Using an ArcGIS Desktop license to run an ArcGIS Engine application


This document was published with and applies to ArcGIS 9.3.
A 10 version also exists. A 9.2 version also exists.
Summary ArcGIS Engine applications can run on machines with ArcGIS Desktop.

Development licensing Deployment licensing
Engine Developer Kit ArcView
ArcEditor
ArcInfo
Engine Runtime

Product or extension licensing

One of the advantages of the ArcGIS Engine licensing model is that custom ArcGIS Engine applications can be deployed to users with ArcGIS Desktop installed and the ArcGIS Engine application can leverage the existing ArcGIS Desktop license to run the ArcGIS Engine application. This allows for more flexibility in the licensing of your application. The following table lists the ArcGIS Engine product or extension license and its equivalent ArcGIS Desktop license level:
 
ArcGIS Engine
ArcGIS Desktop
License comparison
Standard 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 geographic information system (GIS) ArcObjects.
Standard Engine Runtime with the 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 user interface available in ArcMap, but it does provide complete access to the Geodatabase application programming interface (API) for creating, editing, and managing geodatabases.
Standard Engine Runtime with the 3D extension
ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with the 3D Analyst extension
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.
Standard Engine Runtime with the Spatial extension 
ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with ArcGIS 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.
Standard Engine Runtime with the Network extension 
ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with ArcGIS 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.
Standard Engine Runtime with the Data Interoperability extension 
ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with ArcGIS 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.
Standard Engine Runtime with the Maplex extension 
ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with Maplex for ArcGIS
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 labeling.
Standard Engine Runtime with the Schematics extension 
ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with ArcGIS 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.
Standard Engine Runtime with the Tracking extension 
ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) with ArcGIS 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.
StreetMap USA is no longer a separate extension; however, it is included in the Standard Engine Runtime.
There is no ArcGIS Engine Runtime equivalent to ArcInfo. Functionality that is only available with an ArcInfo license is not available in ArcGIS Engine.
 
An ArcGIS Engine Runtime can be configured to use an ArcGIS Desktop license that is available on your local network. To make this work, the machine that has the ArcGIS Engine Runtime installed needs to have a system-level environment variable present (ARCGIS_LICENSE_FILE). The value of this variable is either going to be the path to a valid ArcGIS Desktop license file or the host name of the license manager host machine.
 
The following steps guide you through the process of setting this system variable for Windows:
  1. Click the Start menu, Control Panel, and System.
  2. Click the Advanced tab and click the Environment Variables button.
  3. Create a new system variable and name it ARCGIS_LICENSE_FILE.
  4. Set the value to @<hostname> for a License Manager on your local network, for example, @server1.
  5. Click OK.
 
At this point, any ArcGIS Engine application deployed to this system will have access to all licensing levels on the licensing server, such as ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo.
Your ArcGIS Engine application must check out any one of these three levels explicitly.