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DPI is an attribute of the IMAGESIZE tag that can be used with a GET_LAYOUT request. The DPI setting can be used to improve the quality of the output. Any adjustments made to this setting has no affect on the quality of the output.
Two things may be occurring:
1. DPI settings in the request are being incorrectly ignored. If your output is a vector format (ai, emf, pdf or eps) DPI is necessary to increase resolution for the output.
2. The output format specified in the request may be an image format (bmp, jpg, png8 or png24) in which case DPI is ignored by design.
For vector output there is no work around when using ArcIMS version 4.0. However, this issue has been resolved in version 4.0.1.