Vishful thinking…

Disabling REST and SOAP services in ArcGIS Server 9.3

Posted in Uncategorized by viswaug on August 28, 2008

The REST (Representational State Transfer) interface to ArcGIS Server was something that was added new in 9.3. But the SOAP interface to ArcGIS Server was available in the 9.2 versions and helped developers avoid the pitfalls of the Web ADF in 9.2. The WSDL for the SOAP services could be accessed at


And the REST services could be accessed at

http://MachineName/arcgis/services/MapServiceName/MapServer (html)


http://MachineName/arcgis/services/MapServiceName/MapServer?f=json&pretty=true (json)

The SOAP access to services hosted by ArcGIS Server can be disabled through ArcCatalog. The following screenshots show how that can be done.




The REST service keeps chugging along even when the SOAP service is disabled. The “Services Directory” (available at http://MachineName/arcgis/services/MapServiceName/MapServers) entry for the map service still displays a link to the SOAP interface as shown below. But the link will be broken and you will receive an HTTP 404 error if you try to access the WSDL with the SOAP services disabled. The link displayed here seems to be constructed from the “SoapUrl” element value in the “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\ArcGIS\rest\rest.config” file.


The URL to the SOAP endpoint is not available in the JSON output from http://MachineName/arcgis/services/MapServiceName/MapServer?f=json&pretty=true. That would have been handy.

I haven’t come across any documented way of turning off the REST web services. But this can be done pretty easily by taking advantage of one of the lesser known ASP.NET 2.0 features and creating an empty file called “App_Offline.htm” file in the “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\ArcGIS\rest” directory. Creating the empty in that directory should disable the REST services while still having ArcGIS and the SOAP interfaces running.