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Create a collaboration

To share content between two or more organizations, you must create a collaboration and collaboration workspace, associate a group from your organization to the workspace, and invite participants to the collaboration. The organization where the collaboration is created is the host, and participants are guests. Creating the collaboration establishes trust between the participants so that you can share content between them.

Overview of the collaboration setup (host and guest)

The following is an overview of high-level steps to configure distributed collaboration. Each step indicates whether the action should be done by the collaboration host or guest. For detailed steps to set up collaboration as a host, see Create a collaboration and workspace. For detailed steps to set up collaboration as a guest, see Join a collaboration as a guest.

  1. Verify prerequisites to creating a collaboration have been met.
  2. Create a collaboration and workspace (applies to host).
  3. Invite a guest to the collaboration (applies to host).
  4. Accept an invitation to collaborate (applies to guests).
  5. Import an invitation response (applies to host).
  6. Join a workspace (applies to guests).

Once you've created a collaboration, you can manage it through your portal. See Manage collaborations for details.

Note:

Guest participants can share content with the collaboration, receive content from the collaboration, or do both, depending on the access mode they are given by the collaboration host. When the host creates the collaboration invitation, they will decide how the guest is allowed to participate in the collaboration. An access mode specified for one workspace could differ from how it is defined in other workspaces.

Prerequisites to creating a collaboration

  • As of the 10.5.1 release of ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online can participate in distributed collaboration with ArcGIS Enterprise. ArcGIS Online must be established as the collaboration host.
  • If you are not an administrator for the organizations that will participate in the collaboration, ensure that you can communicate outside of ArcGIS Enterprise with other participant administrators to complete the workflow below.
  • Enable SSL only on your ArcGIS Enterprise organization.
  • When inviting a guest organization to be part of a collaboration, its URL must be specified as HTTPS.
  • To ensure secure communication among collaboration participants, each participant must trust the SSL certificate used by the other participants. This means the collaboration host must trust the SSL certificates used on each of the guest participants and each guest participant must trust the SSL certificate used on the collaboration host. If the certificates are not trusted, creating a collaboration will fail. See Configuring the portal to trust certificates from your certifying authority for details on how to trust certificates.
  • Enable pop-ups in your browser to allow invitation requests and responses to be downloaded.

Supported authentication modes

You can create a collaboration that includes ArcGIS Enterprise participants using both built-in and web-tier authentication.

Collaboration supports enterprise-wide single sign-on across ArcGIS Enterprise deployments.

If ArcGIS Enterprise participants in the collaboration use PKI, ensure that the domain root certificate has been imported into each of the participants. See Configuring the portal to trust certificates from your certifying authority for instructions. Note that the PKI certificate must be in pkcs12 format.

Note:

Kerberos-based Integrated Windows Authentication setups are not supported for distributed collaboration.

Create a collaboration and workspace

  1. Log in to the host organization as a member with administrative privileges. Browse to Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. Click Create Collaboration.
  3. On the Create Collaboration dialog box, fill in the Collaboration Name and Collaboration Description text boxes for the collaboration, and click Next.
  4. Fill in the Workspace Name and Workspace Description text boxes for the first workspace associated with the collaboration, and click Next.

    You can create more collaboration workspaces after the collaboration has been created if necessary. See Manage collaborations for details.

  5. Choose the group that will be associated with the collaboration workspace. This can be an existing group, or you can create a new group for this purpose. Click Next.

    A group can only be associated with one collaboration workspace. Host access to this workspace will be Send and receive.

    • If you create a new group for the collaboration, it will be a private group where all group members can contribute content to the group. You can change the status and contribution settings after the group has been created if necessary. See Create groups for more information about these settings. When you create a new group for a collaboration, you must specify tags for the group to proceed.
    • If you choose to link an existing group, the drop-down menu will show a list of all the groups in the organization, including private groups.

    The sync settings for the host in the collaboration workspace will be listed on the dialog box. Note that the default is set to sync immediately. To change the sync settings for the host, use the ArcGIS Portal Directory sharing API. Only the sync settings for guest portals can be configured from the user interface from either the Join Workspace or Edit Workspace dialog box.

