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Configure a hosting server

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You can configure one of your federated ArcGIS Server sites to be a hosting server for your portal to allow portal members to do the following:

  • Publish tile layers to the portal.
  • Publish feature layers to the portal.
  • Publish scene layers to the portal (ArcGIS Data Store only).
  • Add a zipped shapefile, CSV file, or GPS Exchange Format file to the portal map viewer.

To designate ArcGIS Server as a hosting server, Standard or Advanced license edition is required. See ArcGIS Server editions for licensing details.

Before you can specify a federated server as your portal's hosting server, it must have a data store.

Set up a data store

To have a data store, you can either set up ArcGIS Data Store and register it with the ArcGIS Server (making ArcGIS Data Store the ArcGIS Server site's managed database), or you can create an enterprise geodatabase and register it as the ArcGIS Server's managed database through ArcGIS Server Manager or ArcGIS for Desktop. When users publish feature layers to your portal, the data will be copied to the data store you have registered.

Use ArcGIS Data Store

ArcGIS Data Store is a separate installation available with ArcGIS for Server that lets you easily set up and maintain an enterprise geodatabase to store the feature data you publish to Portal for ArcGIS. ArcGIS Data Store also allows you to publish feature layers with a smaller memory footprint, publish scene layers, automatically create backups of feature data in the data store, and gives you the option to set up a replicated data store. For more information, see What is ArcGIS Data Store?

To use ArcGIS Data Store, run the installation, and then register the data store with your ArcGIS Server. See An overview of ArcGIS Data Store configuration and its related topics for instructions.

Register a managed database

You can configure your own enterprise geodatabase to use as the managed data store. You might do this if you have a database administrator at your site who can set up and maintain your geodatabase, if you want to use a specific relational database management system to store your geodatabase, or if you want to customize the geodatabase.

To register a managed database, you need the following:

  • An enterprise geodatabase to be used as the managed database
  • A database management system client installed on the ArcGIS Server machine
  • A login or user with privileges to create data in the geodatabase; this user will be the one connecting from ArcGIS Server to the managed database
  • A database connection file (.sde) containing the information required to connect to the enterprise geodatabase
  • If you will use ArcGIS for Desktop to create the .sde file or register the managed database, the database management system client must also be installed on the ArcGIS for Desktop machine

For more information on what is required to register a managed database, see the topic in the ArcGIS Server documentation specific to your database management system:

There are also topics in the ArcGIS Server help explaining how to register a managed database (Registering your data with ArcGIS Server using ArcGIS for Desktop and Registering your data with ArcGIS Server using Manager), but, for your convenience, the following steps describe how you can import a connection file in ArcGIS Server Manager to register your enterprise geodatabase as a data store:

  1. Log in to ArcGIS Server Manager and click Site.

    To log in to Manager in a federated site, you must use a URL format such as and provide the username and password of a portal administrator.

  2. Go to the Data Store page.
  3. Next to the Register Database dialog box, click the drop-down arrow next to Register Database, and choose Register Managed Database.
  4. Enter a unique name for the geodatabase connection. Names can be alphanumeric and can contain spaces.
  5. Next to the Server database connection section, click Import.

    This opens a window where you can browse to the database connection file on disk.

  6. Click Create. ArcGIS Server's managed database is registered and appears on the Registered Databases dialog box.

Specify the server as your portal's hosting server

Once your federated ArcGIS Server has a data store, you can register it as the portal's hosting server.

  1. Sign in to the portal website as an administrator and browse to My Organization > Edit Settings > Servers.
  2. From the Hosting Server section of the page, click the drop-down list and choose one of the ArcGIS Server sites you have federated with the portal. If you have added multiple ArcGIS Server sites to your portal, only one can be designated as the hosting server.
  3. Click Save.

You can now publish services to the portal using the portal website or the My Hosted Services node in the Catalog tree in ArcMap.

These services will appear in a folder named Hosted, which you will see when you view your services in Manager.

If you have not already done so, you should now configure utility services for your portal.