Skip To Content

Supported functionality in map services

In this topic

The following list shows which functionality is supported with the map services drawing engine:

Data sources

The following data sources are supported:

  • Databases (See the ArcGIS database management system requirements for a list of supported databases and spatial data types.)
  • Databases accessed through an OLE DB connection file (.odc)
  • File geodatabases
  • Enterprise and workgroup geodatabases
  • NetCDF files
  • Network datasets
  • Plug-in custom data types
  • Rasters
  • SDC files
  • Shapefiles
  • Text files
  • Tracking data sources

Layer symbology

The following layer symbology options are available:

  • Charts
  • Dot density
  • Graduated colors
  • Graduated symbols
  • Proportional symbols
  • Representations (recommended for cached maps only)
  • Single symbol
  • Unique values


The Standard Label Engine is available, as well as annotation. The Maplex Label Engine is available but is recommended for cached maps only.

Layer types

The following layer types are supported:

  • Annotation layer
  • Dimension layer
  • Feature layer
  • File-based raster catalog layer
  • Geodatabase raster catalog layer
  • Geostatistical layer
  • Group layer
  • Mosaic layer
  • Network analysis layer
  • Parcel fabric layer
  • Query layers
  • Raster layer
  • Schematics layer
  • Terrain layers
  • TIN layers
  • Tracking layer
  • XY event layer
  • Route event layer

Dynamic layers

Dynamic layers allow clients to change layer appearance and behavior on the fly in a map service. Using dynamic layers, you can do the following:

  • Add new layers to the map from a dynamic workspace.
  • Define how the labels will draw for a layer.
  • Define layer symbology (simple, unique value, class breaks).
  • Define the position and order of layers in the map.
  • Modify joins to an existing layer/table.
  • Remove an existing layer from the map.
  • Add joins to an existing layer/table or add a layer/table that originates from a dynamic workspace.
  • Force the server to perform a dynamic draw even if a tile cache is available.

Dynamic layers are supported by REST, COM, and non-Esri SOAP clients. Data sources that you can register as a dynamic workspace include the following:

  • Database (query layers only)
  • File geodatabase (feature layers, raster layers, and tables only)
  • Folder containing file-based rasters
  • Folder containing shapefiles or .dbf files
  • Geodatabase (feature layers, raster layers, query layers, and tables only)

Raster symbology

Most raster symbology is available. The raster pan-sharpening filter is also available. Hillshading on the fly is not available.


Most 2D symbols are available, but 3D symbols are not supported.

The following symbols are available:

  • Arrow marker symbol
  • Cartographic line symbol
  • Character marker symbol
  • Gradient fill symbol
  • Hash line symbol
  • Line fill symbol
  • Marker fill symbol
  • Marker line symbol
  • Multilayer fill symbol
  • Multilayer line symbol
  • Multilayer marker symbol
  • Picture line symbol
  • Picture fill symbol
  • Picture marker symbol
  • Simple fill symbol
  • Simple line symbol
  • Simple marker symbol
  • Text symbol

Cartographic representation rules are supported, although using representations with map services is recommended for cached maps only.


Additional features that are available include:

  • All color ramp types
  • All color types
  • All number formats
  • Bookmarks
  • Callouts
  • Definition queries/query expressions

    Definition queries/query expressions cannot be modified programmatically through the map service. If you need to modify the query specified in your map service, you'll need to open the original map document, update the query, and overwrite your map service. For full instructions, see Overwriting a service in ArcGIS for Desktop.

  • HTML pop-up windows
  • Hyperlinks
  • Legends
  • MapTips
  • Stand-alone tables

Page layouts and display expressions are not available. Scale bars are available through the service's Web Service Description Language (WSDL) only.