The more things change, the more they stay the same

ArcIMS Author GUI

I have probably installed production ArcGIS Server systems over a dozen times (rough estimate not counting upgrades) at different locations and under different IT environments. It is a world of change from the old ArcIMS days and so much easier. No Apache Server, no Tomcat, no enabling user permissions to make changes to the environmental variables or setting the %JAVA_HOME variable (How many times did a Java update break our sites? Ugh!). Don't even get me started on the Web ADF! That being said each install has its own idiosyncrasies and challenges. I consider myself very experienced, however, that experience also has taught me not to be too arrogant. I approach each install as if something will go wrong or something will occur that I haven’t seen before. When it does, I can take it in stride and move past to finish the project. 


One of the best pieces of advice I can give to someone attempting to set up ArcGIS server is: “Lower your expectations and assume you will have to call tech support.” That’s the standard to reach for.

  • Is that too low? Probably.
  • Is that unfair? Maybe.
  • Is that realistic? Yup.

Esri continues to make installing easier. Next, Next, Next, Agree, Install. Big Whoop. That is not the hard part.  In the aftermath lies the IT questions and issues. Where were the base directories installed to? What user has rights to those directories? How does your server publish to the web? Is your server a License Manager too? Where does your RDBMS live?  Security? Firewalls? Users? Active Directory? Federated? Database Authentication? Both? What?


If there is anything that I have learned during my time on this earth, it’s that when you feel like you’re an ‘Expert’ at something; Life says “Bully for you” and sends a curveball. Education and Experience teaches us how ignorant we actually are.


Wouldn’t you want someone to help you. We can be your ArcGIS Server Sherpa and ask you all the right questions before you sit down to that install wizard. Or just have us do it. We have Kickstart Packages available. 

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