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Do I Need the Web Adaptor? IIS or Java?

Question asked by mennutia on Dec 4, 2014
Latest reply on Jun 30, 2015 by Rey

In brief, we (a US University) deploying a new instance of ArcGIS Server 10.2.2 on Windows 2008 R2 with separate database and application servers. There is no existing web server, this will also be new. The objective is to provide web-based maps to various user groups within the University community (for example, the general campus map will be available to the public, but we also intend to maintain infrastructure maps that will only be accessible to physical plant staff via either Active Directory or LDAP authentication). The geographic extent of the maps is unlikely to extend beyond our single campus.


I've read the documentation here ArcGIS Help (10.2, 10.2.1, and 10.2.2) and have spoken with our IT staff who will be performing the install and maintaining the servers. They are of the opinion that we should install the Web Adaptor for the load balancing benefits and so we can hide the default port and admin directory. I'm inclined to agree with them, but is there anything we may have overlooked?


Assuming we do need the Web Adaptor, they want me to decide whether to use IIS or Java. They're not GIS people and I'm not an IT person.


I've come up with very little in my attempts to research this. The GIS wiki on the subject ( is a blank page. The best I've been able to find is a 2.5 year old discussion (ArcGIS Server on Windows Server 2008 - .NET or Java Backend - Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange )where a fellow named George says:

On a Windows environment I don't see much benefit of using the Java edition of AGS. It's another server for you to manage and it's not fully integrated as IIS with Microsoft options. That is, your setup will leak complexity to your code/deploy/maintenance process.

On Windows I would go 100% with IIS and .NET.

This sounds logical to me, but I don't have the technical knowledge to back up the decision beyond repeating the above.


My questions are:

  • Does ArcGIS Server perform any differently (better/worse) on IIS vs Java platforms?
  • What would lead one to choose IIS over Java or vice versa?
  • Why does it matter?