ArcGIS AppStudio license options

Depending on how you're going to use ArcGIS AppStudio, you may need to consider one or more licenses. In some cases, the licenses are free but still require you to acknowledge the use of different components.

The following diagram will help you decide which license or licenses you'll need to consider when using AppStudio to build an app:

License diagram

ArcGIS AppStudio or ArcGIS AppStudio Developer Edition

To determine the AppStudio license that fits your needs, consider how you are going to create and distribute your apps.

  • ArcGIS AppStudio
    • Included with Creator and GIS Professional user types at no additional fee. (See System requirements for information on minimum user type requirements.)
    • Allows you to create and upload apps using ArcGIS AppStudio, to be used with AppStudio Player.

Ready to buy ArcGIS AppStudio Developer Edition? You will need an ArcGIS Developer account and a paid ArcGIS Developer subscription. For information on assigning an ArcGIS AppStudio Developer Edition license, see the ArcGIS Developer annual subscription plan activation video.

ArcGIS Runtime

ArcGIS Runtime Lite licensing can be authorized in the following ways:

  • The app includes a license string (available for free with an ArcGIS Developer account).
  • Sign in to the app with an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise named user account of a Viewer user type.

ArcGIS Runtime Basic licensing and above can be authorized in the following ways:

  • The app includes an ArcGIS Runtime Basic license string (available for purchase).
  • Sign in to the app with an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise named user account. The account's user type determines which license level is authorized:
    • Editor and Field Worker license at the Basic level
    • Creator and GIS Professional—Basic license at the Standard level
    • GIS Professional—Standard and GIS Professional—Advanced license at the Advanced level

For more information, see License your app.

ArcGIS Platform

The ArcGIS Platform is a platform as a service (PaaS) that contains ready-to-use services.

You can license your app with an ArcGIS Platform API key, which is a permanent access token that defines the scope and permission for granting your public-facing application access to specific, ready-to-use services. Services that can be licensed with an API key include basemap, geocoding, routing, and geoenrichment services.

For more information, see API keys.

Qt Creator

The Qt Company has granted Esri the authority to embed the free version of Qt Creator in AppStudio. Although the free version is embedded, it's not subject to the LGPL that Qt Creator is usually licensed under, due to the license rights agreement between Esri and The Qt Company. For users who want to create fee-bearing apps, The Qt Company requires that the Qt SDK be purchased. This requirement is not a function of LGPL terms, but rather a requirement of The Qt Company.


The Qt SDK caters to users with different development and deployment needs, offering both open source and enterprise licenses.

As described in the overview diagram above, you can create apps that do not require Qt SDK licensing in addition to AppStudio licensing. Cases that may require Qt SDK licensing include the following:

  • Building a C++ extension and including it in your app
  • Requirements to use the Qt Quick Compiler (for security reasons)
  • Requirements to use enterprise components
  • Creating a fee-bearing app
  • Using local Make

For additional details, see the Qt website.