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About the ArcGIS Web Adaptor

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ArcGIS Web Adaptor allows ArcGIS for Server to integrate with your existing web server. It is compatible with IIS and Java EE servers such as WebSphere and WebLogic.

The Web Adaptor is an application that runs in your existing website and forwards requests to your GIS servers. It polls your site at a regular interval to learn which machines have been added or removed. It then forwards traffic to only the currently participating machines.

When you prepare to expose your ArcGIS Server site to an external audience, you should install the Web Adaptor or implement comparable request forwarding and security technology.

Benefits of the Web Adaptor

The Web Adaptor provides the following benefits:

  • Allows you to integrate ArcGIS for Server with your organization's existing web server. By including a web server in your site, you gain the ability to host web applications that use your GIS services.

  • Allows you to provide a single endpoint that distributes incoming requests to the GIS servers in your site.

  • Allows you to expose your GIS server through your organization's standard website and port. Use the Web Adaptor if you don't want users to see the default port 6080 or the default site name arcgis.

  • Allows you to block the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory and ArcGIS Server Manager from the view of external users.

  • Allows you to block ArcGIS for Desktop users from establishing administrative or publisher connections to ArcGIS Server.

  • Allows you to use your organization's identity store and security policies at the web-tier level. For example, if you're using IIS, you can use Integrated Windows Authentication to restrict who enters the portal. You can also use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) or any other identity store for which the web server has built-in or extensible support. This allows you to provide a single sign-on or other custom authentication experience when logging in to use services, web applications, and ArcGIS Server. For more information, see Configuring ArcGIS Server's authentication tier.

Web Adaptor deployment scenarios

The Web Adaptor can be used in various ArcGIS Server site configurations. For example, in a single-machine deployment, you can have the Web Adaptor reside on the GIS server or offload it to an existing web server. In a multiple-machine deployment, you can have one entry point into your site by installing the Web Adaptor on an existing web server, or you can establish redundancy at the web server tier by installing the Web Adaptor on multiple web servers.

The Web Adaptor is platform independent of ArcGIS Server; therefore, the Web Adaptor you deploy does not have to match the operating system platform of your ArcGIS Server site. For example, if you have a site comprised of Linux machines, you can deploy the ArcGIS Web Adaptor (IIS) or (Java Platform) to work with ArcGIS Server. Conversely, if you have a site comprised of Windows machines, you can deploy ArcGIS Web Adaptor (Java Platform) on Linux to work with ArcGIS Server.

For a detailed description of the different ways you can integrate the Web Adaptor into your existing site architecture, see Deployment scenarios.

Accessing URLs with the Web Adaptor installed

After installing and configuring the Web Adaptor, the URLs that you use to access your services will change. Below are some examples of URLs that would change after installing the Web Adaptor:

Services Directory (REST web services)

  • Without the Web Adaptor:

  • With the Web Adaptor: For example, if the machine hosting your Web Adaptor is named wa with the domain and your Web Adaptor is named arcgis, you'll access the Services Directory using the URL

SOAP web services

  • Without the Web Adaptor:

  • With the Web Adaptor: For example, if the machine hosting your Web Adaptor is named wa with the domain and your Web Adaptor is named arcgis, you'll access SOAP web services using the URL

The Web Adaptor setup experience

The Web Adaptor has its own setup and installation guide which is separate from the ArcGIS Server installation. You must install the Web Adaptor on a machine running a web server. This can be a machine already running an ArcGIS Server site or a separate machine.

Three setups are available for the Web Adaptor and, depending on your web server and operating system, you will choose one of them: