can only specify one LDAP server in ArcGIS Server Manager. If your organization includes multiple LDAP servers, you can specify the additional servers using the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory. This allows you to configure your organization's highly-available LDAP with ArcGIS Server. For full instructions, see Configuring a highly available LDAP with ArcGIS Server.

Generate auto-complete suggestions for geocode services

The suggest operation allows character-by-character auto-complete suggestions to be generated as a user types an address in a client application. This capability facilitates the interactive search user experience by reducing the number of characters that need to be typed before a suggested address match is obtained. A client application can provide a list of suggestions that is updated with each character typed by a user until the address they are looking for appears in the list.

To learn more, see Geocode services and Suggest.

Preserve the layer and table IDs of map and feature services

In ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Server and earlier, the layer and table IDs of a map and feature services were not preserved after altering the source map document. This required you to update any client applications consuming the service to use the updated layer and table IDs.

In ArcGIS 10.3 for Server, you can now preserve the IDs of layers and tables in map and feature services. When you create or alter a map document, an option is now available that automatically generates immutable IDs for each layer and table in the map document. If you select this option, the layer and table IDs are preserved after publishing or republishing; you are no longer required to alter client applications that consume the map service. If desired, you can replace the auto-generated IDs with your own custom IDs.

For full instructions, see Map authoring considerations.

Limited Error Raster Compression method available for image services

Limited Error Raster Compression (LERC) is an efficient lossy compression method now available for image service caches. The format is recommended for single-band or elevation data with a large pixel depth, such as float, 32-bit, 16-bit, or 12-bit data. LERC compresses 5 to 10 times faster than LZ77 for float data.

To learn more, see Available map and image cache properties.


Limited Error Raster Compression (LERC) is only available for image services; map services are not supported.


Map and image service caching improvements are listed below.

Performance improvements when consuming cached services

The compact cache storage format has been improved to increase performance when consuming cached map and image services. Improvements also reduced the number of files created in the cache directory. This was achieved by including the tile index information (.bundlx files) inside the .bundle files.

New compact caches created with ArcGIS 10.3 for Server will automatically leverage the performance improvements. After you upgrade to 10.3, services with compact caches generated in earlier versions will continue to work. You can continue to maintain these caches using the server cache tools.

If you want your existing cache to leverage the performance improvements, you'll need to upgrade the cache using the Upgrade Map Server Cache Storage Format tool. Upgrading the cache does not create new tiles; instead, the files are reorganized to be compliant with the improved format.


The Upgrade Map Server Cache Storage Format tool is not available in ArcGIS Pro. Instead, use ArcGIS for Desktop.

The improved compact cache storage format is not backwards compatible with earlier versions of ArcGIS. For example, a compact cache created or upgraded using version 10.3 cannot be transferred and consumed in an earlier version of the software. The improved compact cache storage format is always expected to be associated with a service.


Exporting a cache using the Export Map Server Cache tool will continue to use the previous compact cache storage format which does not include the performance improvements noted above.

Performance improvements when accessing tiles under heavy load or over a network location

Map and image service caches have been optimized to improve performance when accessing tiles under heavy load or over a network location. These optimizations are only supported with caches created using 10.3. Your existing caches will continue to work in 10.3. However, if you want to take advantage of these performance improvements, you'll need to upgrade your existing caches or create a new cache. To get started, see What is map caching?

Performance improvements for secured map and image service caches

Cached map and image services secured with ArcGIS 10.3 for Server have been optimized and include significant performance improvements over earlier versions.

Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) services

OGC WFS 2.0 support

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Feature Services (WFS) you create and host on ArcGIS Server now support the WFS 2.0 specification. The ArcGIS Server implementation of the WFS 2.0 specification addresses the required features of the simple WFS profile, transactions, response paging, and stored queries.

To learn more, see WFS services.

OGC WMS elevation dimension support

ArcGIS Server WMS services now include support for the elevation dimension. ArcGIS client applications only support this dimension if the layer is elevation-aware. Elevation can be set in NetCDF and mosaic datasets.

See Communicating with a WMS service in a web browser for details.

Allow fine-grained control of OGC WMS operations

You can control the allowed WMS service operations in Manager and ArcGIS for Desktop. For example, if there is a requirement to restrict access to individual feature information, uncheck the GetFeatureInfo option. Any requests to access feature information would be denied.

You can choose whether to allow clients to access capabilities, map, legend, styles, feature, or schema extension. To learn more, see WMS services.

WMTS service performance improvements

Web Map Tile Services (WMTS) have been optimized and include significant performance improvements over earlier versions of ArcGIS for Server. To learn more about WMTS, see WMTS services.

Disable browser caching of the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory

When you use a web browser to navigate the pages of the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory, the browser caches all information it receives. For example, information about services, machines, data store items, security settings, and tokens are saved in the browser cache used by the ArcGIS Server administrator. Saving this information allows the pages to load faster in the browser and helps reduce the load on the ArcGIS Server site.

If you want to protect this information and prevent unauthorized users from accessing cached pages, disable any caching of this information by the web browser. This behavior is controlled using the DisableAdminDirectoryCache property in the Administrator Directory. The default value is false, meaning that browser caching is enabled.

For full instructions, see Disable browser caching of the Administrator Directory.

Enhancements to ArcGIS Server for Amazon Web Services

Amazon introduced a multi-availability zone (multi-AZ) deployment for their Relational Database Services. Beginning with the ArcGIS 10.3 Server for Amazon Web Services machine images, this deployment is used by default when you include an Amazon Relational Database Service for SQL Server instance with your site.

ArcGIS for Server instances you launch on Amazon Web Services using ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services use General Purpose (SSD) Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes, which are now Amazon Web Services' default EBS volume type. See Amazon Web Services documentation for information on SSD volumes.