ArcGIS is a geographic information system (GIS) for working with maps and geographic information maintained by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri).
Its purpose is used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and discovering geographic information
It makes use of maps and geographic information in a range of applications and managing geographic information in a database. It is built around a geodatabase, which uses an object-relational.
Geodatabases in ArcGIS can be stored in three different ways – as a “file geodatabase”, a “personal geodatabase”, or an “enterprise geodatabase” (formerly known as an SDE or ArcSDE geodatabase).
When working with geodatabases, it is important to understand feature classes which are a set of features, represented with points, lines, or polygons.
With shapefiles, each file can only handle one type of feature. A geodatabase can store multiple feature classes or type of features within one file.
The ArcGIS Engine is an ArcGIS software engine, a developer product for creating custom GIS desktop applications. ArcGIS Engine provides application programming interfaces (APIs) for COM, .NET, Java, and C++ for the Windows, Linux, and Solaris platforms.