ESRI Announces Updates to the ArcWeb Services REST API
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ESRI Announces Updates to the ArcWeb Services REST API

API Provides an Easy Alternative to SOAP-Based Mapping Applications

April 12, 2007 -- Redlands, California—ESRI announced today that the latest version of the ArcWeb Services REST application programming interface (API) is now available. This API is hosted by ESRI and offers developers an easy alternative to using SOAP-style Web services for building mapcentric, decision-making applications.

The ArcWeb Services REST API offers a number of benefits for Web developers including ease of use, faster deployments, and interoperability. Developers who understand HTTP and XML can start building mapping applications immediately using their existing Internet application development toolkits. The REST API is inherently lightweight, using simple HTTP URL requests, so that any client application with HTTP support can easily make API requests to ArcWeb Services without the need for a SOAP WSDL.

Using the ArcWeb Services REST API, client applications only need to know about sending and parsing plain text URLs. This means that applications can be built faster because the mapping application logic is simplified. Knowledge of XML specifications is not required, and SOAP toolkits aren't needed to build functionality for forming XML requests and parsing results.

Interoperability is also a key component of the ArcWeb Services REST API. Because requests are based on HTTP GET or POST statements, the API is truly multiplatform compatible. The majority of today's Web development languages allow for the use of these basic HTTP protocols as well as parsing text using native tools. This is an advantage when incorporating mapping into environments that contain a variety of Web development languages, operating systems, and Web servers. Developers can easily adapt the API to their existing workflows.

The latest features in the ArcWeb Services REST API include

The layer control lets developers quickly combine base maps, such as streets, with other data to create a single view with layers that can be switched on and off or adjusted for transparency. Tiled map data provides high-resolution aerial and satellite data for the world. The REST API also offers functionality that automatically returns the map in the best projection for a particular scale and area. By using automatic projections, all calculations are made on the server side; no parsing takes place and no calculations are performed on the client side. This ensures a swift response from the server and makes it easy for developers to use.

ArcWeb Services are designed for the integration of mapping and geographic information system (GIS) technology into service-oriented architecture (SOA) environments. ArcWeb Services is hosted by ESRI and also includes APIs for SOAP, JavaScript, and Java Micro Edition (Java ME) as well as extensive geographic content. The functionality is designed to assist with a wide range of business problems in areas including business intelligence, fleet management, and economic development. The geographic content is aggregated from more than 20 providers and includes more than 500 different data layers such as streets and imagery as well as business and demographic data.

To start a 90-day evaluation of the ArcWeb Services APIs, visit

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Press Information:
Matthew DeMeritt, ESRI
Tel.: 909-793-2853, extension 1-2930
E-mail (press only): Email Contact
General Information: Email Contact

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