What is ArcGIS Engine?

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About ArcGIS Engine

ArcGIS Engine is a complete library of embeddable geographic information system (GIS) components for developers to build custom applications. Using ArcGIS Engine, developers can embed ArcGIS functions into other information tools and build custom applications that deliver advanced GIS solutions. ArcGIS Engine is supported on Windows, Solaris, and Linux (Intel); therefore, developers can create cross-platform custom solutions for a wide range of users.

Essential features

The essential features of ArcGIS Engine can be broadly categorized as shown in the following table and illustration: 
  • Base services—Core GIS ArcObjects required for almost any GIS application, such as feature geometry and display.
  • Data access—ArcGIS Engine provides access to a wide variety of raster and vector formats including the power and flexibility of the geodatabase.   
  • Map presentation—ArcObjects for map creation and display with symbology, labeling, and thematic mapping capabilities including custom applications.
  • Developer components—High-level user interface (UI) controls for rapid application development and a comprehensive Help system and sample tools for effective development.
  • Extensions—ArcGIS Engine Runtime is deployable with the standard functionality or with additional extensions for advanced functionality.
The two major components of ArcGIS Engine—ArcObjects Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Java Platform and a redistributable ArcGIS Engine Runtime—provide the platform for all ArcGIS applications. The SDK is a toolkit for application developers. It provides visual components, samples, tools, wizards, templates, object application programming interfaces (APIs), and Help topics that help developers build sophisticated GIS applications. 
All applications built with the ArcObjects SDK require ArcGIS Engine Runtime or ArcGIS Desktop installed, with the appropriate license, to execute successfully. ArcGIS Engine Runtime is the platform on which ArcGIS Desktop is built; this allows users of ArcGIS Desktop applications to execute custom applications based on ArcGIS Engine.

ArcGIS Engine extensions

ArcGIS Engine provides the core functionality of all ArcGIS applications, such as map interaction, map creation, map analysis, data creation (shape file and personal geodatabase), developer controls, and developer technologies and geoprocessing. Also, additional application programming capabilities, such as geodatabase update, spatial, 3D, network, tracking, schematics, or data interoperability are provided as specific extensions.