Licensing and deploying solutions  

License options

This topic is relevant for the following:
Product(s): ArcGIS Engine
Version(s): 9.2, 9.3
Language(s): C#, C++, Java, VB6, VB.NET, VC++
Experience level(s): All



  1. Product licensing
  2. Runtime licensing
  3. ArcGIS Engine and ArcGIS Desktop licensing

Product licensing

On installation of the ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit and ArcGIS Engine Runtime, you will need to read and agree to the ESRI Master License Agreement (MLA). The MLA defines the permitted use of the software. A copy of the MLA can be found in C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\License or at http://www.esri.com/licenseagreement.

The ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit is a single-use license product, meaning a license must be dedicated for each computer that has access to the software. With the ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit, you have the right to develop an unlimited number of applications on a single computer and deliver the applications to others. It is illegal to redistribute the ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit registration number or authorization file.

The ArcGIS Engine Runtime is also a single-use license, meaning it is intended for dedicated desktop computers. Each machine running a custom application developed with the ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit will require an ArcGIS Engine Runtime license or an ArcGIS Desktop license. The ArcGIS Engine Runtime license does not permit the ArcGIS Engine Runtime to be used for development purposes, nor can it be deployed on a server machine. The ArcGIS Engine Runtime setup can be redistributed, but the license and registration number cannot without authorization from ESRI. Any number of applications can use the same ArcGIS Engine Runtime license, as long as they are all installed on the same machine.


Runtime licensing

There are two types of ArcGIS Engine Runtime licenses—product licenses and extension licenses. Product licenses include core ESRI software, such as ArcGIS Engine Runtime, ArcGIS Desktop licenses (ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo), and ArcGIS Server. Extension licenses include additional ESRI products that build on those core licenses, such as the Spatial extension for ArcGIS Engine, the 3D Analyst extension, and the Network extension. This help deals solely with ArcGIS Engine-based development; therefore, ArcGIS Server product and extension licensing will be ignored. Since ArcGIS Engine Runtime is the platform on which ArcGIS Desktop is built, ArcGIS Desktop licensing may factor into your application development and is discussed here.

Licensing and deployment considerations for ArcGIS Server-based development are discussed in the ArcGIS Server help system.

Custom applications that utilize core ArcGIS Engine features can be built to run against any or all of the following product runtime licenses:

Applications that utilize extended ArcGIS Engine features require extension licenses that correspond to the ArcGIS product providing the core license. In other words, if your application initializes with an ArcGIS Engine Runtime license, any required extension licenses must be ArcGIS Engine Runtime extensions, not ArcGIS Desktop extensions.

The ArcGIS Engine Controls, also follow this runtime licensing model. MapControl, PageLayoutControl, TOCControl, ToolbarControl and SymbologyControl applications can utilize an ArcGIS Engine Runtime, ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo product license. Since the GlobeControl and SceneControl extend core ArcGIS Engine functionality, they require a corresponding 3D extension license in addition to the core product license.

The extended ArcGIS Engine features and the extension runtime licenses that can be used to initialize them are:

For more detailed descriptions of the features provided by the ArcGIS Engine extensions, see the topic What is ArcGIS Engine in the Getting started section..

ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Network extension can:

ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Geodatabase Update and the Network extension can:

All editing of datasets is subject to the standard editing restrictions in the core ESRI products.


ArcGIS Engine and ArcGIS Desktop licensing

One advantage of ArcGIS Engine mentioned in previous chapters is the fact that it is the platform used for the ArcGIS Desktop applications. This allows for more flexibility in the licensing of your application. In some cases, you may want to deploy an ArcGIS Engine software-based application that can utilize either the core ArcGIS Engine Runtime product and extension licenses or the equivalent ArcGIS Desktop product and extension licenses.

Methods for leveraging multiple levels of licensing in this manner are discussed in the License initialization topic.

The following table lists the ArcGIS Engine product or extension license and its equivalent ArcGIS Desktop license.

ArcGIS Engine ArcGIS Desktop License comparison
ArcGIS Engine Runtime ArcView ArcGIS Engine Runtime is functionally equivalent to ArcView at the ArcObjects level. ArcGIS Engine Runtime does not include any of the ArcGIS Desktop applications, such as ArcMap, but it does include the same core GIS ArcObjects.
ArcGIS Engine Runtime with Geodatabase Update extension ArcEditor ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Geodatabase Update extension is functionally equivalent to ArcEditor at the ArcObjects level. The Geodatabase Update extension does not include any of the advanced editing tools available in ArcMap, but it does provide complete access to the Geodatabase API for creating, editing, and managing an enterprise geodatabase.
ArcGIS Engine Runtime with 3D extension ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with 3D Analyst

ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the 3D extension is functionally equivalent to ArcGIS Desktop with the 3D Analyst extension at the ArcObjects level. The 3D extension for ArcGIS Engine does not include the ArcScene or ArcGlobe applications, but it does provide access to the GlobeControl and SceneControl for embedding 3D visualization in custom applications.

ArcGIS Engine Runtime with Spatial extension ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with Spatial Analyst ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Spatial extension is functionally equivalent to ArcGIS Desktop with the Spatial Analyst extension at the ArcObjects level. The Spatial extension for ArcGIS Engine does not include the ArcGIS Desktop toolbars or commands, but it does provide the ArcObjects components necessary for raster cell analysis.
ArcGIS Engine Runtime with Network extension ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with Network Analyst ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Network extension is functionally equivalent to ArcGIS Desktop with the Network Analyst extension at the ArcObjects level. The ArcGIS Engine Network extension includes commands and ArcObjects components necessary for creating custom applications that solve on any network.
ArcGIS Engine Runtime with Data Interoperability extension ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with Data Interoperability ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Data Interoperability extension is functionally equivalent to ArcGIS Desktop with the Data Interoperability extension at the ArcObjects level. The ArcGIS Engine Data Interoperability extension does not include the ArcGIS Desktop toolbars or commands, but it does provide the ArcObjects components necessary for creating custom applications that read, transform and export published data formats.
ArcGIS Engine Runtime with Maplex extension ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with Maplex ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Maplex extension is functionally equivalent to ArcGIS Desktop with the Maplex extension at the ArcObjects level. The ArcGIS Engine Maplex extension does not include the ArcGIS Desktop toolbars or commands, but it does provide the ArcObjects components necessary for creating custom applications that provide high quality cartographic text placement and labelling.
ArcGIS Engine Runtime with Schematics extension ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with Schematics ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Schematics extension is functionally equivalent to ArcGIS Desktop with the Schematics extension at the ArcObjects level. The ArcGIS Engine Schematics extension includes commands and ArcObjects components necessary for creating custom applications that view network datasets as schematic representations.
ArcGIS Engine Runtime with Tracking extension ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with Tracking Analyst ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Tracking extension is functionally equivalent to ArcGIS Desktop with the Tracking Analyst extension at the ArcObjects level. The ArcGIS Engine Tracking extension does not include the ArcGIS Desktop toolbars or commands, but it does provide the ArcObjects components necessary for creating custom applications that play and analyze time series data.