What is a geoprocessing service

Geoprocessing services allow you to share your analysis in your ArcGIS Server. Data is stored and processing occurs on a server, which makes it possible for a number of client applications across the ArcGIS platform to run the analysis, even concurrently.

A geoprocessing service can contain one or more tools that use input data entered in a client application, process it, and return output in the form of features, maps, reports, or files. These tools are first authored and run in ArcGIS Pro, typically as custom model or script tools, before being shared to a server. Because a geoprocessing service can reference any geoprocessing tool, the possibilities for them are infinite. For example, a geoprocessing service can do any of the following:

  • Calculate the probable evacuation area for a hazardous chemical spill
  • Calculate the predicted track and strength of a hurricane
  • Generate a report of land cover and soils within a specified watershed
  • Produce a parcel map with historical details of ownership
  • Geocode an address and feed into a permitting application for a home renovation system

Any user connected to the ArcGIS Server can access and use the geoprocessing service. You can make a connection to the server and access and use the service directly.


You can only share a geoprocessing service to a stand-alone server. You will need administrative permissions for the server, not publisher.

Geoprocessing services and desktop tools

If you have experience running and using geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS Pro, the experience is similar for running geoprocessing services. The main difference between geoprocessing services and desktop geoprocessing tools is that you run a geoprocessing service executing the task on a server computer using the resources of the server computer, as opposed to your desktop computer.

Author, publish, and use geoprocessing services


To author a geoprocessing service, you typically create and document a geoprocessing tool using ModelBuilder or Python. You do not necessarily have to create your own tool—you can also use one of the many tools included in ArcGIS.

Learn more about authoring geoprocessing services.


Once you've authored a tool, you must first run it in ArcGIS Pro, and have the tool complete successfully. When the tool is finished running, it can be shared; sharing creates the geoprocessing service item in the server connection. You can add multiple tools that you've run to the same geoprocessing service during publishing.

Learn more about publishing geoprocessing services.


After publishing the geoprocessing service, it can be used in any client app that connects to the server. In ArcGIS Pro, you can find and use the service from the server connection under Servers of the Catalog pane.

You can also run from other client apps, such as a web app you've created or with Web AppBuilder.

Learn more about using geoprocessing services.