Best way to share ArcGIS executables and license files

08-27-2018 12:42 PM
Esri Regular Contributor
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We often get asked “I’d like my students, staff or faculty to use ArcGIS Pro, what is the best way to distribute the download/executable to them”? This applies to any other Esri application that needs to be downloaded and installed, such as CityEngine, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcMap, etc. There are a few ways to accomplish this, and our recommendation is to use your institutional file share system. In addition, as of the April 2020 release of ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro can now be downloaded directly from ArcGIS Online from a user's Profile page>My Settings>Licenses. This could be an option just for the ArcGIS Pro executable.  

Using your institutional file share system method also applies for distributing licenses/single use provisioning files, however, this depends on the application.

The recommended way of licensing ArcGIS Pro is through a named user account in an ArcGIS Online organization, even in lab environments. 

If you are licensing ArcMap, since named user licensing is not available for ArcMap, please share the same single use license file with everyone (which times out in 1 year), via your institution's shared file system. Please avoid ordering 1-year individual EVA software codes for your students when licensing ArcMap. We are moving away from them. Sharing a single license file is a preferred method and it alleviates administrative hassles. 

  •      Use your institution’s file share system – this could be Box, Google Drive, shared drives, whatever method is typically used to distribute files. Advantages are:
    •      One location for accessing the executables that can be used by everyone in the organization (this makes it easy for ArcGIS administrators, instructors and students).
    •      It can be behind the same single-sign-on (SSO) as your ArcGIS Online organization, LMS or other business systems – makes it easy for students, staff and faculty to simply login with their known enterprise credentials and download.
    •      Potentially faster download speed.


  •      Use My Esri – this could be an involved process if one wants to provide Download access to many students, staff and faculty. We generally discourage it for the reasons below – and of course exceptions apply.
    •      This involves an invitation to My Esri initiated by the administrator.
    •      Depending on whether the My Esri account is already in the system, there may be additional interaction to Request Permission (for Downloads in this case).
    •      There are a couple of notification emails that would go out to students, staff, faculty who are being given those permissions, such as “your permissions request has been received”, or “your request has been approved” notifications.
    •      This can be burdensome for administrators (to have to manage the requests), for instructors (to have to instruct their students where to go to download), and for students (to have to navigate My Esri to get to downloads).
    •      From Administrator standpoint, this does not scale well for increased number of users.


  •      Use trial downloads – we discourage this method, as it has students creating additional accounts that can be confusing with any other My Esri or ArcGIS Online accounts they already have. In addition, the purpose of ArcGIS trials is not meant to be for student use, rather, for Esri customers to evaluate products for purchase. 

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