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What to expect when migrating to ArcGIS 10.1 for Server

The improved architecture of ArcGIS 10.1 for Server requires some adjustments to how you worked with previous versions.  


The installation experience

ArcGIS 10.1 for Server introduces major changes to the server architecture. Version 10.1 no longer uses the SOM-SOC model of distributing the ArcGIS Server components, which leads to a simpler installation experience.

When installing 10.1, you'll notice that there is no post-installation to complete, and there are no SOM, SOC, or ArcGIS web services accounts to configure. You are just asked to designate an account that will run the ArcGIS Server service. This is called the ArcGIS Server account. The setup installs a GIS server, and if you want another GIS server to add to your site, you just run the setup again on another machine. All machines must use a 64-bit operating system. After installing the GIS server, you can get started right away with publishing services.

In many cases you should also install the ArcGIS Web Adaptor. This is a new component in 10.1 that allows you to integrate your enterprise web server, such as IIS, with your ArcGIS Server site.

The Web Adaptor allows you control over your site URL if you don't want users to see the default port 6080 or the default site name arcgis. Using the Web Adaptor, you can restrict outside users from accessing ArcGIS Server Manager or the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory. With a Web Adaptor in your site, you can perform authentication at the web tier. Finally, by associating your site to an enterprise web server, you can host web applications that use your services.


Logging into ArcGIS Server Manager and setting up your site

In ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, a deployment of one or more GIS servers is called a site. After installing the GIS server, ArcGIS Server Manager opens. The first time you log in to Manager, you'll be asked if you want to create a site or join a site. If you're just getting started with ArcGIS Server, you'll choose Create Site. On subsequent GIS servers that you add to your site, you'll choose Join Site. Manager does the work of connecting the machines for you.

In 10.1, you can organise your GIS servers in subgroups, called clusters. This allows you to dedicate groups of machines to different tasks. For example, one cluster may be dedicated to geoprocessing services, while another cluster just exposes map services. All GIS servers must participate in a cluster. For most sites, you can just add all your GIS servers to the default cluster.


Publishing services

Services are not automatically migrated between 10 and 10.1. The migration path for services is to re-create them using the new publishing pattern at 10.1.

The general workflow for publishing is the same: you create your GIS resource (for example, a map document or model) in ArcGIS for Desktop, then publish it as a service to ArcGIS Server. However, the publishing action is now always started in ArcGIS for Desktop, typically by opening the resource and clicking File > Share As > Service.

Items that you attempt to publish are put through a more rigorous analysis process at 10.1 to make sure that they are ready to be exposed on the server. In previous releases, you were required to analyse map documents using the Map Service Publishing toolbar. Now, there is a generic Service Editor dialog box that helps you analyse all prospective services before publishing.

In 10.1, all map services now use the fast drawing engine that was associated with MSDs in previous releases. Thus, there is no distinction between MXD- and MSD-based map services. At 10.1, you'll open your map document in ArcMap, analyze it for performance bottlenecks, and publish it as a map service to ArcGIS Server. Due to this change, the Map Service Publishing toolbar has been removed at 10.1.

In previous versions of ArcGIS Server, any changes made to the GIS resource referenced by a service could be made available to clients by restarting the service. To reflect changes to a GIS resource or its source data in 10.1, a service overwrite is necessary in the following scenarios:

  • If you update settings in the map document or other GIS resource underlying your service
  • If your source data (such as a feature class displayed in your map document) was automatically copied to the server at publish time and you subsequently make changes to the source data that you want to see reflected on the server 

ArcGIS 10.1 for Server relies on a list of data folders and geodatabases that you have registered with your server. When you move to 10.1, you need to register the set of data locations that you've verified the GIS server can access. This helps the GIS server understand how to adjust data paths as you publish across machines. If you attempt to publish a service that references data from an unregistered location, the data is copied to the server during the publishing operation.


Creating web applications

At ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, there is no out-of-the-box wizard for creating web applications in Manager. You're encouraged to use ArcGIS.com, the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, or the ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight to begin making your web applications. If you want to use the old wizard, you can install the ArcGIS Web Applications setup, but be aware that this uses the deprecated Web ADF.


Managing your site

You can maintain your ArcGIS Server site using Manager. At 10.1, Manager has an improved look and feel, and a more intuitive user interface. It allows the same administrative functions of your site that you experienced in previous releases.

The 10.1 release also includes an ArcGIS Server Administrator API that is built on REST and allows you to script the administration of your server using the language of your choice.


ArcGIS for Server 10 vs 10.1

What's the same What's different
You author GIS resources such as maps, tools, and locators and publish them to ArcGIS Server.
The publishing of services can be invoked directly from ArcMap or ArcGlobe using File > Share As > Service. You can publish to a cloud-based server and have the source data copied to the server as part of the publishing action.
You analyse a map document to find performance bottlenecks before publishing. You can analyse other types of GIS resources, such as globes and toolboxes, before publishing. There is no longer the need to explicitly save an MSD file to use ArcGIS Server's fast drawing engine; it is always used.
ArcGIS Server maintains logs and configuration files on disk describing what's happening on the server. You view logs and adjust server configuration information through Manager or ArcGIS for Desktop. Logs should be read through Manager, not directly from disk.
You add multiple GIS servers to handle greater loads on your site. You can organise your GIS servers in groups, called clusters, and assign them to handle specific subsets of services.
You use a web server to control access to your site. For development or testing, you don't need a dedicated web server: ArcGIS  Server exposes web services out of the box. For production sites, you use the Web Adaptor to connect your web server to the site.