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Join a collaboration

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.

Set up a collaboration

The following are high-level steps for configuring distributed collaboration as a guest:

To see the workflow steps for a collaboration host, see Create a collaboration as a host.

  1. Accept an invitation to collaborate
  2. Join a group to the collaboration workspace

Accept an invitation to collaborate

  1. Log in to your organization as a member with administrative privileges. Go to Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. Click Accept Invitation.
  3. On the Accept Collaboration Invitation dialog box, choose the file containing the invitation from the host. Information about the collaboration, including the description and the contact person, will appear once you've chosen the file. If the host requires web-tier authentication, choose the Yes button, enter the credentials for the host's web authentication, and click Accept Invitation.

    The Save Invitation Response dialog box appears.

  4. Note that if your organization's portal does not trust the SSL certificate on the host, an error message will be displayed. The SSL certificate must be trusted before the invitation can be accepted. See Configuring the portal to trust certificates from your certifying authority for details on how to trust certificates.
  5. Click Save Response to generate a file with information about your acceptance. Share this acceptance file with the administrator of the host.

    You must share the file outside of ArcGIS Enterprise; this can be by email or another method you have arranged.

  6. The administrator of the collaboration host will now need to import the response file and create a collaboration workspace. See steps to Create collaboration as a host for details.

Join a group to the collaboration workspace

As the guest organization's administrator, you will receive a notification that you have joined the collaboration. Once you have received notification, you may join a group to the collaboration workspace.

  1. Log in to the guest organization as a member with administrative privileges. Browse to Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. On the Collaborations page, find and select the table entry for the collaboration with the workspace to which you'll join a group.
  3. Click the Action button for the selected workspace and click Join Workspace
  4. 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. A group can only be associated with one collaboration workspace.
    • If you create a new group for the collaboration workspace, 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 a create a new group for a workspace, 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 of the groups in the portal, including private groups.
  5. 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 the originating portal.
    • As copies: Collaboration participants will receive feature layer updates at a scheduled interval.

      When choosing to send copies of hosted feature layer data:

      • A sync interval must be set within 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 with receive access. Once these items have been created, features are updated based on the established sync interval.

  6. Click Join Workspace.
  7. When you join a group to the collaboration workspace, the contents of the group will be synced based on the access mode set for the workspace. By default, when a guest participant joins a group to a collaboration workspace the sync configuration will be sync immediately. You can change this by editing the workspace.

The collaboration host's administrator will receive a notification that the guest organization has an active status in the collaboration workspace.

Once you've completed this workflow, sync settings and other details of the collaboration can be further configured. When content is shared with a participant, 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.

Note that 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.