There are currently two supported ArcGIS Desktop application environments.
First release (8.0): 1999 (10.0): 2010
"ArcGIS Desktop 10x"
First release: 2015
(on the plus side, will not change)
|RAM||32-bit (4GB RAM limit), background geoprocessing (32-bit, 64-bit optional)||Native 64-bit, geoprocessing in its own thread (everything is in the background in Pro!)|
|Graphics hardware support||Graphics adapter hardware acceleration supported||Full support of external graphics adapter graphic processing unit (GPU) acceleration; external GPU processing supported for some tools|
|User Interface||Windows OLE/COM (toolbars, wizards)||Windows WPF app (ribbons, windows, panes)|
|Graphics canvas||Standard Windows WMF graphics engine, tied to windows printer drivers||Esri high-performance graphics engine (same as ArcGIS Enterprise/Online)|
|Adobe CS support||Legacy Adobe Illustrator .ai export||Enhanced PDF export, also ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud extension|
|AGOL support||Online features added in (but quite functional)||Developed for "WebGIS" from beginning, full AGOL/Portal integration, mobile apps|
|Desktop applications||ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcScene, ArcGlobe apps||ArcGIS Pro (single desktop app, Map, Scene, Catalog views)|
|Licensing||Single-use and Concurrent-use licensing||Named user (AGOL or Portal login), (Single-use, Concurrent-use licensing available too)|
|Legacy formats||Access to many legacy formats (.mdb, coverage [read-only], .e00 [import])||Coverages, .e00 personal GDB (.mdb) not supported (except through Data Interoperability ext)|
Python 2.7, large module stack
.tbx (ModelBuilder, Python, +R), Python toolbox (.pyt)
Python 3.x, large module stack, + Anaconda
.tbx (ModelBuilder, Python, R), Python toolbox (.pyt), new toolbox coming at 2.8
Development and available tools
ArcObjects .NET SDK, .NET+Python add-ins. Lots of legacy software built on this platform exists: e.g. HEC-GeoRas, ArcHydro, ArcSWAT, etc.
Because of .NET dependencies, some add-ons are supported at older versions, (10.5, 10.6 etc)
ArcGIS Pro .NET SDK, .NET add-ins.
New tools are currently being built on the ArcGIS Pro platform and SDK.
For example: ArcHydro in ArcGIS Pro
Utility network (requires ArcSDE)
Trace network (supports file GDB)
This is a great overview of the differences! Thanks!
Thanks for this information.
Thanks for sharing. One thing I want to clarify is that ArcMap 10.x was released in 2010.
Thanks for sharing.
I just want to clarify that point in case someone doesn't quite understand the difference between ArcGIS and ArcMap. Because when I talk to some people about Esri and its products, sometimes they get confused when we talk about these two topics.
ArcMap 8.x was released in 2000. (I was there in the beta class with Jorge that summer in Redlands!) My point of including that date was that the ArcObjects framework, the ArcMap display canvas, the geodatabase ... all those things are based on OLE/COM "Windows NT" technology as it existed back at the turn of the century...