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ArcGIS Desktop (ArcObjects .NET 10.8 SDK)
ArcObjects Help for .NET developers > ArcObjects Help for .NET developers > ArcGIS developer products > ArcGIS Desktop

ArcGIS Desktop (Basic, Standard, and Advanced)

About ArcGIS Desktop Basic, Standard, and Advanced

ArcGIS Desktop is an integrated suite of professional geographic information system (GIS) applications, including ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcGlobe. By using these applications and interfaces in unison, you can perform any GIS task - from simple to advanced - including mapping, geographic analysis, data editing and compilation, data management, visualization, and geoprocessing.

Defining Basic, Standard, and Advanced

ArcGIS Desktop is the information authoring and usage tool for GIS professionals. It is scalable as the following three separate software products to meet the needs of many users:
  • Basic - Provides comprehensive mapping and analysis tools with simple editing and geoprocessing.
  • Standard - Includes advanced editing capabilities for shapefiles and geodatabases in addition to the full functionality of ArcGIS Desktop Basic.
  • Advanced - Is the flagship ArcGIS Desktop product. It builds on the functionality of Standard with advanced geoprocessing. It also includes legacy applications for ArcInfo Workstation.
Because ArcGIS Desktop Basic, Standard, and Advanced all share a common architecture, users working with any of these GIS desktop products can share their work with other users. Maps, data, symbology, map layers, custom tools and interfaces, reports, metadata, and so on, can be accessed interchangeably in all three products. This means that you benefit from using a single architecture, minimizing the need to learn and deploy several different architectures.

New capabilities can be added to all seats through a series of ArcGIS Desktop extensions from Esri and other organizations. You can also develop custom extensions by working with ArcObjects, the ArcGIS software component library. You can develop extensions and custom tools using Visual Studio.

ArcObjects is a framework that lets you create domain-specific components from other components. The ArcObjects components collaborate to serve every data management and map presentation function common to most GIS applications. ArcObjects provides an infrastructure for application customization that lets you concentrate on serving the specific needs of your users.

Customizing ArcGIS Desktop applications

ArcGIS Desktop applications can be customized to automate GIS tasks or create unique workflows and environments suitable for your organization. The following are the ways you can customize ArcGIS Desktop applications:
  • Configure the application user interface (UI), such as rearranging toolbars, tools, commands, and dockable windows. For more information, see About configuring the user interface in the ArcGIS Desktop User Help system.
  • Python scripting to automate workflows. For more information, see Geoprocessing scripts for map document management and output in the ArcGIS Desktop User Help system.
  • Develop add-ins to create custom applications and extensions for ArcGIS Desktop. For more information, see Building add-ins for ArcGIS Desktop.
  • Develop custom components to add new functionality to ArcGIS applications. For more information, see Extending ArcObjects.
This software development kit (SDK) only addresses customization through developing add-ins and custom components. For UI configuration and python scripting, developing with ArcObjects and .NET is not required. Those topics are covered in the ArcGIS Desktop User Help system.

System requirements

For a list of ArcGIS Desktop system requirements, see ArcGIS Desktop System Requirements on the Resource Center Web site.
For ArcObjects SDK system requirements, see ArcObjects SDK System Requirements on the Resource Center Web site.