Announcing 64-bit Geoprocessing!

At the Esri 2012 User Conference, 64-bit Background Geoprocessing was announced and scheduled to be released with 10.1 service pack 1. Now, with the release of 10.1 service pack 1 the 64-bit Background Geoprocessing installation is available for download from the Support Patches and Service Pack site. The installation is available for both the Desktop and Engine (windows only) products.

After updating Desktop or Engine to 10.1 SP1 (a requirement), look for the appropriate installation:

  • ArcGIS 10.1 SP1 for Desktop Background Geoprocessing (64-bit)
  • ArcGIS 10.1 SP1 Engine Background Geoprocessing (64-bit) (Windows)

Background processing was introduced at the 10.0 release and allows you to stay productive within ArcMap and ArcCatalog as the geoprocessing task executes in another process. This 64-bit installation (which requires a 64-bit operating system) will replace your current background processing. All scripts, models and tools which execute in the background will use a 64-bit process. Your biggest benefit when using 64-bit Background processing is that using 64-bit applications allow your large processes to take advantage of more memory (if available) than when using a 32-bit application.

To use 64-bit Geoprocessing make sure Background Processing is enabled in the Geoprocessing Options. As long as a tool is capable of running in the background, it will leverage 64-bit processing. While the tool is running or after the job completes, you can use the Results window to monitor tool messages and interact with the result. For example, you can cancel a process or copy the python snippet by right clicking on the result name. The Results window can be opened by clicking on the background status bar in the lower right hand corner of ArcMap while a tool executes or opened from the Geoprocessing Menu and selecting Results (window).

Make sure to read the Background Geoprocessing (64-bit) help topic for detailed information.

Update: Learn more about Python scripting with 64-bit Background Geoprocessing.

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18 Comments

  1. johns says:

    I’ll test it some more when I have time but I had to uninstall this. It caused some (not all) of my projects to bring up the ArcGIS has suffered a serious error and cannot continue dialog box; and then that failed too.

    • Kevin Hibma says:

      John and I exchanged emails and it seems like the problems he encountered were specific to one project, and not the installation of 64-bit Background Processing.

  2. wahsatchwilly says:

    I have to upgrade my GDBs?

    • Kevin Hibma says:

      wahsatchwilly, you do not have to update your GDBs. However pGDB are not supported in 64-bit Background Processing. If you’re using them you’ll have to either migrate to fGDB or use traditional foreground processing.

  3. lsohl says:

    Hello! I ran the install and it created a folder with a cab file inside. Do I place this somewhere and/or what do I do next? Background processing is already enabled in geoprocessing options …
    Thank you for your help!

    • dpettittva says:

      Does the 64-bit background processing get used in standalone Python scripts?

      • Kevin Hibma says:

        dpettittva, if you’re outside the application and executing against 64-bit Python, you’re working in 64-bit as the plumping from that Python finds its way to the 64-bit DLLs. Because you’re outside the app, there isn’t a notion of “background”. At this point its just 64-bit processing.

        • dms8md23 says:

          Is there any information on how to execute against 64-bit python for ArcGIS? I don’t understand this response (b/c of my own lack of understanding).

          In my experience any .py files I run by opening in python run faster than foreground or background geoprocessing. Will it run faster background in Python at the command line now? Or should I install 64-bit python (how?)?

          • khibma says:

            dms8md23, I’m working on getting some Python specific information pushed into the web help. I also hope to get a blog out in the next day or so which should bridge the gap between now and the web help to answer these questions.

            In short, I’d give this a quick read:
            http://forums.arcgis.com/threads/70241-10.1-sp-1-and-32-64-bit-Python-versions?p=245700#post245700

            The 64-bit Background Processing setup installs 64-bit Python if you don’t already have it installed (also requires 64bit numpy and matplotlib). I dont have specifics on if anything is faster running as a script vs. running inside the application (ArcMap). There are so many variables to this I can’t make a simple “yes/no” statement.

    • Kevin Hibma says:

      lsohl, after downloading the setup, there should be a check box, if you’ve left it checked it will automatically launch the installer. Otherwise, the default location the files are extracted to will be: C:Users\DocumentsArcGIS 10.1 SP1DesktopBackgroundGP
      You can navigate here and run the setup.exe

      • lsohl says:

        Thank you very much for the clarification of what should happen – before, I was downloading the file and saving to a location. I noticed I received a “Publisher could not be verifed” error, but the download appeared to be complete. I tried again this time, and ran it instead of downloading it, and it worked perfectly and as you described. I’m guessing the orginal problem is on my end. Thanks again!

  4. dpettittva says:

    Just to clarify, I assume that doing any processing in a standalone Python script (assuming you’re using a 64-bit version of Python) still runs into the issue where the following data types are unsupported in 64-bit processing (just like they are w/in ArcMap), right?
    •Personal geodatabase (.mdb)
    •Excel tables (.xls, .xlsx)
    •OLEDB connections

  5. billfox says:

    Where is the download for this?

  6. jwolff says:

    Will this allow connection to File Geodatabases from AutoCAD Map 2012? Currently this connection is only available in 32bit (SDE does work, but File is not available).

  7. jaalfs says:

    A whole article on 64-bit processing and not one link to the actual download; typical for ESRI.

  8. johnmdye says:

    “All scripts, models and tools which execute in the background will use a 64-bit process.”

    Is there a list somewhere of which functions are Background Geoprocessing enabled and which ones aren’t? Because after spending three weeks developing a workflow, I just found out that the Business Analyst ‘CreateTAFromGeographyLevels()’ function does not support Background Geoprocessing and thus is pretty much useless in scripting.