Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ArcGIS Desktop Administrator

ESRI ArcGIS Desktop Administrator is the tool where you manage ArcGIS licenses. It helps you connect to a license server, change the license type (Editor, Viewer, Info), availabity, and check the service packs

When you point the DesktopAdmin to a license server say, MYSERVER1 (or you may use the IP e.g , it will read the licenses from that server.

For some reason, you disconnected MYSERVER1 or changed the IP or changed the name or moved your licenses to another server. Doesn't matter, MYSERVER1 is not available anymore.

So you will let DesktopAdmin point to the new server to get the new licenses right? When you open the DesktopAdmin you will wait for 20 to 30 minutes, because DesktopAdmin is trying to connect to MYSERVER1 and it is out of reach. You can't do anything, you have to wait.

This problem has been there since ArcGIS 9.1 (Didn't work with versions prior that), we are in 9.3, still not yet fixed.

I have developed a tool to change the server name from different places in the registry to fix this problem temporary. Just to let the DesktopAdmin open faster. But that tool isn't efficient you really have to go the clean way after that from tbe DesktopAdmin. The tool helps you just get rid of the waiting.

Is there a simplier way?


  1. Not really sure but since this is a network problem, maybe a DNS redirect might work. Also, if the application supports it, the server might be configured to broadcast its IP or DN to clients so that the latter will know where to connect. Not familiar with ArcGIS though.

  2. @Cody,

    You are right thats a solution we use when we actually "know" the Server Name,

    The problem is that sometimes I don't know whats the name of the server used in that application ..

    example a machine pre-configured and brought to us.. different networking environment... So we'll face that problem too ..

    Lets hope ESRI guys will read this post (and comments) and come up with something to solve it.

  3. I wrote a PDF about the ARCGIS_LICENSE_FILE environment variable and its use setting up Failover License Managers. It is at http://arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=14991

  4. @Jim
    That is an well written PDF about the licenses!

    I have shared it with our company employees its sure becoming handy..

    That's new for me, didn't know there was an environment variable that controls all these stuff..

    Thanks for sharing that..


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