Is an Esri license required for (my) use of the Qt Geoservices plugin?

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05-03-2021 08:39 AM
PatrickLynn
New Contributor II

I would like to use the Qt Geoservices plugin to provide basemaps in a Windows desktop application for which I am a developer. The app will not be using geocoding or routing. I would like to know what sort of licensing, if any, is required for this use.

The plugin I'm referring to is part of the Qt Location module, specifically one of the plugins provided for the QML Map type. The Qt documentation for the Esri plugin states that "This geo services plugin allows applications to access Esri location based services using the Qt Location API. The use of these services is governed by the Esri terms of use." However, I can't find any information about the plugin when I follow the "terms of use" link (http://www.esri.com/legal/terms-use). The Qt documentation goes on to say that one condition is that "The app does not directly generate revenue. That is, end users must be able to obtain it and to use it for free.". Our app does have a licensing fee, so does that mean that we can't use the plugin?

A related question was asked here in 2018 (@https://community.esri.com/t5/developers-questions/esri-vs-arcgis-runtime-sdk-for-qt/td-p/394474) and part of the answer is: "If you are using the Esri Qt Geoservices plugin with a non-Esri service, you do not need any Esri licenses." The answer goes on to imply that routing is an Esri service, but basemaps are not. This would lead me to conclude that our usage would not require a Developer subscription.

Any clarification or a pointer to whom I should contact would be greatly appreciated.

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JohnFoster6
Esri Contributor

If you are solely using the Qt plugin and you are not using ArcGIS Runtime, such as ArcGIS Runtime API for Qt, then you do not need an ArcGIS Runtime license.

However, if by using the Qt plugin you decide to use Esri basemaps, then your consumption of those map tiles in your app is subject to the service usage and licensing the use of ArcGIS Location Services this includes Esri basemaps. there is a free tier of service you can consume up to 2 million tiles per month at no charge and then you must enable pay as you go.

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VinceAngelo
Esri Esteemed Contributor

Legal questions like this are best asked of your lawyer, or by your lawyer to Esri's laywers. Asking strangers on the Internet is worth less than you pay for it (and does not absolve liability), but it seems that your use does not meet the "for free" criteria, and therefore such use would violate the Esri TOS.

- V

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JohnFoster6
Esri Contributor

If you are solely using the Qt plugin and you are not using ArcGIS Runtime, such as ArcGIS Runtime API for Qt, then you do not need an ArcGIS Runtime license.

However, if by using the Qt plugin you decide to use Esri basemaps, then your consumption of those map tiles in your app is subject to the service usage and licensing the use of ArcGIS Location Services this includes Esri basemaps. there is a free tier of service you can consume up to 2 million tiles per month at no charge and then you must enable pay as you go.

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PatrickLynn
New Contributor II

Thanks for that helpful information.

As far as I know, it's not possible to use the plugin without using basemap services, but I don't see a way to provide the plugin in with account information for billing purposes. There is an optional esri.token plugin parameter, but the documentation says that this is a "Security token for using routing services only. Mapping, geocoding and place searches services do not require a token." Perhaps the documentation is just out of date/incorrect and that is the mechanism to use.

At any rate, I can pursue these follow on questions with Location services support.

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PatrickLynn
New Contributor II

I did follow up with Esri support and they confirmed that the 'token' mentioned in the Qt documentation is an OAuth 2.0 token for providing application level authentication. The documentation on how to request the token, authenticate, and refresh is found at https://developers.arcgis.com/documentation/mapping-apis-and-services/security/application-credentia....
So, to summarize what I learned, the Qt Location module QML Map item used with the Esri plugin is compatible with the current Esri license model, though the Qt documentation is somewhat out of date.

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