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ArcGIS Developer



The ArcGIS REST API allows you to administer ArcGIS Server programmatically. This means that you can completely manage your server using any framework that can make HTTP requests.

The API is organized into resources and operations. Resources are entities within ArcGIS Server that hold some information and have a well-defined state. Operations act on these resources and update their information or state. Resources and operations are hierarchical and have unique universal resource locators (URLs).

This topic is designed to help you navigate through the APIs as well as be more productive in administering ArcGIS Server.

Getting started

The hierarchical root of the Administrator API begins with a well-defined URL called as the site URL. Typically, this is accessible at the following location:


Organized hierarchically from the site URL are the various resources and operations that are exposed by the Administrator API. To access a resource or invoke an operation, you must create a request by doing the following:

  1. Constructing a URL to the selected resource or operation as defined in the API Reference
  2. Providing the relevant parameters in their specified format
  3. Accessing the URL over the prescribed HTTP method (typically GET or POST)


Users not directly interacting with administrative or REST APIs (for example, using scripts or having a web application firewall configured) may encounter query limitations. In instances where a query string exceeds 2,048 characters in length, the query should be submitted as a POST request.

The API is stateless, which means that the server does not keep track of transactions from one request to the next. Each request must contain all the information necessary for successful processing. The server will process each request and return a well-defined response.

For more information, see the API Reference section of this document.

Administrator Directory

The Administrator Directory, which is installed with each instance of ArcGIS Server, is a simple HTML interface that allows you to interact with the resources and operations exposed by the Administrator API. This can be helpful when building scripts for administrative tasks and applications. To access the Administrator Directory, browse to the site URL in a web browser.