    Note:

    In collaborations where ArcGIS Online is the host, sync settings will default to At scheduled intervals. The ArcGIS Enterprise participant controls the schedule at which group item content and feature layer edits are synchronized; the host does not control the sync schedule.

  6. Choose how hosted feature layers will be sent to the collaboration workspace.
    • As references—Collaboration participants will receive live access to feature layers in the designated workspace. Collaboration participants must have access to view feature layers from its origin.
    • As copies—Collaboration participants will receive feature layer updates at a scheduled interval.

    When choosing to send copies of hosted feature layer data, keep the following in mind:

    • A sync interval must be set in the collaboration workspace.
    • Sync must be enabled on each participating item in the collaboration.
    • A copy of participating feature layers will be initially extracted and published as items to each participating portal. Once these items have been created, features are updated based on the established sync interval.
  7. Click Save or Save and Invite to create the collaboration.
    • Clicking Save creates the collaboration. The new collaboration can be viewed in the table on the Collaborations page.
    • Clicking Save and Invite creates the collaboration and opens the Invite Guest Organization dialog box.

Invite a guest to the collaboration

  1. Log in to the host organization as a member with administrative privileges. Browse to Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. On the Collaborations page, click the name of the collaboration in the table to which you want to invite a guest participant.
  3. Click View Guests.

    The Guests page contains a list of guest participants in the collaboration.

  4. Click Invite Guest.

    The Invite Guest Organization dialog box appears.

  5. Enter the Guest Organization URL to the organization. Ensure that the URL is specified as HTTPS in the format https://webadaptorhost.domain.com/<webadaptorname>. Choose the Access to Workspaces option that the guest participant will have: Send Content, Receive Content, or Send and Receive Content.

    For more information on these types of access, see Access modes for workspaces.

  6. Click Save Invitation to save the invitation file.
  7. Share the invitation file with the administrator of the guest participant. You must share the file outside of ArcGIS Enterprise; this can be by email or another method you have arranged.
  8. The administrator of the guest participant will now need to accept the invitation to collaborate. See Join a collaboration as a guest for details.

Import invitation response

  1. Log in to the host organization as a member with administrative privileges. Browse to Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. On the Collaborations page, find the table entry for the collaboration whose invitation response you will import. Click the name of the collaboration. Click View Guests. You will see a list of participants in the collaboration. Click the Action button for the guest participant and click Accept Guest Organization.
  3. On the Accept Guest Organization dialog box, browse to the invitation response file. Information about the guest participant, including the contact person and organization URL, will appear once you've chosen the file.
    1. If the guest organization requires web-tier authentication, select the Yes option, enter the credentials for the guest's web authentication, and click Accept Guest Organization.
    2. If the guest organization is secured using PKI client certificate based web-tier authentication, click Choose File and browse to a PKI user certificate in a .pfx file format. Click Accept Guest Organization.

      The user credentials contained in the client certificate should be able to successfully authenticate against the PKI client certificate challenge from the guest. The user does not need to be a named user on the guest organization.

  4. Note:
    If the collaboration host does not trust the SSL certificate on the guest organization, an error message will appear. The SSL certificate must be trusted before the invitation response can be accepted. See Configuring the portal to trust certificates from your certifying authority for details on how to trust certificates.

The guest participant's Status now shows as Active. The guest organization's administrator will receive a notification that they have joined the collaboration.

Once you've completed this workflow, the guest portal sync settings and other details of the collaboration can be further configured. When content is shared with a participant portal, a new folder is created under the participant administrator's folder. This is used to import the content and store the items, which are then shared to the group associated with the collaboration workspace. The folder is named based on the collaboration name.

The sync settings for the collaboration host's workspace are set to sync immediately and can only be changed in the ArcGIS Portal Directory sharing location.

In collaborations where ArcGIS Online is the host, sync settings will default to At scheduled intervals. The ArcGIS Enterprise participant controls the schedule at which group item content and feature layer edits are synchronized; the host does not control the sync schedule.