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GIS Servers and services
You connect to a server by double-clicking one of the three Add Server entries under the GIS Servers folder. (If the GIS Servers folder does not appear in your ArcCatalog tree, click Options in the Tool menu, click the General tab, then enable GIS Services in the list of top level entries.)
Connections you've made to servers are listed after the Add Server entries.
Connections that have a in the lower right corner are disconnected servers. To connect, either double-click the connection, or right-click and click Connect.
The GIS Servers folder also contains an out-of-the-box connection to Geography Network Services hosted by ESRI. This is a connection to an ArcIMS Server residing at ESRI that contains many useful and interesting services, and you should take the opportunity to explore this server when possible. ESRI may add more out-of-the-box connections in the future.
Security and authentication
All three servers may require you to enter a user name and password to access some or all of its services, or to use certain capabilities within a service. Most servers have a set of services that are available without having to enter a user name or password (i.e., an anonymous user)
Connecting to an ArcGIS Server
When you connect to an ArcGIS Server, you have the choice of connecting as a user or as an administrator, as illustrated below.
- Anyone can connect as a User. All you need is the URL or a host name. You may need a user name and password, available from the administrator of the server.
- To manage GIS services, you need to have administrator privileges. The server administrator is responsible for adding your user name to the list of users that have administrator privileges. The wizard determines whether you have administrative privileges by checking your user name against this list when you finish the connection wizard. If you don't have privileges, you will receive an error message. When connecting with administrative privileges, the default name of the connection will have "(admin)", as shown in the illustration above.
There are two reasons to connect as an administrator.
The next panel, shown below, asks you whether you want to make an Internet or Local connection. A Local connection means you are connecting to the server over the LAN rather than using Internet protocols. A Local connection may have more services available then an Internet connection to the same server. (Local access to service is always enabled, but an individual service can be configured so that web access is disabled.)
You can rename connections. For example, you might want to append "(local)" to a local connection, similar to the way "(admin)" is automatically appended to an administrative connection.
Connecting to an ArcIMS Server
After supplying the URL, you can get a list of available services and choose which ones you want to be displayed in the contents panel of ArcCatalog. This helps avoid clutter in the contents panel.
Some ArcIMS Servers are secure, meaning you may need permission to access their services. For ArcIMS servers, to include secure services in the list you must provide a user name and password before clicking Get List.
Connecting to WMS Servers
After providing the URL, you can get a list of available layers with the Get Layers button.
You cannot copy connections from the GIS Servers folder to another folder.
Learn more about connecting to GIS servers