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Publish and consume GIS server services

Publish and consume ArcGIS Server services

If your organization has deployed a stand-alone ArcGIS Server and you want to share its services on the web, this topic outlines a workflow for doing so. The following sections provide an overview of the steps needed to create and consume GIS services using their REST endpoints (URLs.)

For an overview of considerations for building web apps, see Sharing GIS content on the web.

Use ArcMap to create and share content as GIS services

ArcMap enables you to create, share, and consume GIS services. With ArcMap, you can create geographic information that is captured and preserved as geodatabases, map documents, geoprocessing toolboxes, image files, and so on. Each of these resources can be published and shared as GIS web services using ArcGIS Server. GIS service URLs are obtained through the ArcGIS Server Services Directory. Once you create a connection to your ArcGIS Server, you can also add services directly to ArcMap to consume them.

For best practices and considerations when authoring GIS services, see Map service planning and Map authoring considerations.

Consume ArcGIS Server services through a REST endpoint (URL)

If your organization is using a stand-alone configuration of ArcGIS Server or if your current needs are to build a web app using the REST endpoints (URLs) for your services, the following options are available for creating web apps and allowing users to consume your GIS services.

For a step-by-step example of this workflow, see Publishing a map service.


For information about ArcGIS Web APIs that work with ArcGIS Server, visit the ArcGIS Web APIs overview on the ArcGIS for Developers website.

ArcGIS Runtime SDKs

You can use the ArcGIS Runtime SDKs to build and deploy native apps to a variety of popular platforms and devices. Add powerful spatial capabilities to your native apps and empower your app users to do all things GIS, even when offline. For more information, see the ArcGIS Runtime SDKs reference guide.


The ArcGIS platform offers a variety of options to build custom apps that expose much of its functionality through web services. If the ArcGIS API for JavaScript or various SDK solutions do not fit your development requirements, you can use the ArcGIS REST API. For more information, view an overview of the ArcGIS REST API.

Portal for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Online

If you have access to and credentials for Portal for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Online, you can add GIS services to the map viewer in either using a REST endpoint (URL), and share them as web maps and web apps. GIS service URLs are obtained through the ArcGIS Server Services Directory.

For more details, see the Add items topic or the ArcGIS Online help.


Web maps are a framework for most apps provided with the ArcGIS platform. If you're using a portal to create web maps, there are many additional apps available to you. For details, see the steps outlined in Publish and consume Web GIS services or Sharing your map in a web application.