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ArcGIS Server and ArcPy

ArcGIS includes the ArcPy site package, which you can use for managing data store items and publishing service definitions with Python. ArcPy also allows you to run geoprocessing tools from ArcGIS Server machines using Python.

ArcPy complements the server administration operations in ArcGIS REST API. For example, using ArcPy, you can convert map documents to service definitions and upload them to the server, change the paths of layers in a map document, or add more layers and publish a service.

You can use ArcPy with ArcGIS Server in the following ways:

  • Register databases and folders with ArcGIS Server.
  • Analyze your map documents and use them to create service definitions.
  • Analyze your imagery or geoprocessing model results and use them to create service definitions.
  • Publish a service definition as an ArcGIS Server service.
  • Publish all service definitions in a folder to ArcGIS Server.


ArcGIS Server installs Python 3 to the following location by default: C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Server\framework\runtime\ArcGIS\bin\Python.

To run an ArcPy script, open ArcGIS > Python 3 Command Prompt from the Windows start menu. This starts a windows terminal session with an active python3 environment using the ArcGIS Pro runtime. At the command prompt, type python <path to my>, replacing <path to my> with the path to and name of your script.

Another way to run an ArcPy script on an ArcGIS Server machine is to run the propy.bat file—which is installed to C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Server\framework\runtime\ArcGIS\bin\Python\Scripts\propy.bat by default—from a Windows command prompt or a Microsoft PowerShell session, for example. Type the path to the propy.bat file followed by the ArcPy script location and name. For example, type C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Server\framework\runtime\ArcGIS\bin\Python\Scripts\propy.bat <path to my>, replacing <path to my> with the path to and name of your script.

This section of the documentation contains examples of ArcPy code that accomplish various tasks in ArcGIS Server.

You can add ArcPy to an existing Python 3 environment, as long as its package versions are not in conflict. To add ArcPy, use conda to install ArcPy from the Esri channel on Anaconda Cloud. From the conda prompt, run the following command with the appropriate release number:

conda install -c esri arcgis-server-py3=11.0