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FAQ: Do all geoprocessing tools support Parallel Processing?

Question

Do all geoprocessing tools support Parallel Processing?

Answer

No, only some geoprocessing tools honor the Parallel Processing Factor (Environment setting).

Geoprocessing environment settings are additional parameters that can affect a tool's results. The Parallel Processing Factor is one of the environment settings which is designed to work with multiple-core CPUs to help improve the performance of geoprocessing tools with large datasets. This setting helps lengthy processes run more efficiently and the performance benefits for this setting vary from tool to tool. Tools that honor the Parallel Processing environment divide and perform the operation across multiple processes.

For system tools developed by Esri, the tool help specifies which environment settings apply to the tool. To view this information, do one of the following:

Show the applicable tool environments settings with the tool help button

  1. Open the geoprocessing tool from ArcToolbox
  2. Click the Show Help button to display the tool's help panel.
  3. In the tool's help panel, click the Tool Help button. This opens the tool's reference page.
  4. Scroll down to the Environments section of the help documentation. The environments listed in this section are supported with the tool and each environment setting is linked to the reference help page for that particular environment setting.
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Reference the online help documentation to see the applicable tool environments settings
  1. Go to the ArcGIS Help documentation for your current ArcGIS Desktop version:
  1. Navigate to, or search for and open, the desired geoprocessing tool help page.
  2. See Step 4 of the previous section. If the tool in question supports the Parallel Processing Factor environment setting, it is listed in the Environments section.

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