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How to publish a service

GIS resources are maps, tools, geodatabases, and other items you can expose to the world on ArcGIS Server. Although you can publish many different types of GIS resources to the server, the steps for publishing a service follow a common pattern.

If you've just installed ArcGIS Server, complete some preparatory steps before you can publish services:

To get started publishing your GIS resource as a service to the server, follow these steps.

  1. Follow the directions in the table below based on what you want to publish to the server:


    If you want to publish a map or globe document…

    …open the ArcMap or ArcGlobe document and choose File > Share As > Service from the main menu.

    If you want to publish a geoprocessing model or tool…

    …browse to a successful result of the model or tool in the Results window, right-click it, then choose Share As > Geoprocessing Service.

    If you want to publish something else, such as a geodatabase or address locator…

    …browse to the item in ArcCatalog or the Catalog window, right-click it, then choose Share As Service.

  2. In the Share as Service window, choose Publish a service and click Next.
  3. Choose the ArcGIS Server connection you want to use from the Choose a connection drop-down list. If the server connection you want to use is not listed, you can create a new connection by clicking Connect To ArcGIS Server Add ArcGIS Server.

    If you need help with this step, see About connecting to ArcGIS Server in ArcGIS for Desktop.

  4. By default, the name of the service is based on the name of the GIS resource. Optionally, in the Publish a Service window, enter a new name for the service. The name cannot be more than 120 characters long and may contain only alphanumeric characters and underscores.

    Click Next.

  5. By default, services publish to the root folder (root) of ArcGIS Server. Services can be organized into subfolders under the root folder. Choose the folder where you want to publish the service, or create a new folder to contain the service, and click Continue. The Service Editor appears.

    You cannot publish services to the Hosted, System, or Utilities folders of ArcGIS Server. The System and Utilities folders are reserved for various preconfigured services. The Hosted folder contains hosted services published to Portal for ArcGIS. This folder only displays in Manager if your server is federated with Portal for ArcGIS and configured as the portal's hosting server.

  6. Set the properties you want for your service. Here you can choose what users can do with your service and take fine-grained control of how the server exposes your service. For details on how to manually set service properties, locate your service in the Types of services section of the help. You can also automatically import properties from an existing service definition or a published service by clicking Import Import. For information on how to best configure your services for deployment, see the help topic Tuning and configuring services.

    If you close the Service Editor during this session, you'll be prompted to save your work as a draft service. Draft services allow you to return to your service configuration work at a later time. By default, draft services are saved in the Drafts folder of your ArcGIS Server connection. For more information, see About draft services.

  7. Click Analyze Analyze. This examines your GIS resource to see if it can be published to the server.
  8. Fix any errors (Error) in the Prepare window; this must be done before you can publish your GIS resource as a service. Optionally, you can fix the warnings and informational messages to further improve the performance and appearance of your service. For more information about resolving these issues, see Analyzing your GIS resource.
  9. Optionally, click Preview Preview. This gives you an idea of how your service looks when viewed on the web.

    You can register folders and geodatabases with your ArcGIS Server site, thus ensuring that the server can recognize and use your data. If you proceed with the following steps, any data referenced by your service originating from an unregistered folder or geodatabase is copied to the server at the time that you publish. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the server can access all the data used by the service. For full instructions on registering a folder or geodatabase with your ArcGIS Server site, see Registering your data with ArcGIS Server using ArcGIS for Desktop.

  10. Once you've fixed the errors and, optionally, any warnings and messages, click Publish Publish.

    If the service you publish is copying data to the server, the size of the data and your network bandwidth impacts the time it takes to publish.

Your service is now running on the server and can be accessed by users and clients on your network. If your server administrator has allowed web access to the service, your service is also now available on the web.