How To: Use the ECW raster format in ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server


The ECW raster format is directly supported in ArcGIS Desktop, but not in ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, or ArcGIS Image Server (the ArcGIS Server Image Extension). To use ECW in server-based products requires additional licensing permissions from ERDAS, Inc., the inventors of the ECW format.
For ArcGIS Server version 10, ERDAS provides the ECW for ArcGIS Server. Once obtained, follow the product's directions to implement.
For versions prior to 10, contact ERDAS to request a license. Once a license has been granted from ERDAS, it is possible to enable the ECW support in ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, and ArcGIS Image Server following the instructions below.
ERDAS is now part of the Hexagon AB, and there may be changes to the process for acquiring this product.


  1. Upon purchase of a license from ERDAS, binary files for the latest ECW SDK are provided.
    · Windows users
    The required binaries are NCSCnet.dll, NCSEcw.dll, and NCSUtil.dll.
    · Unix and Linux users
    The required binary is libecwj2.*.
  2. Place the files in the following location:
    · ArcIMS
    Windows: \ArcIMS\Server\bin
    Unix and Linux: $AIMSHOME/lib
    · ArcGIS Server
    Windows: \arcgis\bin
    Solaris and Linux: /arcgis/bin
  3. Restart ArcGIS Server or ArcIMS.
    Map documents or image services that use the ECW raster format can now be served.
    These procedures allow for access to ECW files. However, they do not allow data delivery by way of high-speed ECWP streaming imagery protocol.

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