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About utility services

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Utility services are the services that power specific functionality in your portal, for example, printing maps, locating addresses, calculating areas, and finding directions. The portal comes with some default services, but you can use your own services. To learn how to configure your portal to use different utility services, see Configuring utility services.


Print services allow you to print or preview your web maps. You can print maps from the portal map viewer or from a web app made in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS or with a web app template. When you click Print in the portal map viewer, the print service is used to preview and print the map in PNG format on a web page with the web map title. Web apps created with a template or in Web AppBuilder will use the portal's print service in their print widgets to create printable documents with the layouts available in that print service.

The portal's default print service only allows you to print map and feature services; you will not be able to print other services, such as WMS, hosted web layers, or files. As well, cached map services can only be printed using the default print service when dynamic layers are enabled for the service.

To print or preview other service or item types, configure your portal to use a print service from ArcGIS Server. If you federate a server with your portal, it is recommended that you use that server's preconfigured print service. Alternatively, you can create your own custom print service and use that as the print service for your portal.

If you federate and also specify a hosting server for your portal, the hosting server's print service is automatically started and configured with the portal. You'll only need to share the print service to use it in the portal. However, if you've previously configured a print service with your portal, the URL is not updated when specifying a hosting server. You need to start the service, share the service, and configure it as a utility service.


In 10.3, if you specified a hosting server for your portal, the service was automatically configured with the portal, but you were required to start the service and share it. Beginning at 10.3.1, you only need to share the service.

When using an ArcGIS Server print service with services added to the portal through HTTPS, additional configuration is necessary. Any machine that runs the print service will need to be configured to trust Certificate Authority (CA) signed certificates from the site providing the HTTPS services. This configuration needs to take place at the operating system level. See Enabling SSL using a new CA-signed certificate for details on how to do this. For example, a portal may be federated with an ArcGIS Server site and using its default PrintingTools service for the portal's print service. A member of this portal attempts to add a map service using HTTPS to the portal, but the service is from another ArcGIS Server site that is not federated with the portal. The thumbnail for the web map containing this HTTPS map service will not be correctly generated. The CA-signed certificate from the unfederated Server site must be added to the operating system trust store on the machine running the PrintingTools service.


Geocode services are used to search for and locate addresses and places on a map. Portal for ArcGIS is preconfigured to use the World geocode service hosted on ArcGIS Online, which allows you to find and map a specified address or place-name.

You can also configure Portal for ArcGIS to use a geocode service through your ArcGIS Online organizational account (including the Esri World Geocoder), or even your own geocode service powered by ArcGIS for Server. This is appropriate in the following scenarios:

  • You need to geocode a large number of addresses at once (batch geocoding), such as when you add a CSV file that contains addresses to your web map or when using Esri Maps for Office to map a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. To learn how to set up batch geocoding for your portal, see Configure the portal to geocode addresses.
  • You need to geocode addresses or places based on your own data.
  • You do not have an Internet connection or are not allowed to rely on external geocode services for security or other reasons.

Geocode services that use address locators from version 9.3.1 and previous releases are not supported in Portal for ArcGIS. Geocode services from ArcGIS 10 Server can be used to locate individual places, but not for batch geocoding. Single-field geocode services from 10.1 or later releases of ArcGIS Server are required to perform batch geocoding.


Geometry services perform the calculations necessary to do such spatial analysis as buffering and calculating area. Portal for ArcGIS uses an ArcGIS Online geometry service by default. Alternatively, you can use the preconfigured geometry service of one of your federated servers. You can also choose to use a custom ArcGIS Server geometry service.


Route services allow you to find directions between two or more locations. Your portal's route utility service is used for the Directions functionality available in web maps.

There is no default route service in Portal for ArcGIS. If you want to get directions from the map viewer, you can either publish your own route service or use the World route service.

The World route service requires an organizational account. Since credentials are required to use this service, add the service ( as a portal item, and use the item's REST URL for the portal route service. For instructions, see the section "If the service is not from a federated server and requires credentials" in Configuring utility services.

If you do not configure a route utility service, the Directions button will not be present in the portal map viewer. For set up instructions, see Configuring the portal to get directions.