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What's new in Portal for ArcGIS 10.3

In this topic

Portal for ArcGIS 10.3 includes stability enhancements and improved functionality throughout the product. For a list of issues fixed in 10.3, see the 10.3 Issues Addressed List. For a summary of changes in the software, see the following sections.

Review the deprecation notice to determine if your hardware and software components are still compatible with version 10.3. To review which earlier ArcGIS product versions are compatible with Portal for ArcGIS 10.3, see Portal compatibility with earlier versions of ArcGIS.

Support for web single sign-on through SAML 2.0

In earlier versions, you could integrate Portal for ArcGIS with LDAP identity providers and Windows Active Directory. Beginning at 10.3, Portal for ArcGIS is compliant with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 and integrates with identity providers that support SAML 2.0 web single sign-on.

SAML is an open standard to securely exchange authentication and authorization data between an enterprise identity provider and a service provider (in this case, Portal for ArcGIS). Many organizations use SAML 2.0 to seamlessly enable enterprise logins across various systems and over the web. The process of setting up and using SAML 2.0 with Portal for ArcGIS is described throughout the documentation as enterprise logins.

For more information about setting up enterprise logins with your portal, see About configuring portal authentication. To learn more about SAML identity providers and how to set up your portal to use them, see Configuring a SAML-compliant identity provider with your portal.

Apply fine-grained privileges using custom roles

Custom roles add greater control and flexibility in assigning privileges to members of your organization. For example, you might have some members who need access to your maps and apps but do not need to create groups. Or you might have other members who need to publish features but not tiles. This additional administrative capability enables you to add roles that specifically fit your organization, the way you work, and the functionality you want people to be able to use.

Manage group membership using your enterprise identity store

Group membership can now be managed outside of Portal for ArcGIS using the existing groups in your organization's enterprise identity store. This allows you to leverage enterprise management tools to control access to resources in Portal for ArcGIS. As an Administrator of your portal, you'll also be able to import users directly from groups in your identity store and assign them a specific organization role.

For a list of supported enterprise identity stores, see About configuring portal authentication. To learn more about how to configure your portal with enterprise groups, see Create groups.

Users can access portal resources without signing in

If you've configured Portal for ArcGIS with your organization's enterprise identity store (such as Windows Active Directory or LDAP), you can now allow users to access maps and resources without requiring them to sign in. Enabling anonymous access opens up your portal and its resources to a wide range of users. Users with enterprise accounts can still log in with their credentials and have full access to the portal. In earlier versions of Portal for ArcGIS, anonymous access was not possible if your portal was configured with enterprise logins.

For more information on how to configure anonymous access, see About configuring portal authentication.

High-availability support

In an organization where downtime must be minimized, Portal for ArcGIS needs to be configured in a highly available fashion. The way you achieve this is by installing the software on two machines and configuring them using an installed utility. In previous versions of Portal for ArcGIS, this could only be achieved by engaging with Professional Services.

To learn more, see Configuring a highly available portal.

Monitor usage statistics using Activity Dashboard for ArcGIS

Portal for ArcGIS records various usage statistics for items, users, and groups, and reports this information in the portal website through an app named Activity Dashboard for ArcGIS. If you're an Administrator of your organization or you have the correct privileges, you can use this information to monitor reports, information, and metrics detailing activities related to items, users, and groups.

As an Administrator of your organization or member with the correct privileges, there is nothing for you to install or configure; Activity Dashboard is embedded directly within your portal. You can access the app and view usage reports using the portal website. To learn more, see About usage reports.

Check for available software updates

Esri periodically releases software updates and patches for all components of ArcGIS. Email notifications are sent out for each update and announced on the Patches and Service Packs page on the Esri Support website. You can also check for available updates using a utility installed with the software.

The utility will only report update information for Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS for Server, and ArcGIS Data Store. Other products are not supported. If more than one of these products are installed, update information for those products will also be reported.

For full instructions, see Check for software patches and updates.

New supported languages

You can now display the portal website in Turkish or Thai. Administrators can set one of these languages for the entire organization. Individual members can change their profiles to display the website in one of these languages just for them.

Create applications using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS

The Portal for ArcGIS website now includes an embedded interactive application for designing and building web applications from your web maps. Applications you create with Web AppBuilder require no programming knowledge and are HTML based, meaning they work on desktop browsers, tablets, and smart phones without needing a plugin. Web AppBuilder comes with a variety of themes you can customize and widgets that allow you to deliver advanced functionality, such as high-quality printing, geoprocessing, editing, and search.

As an Administrator of your organization, there is nothing for you to install or configure; Web AppBuilder embeds directly within your portal. Members of the organization can immediately access Web AppBuilder after saving a web map. To learn more, see About Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.

Federate and unfederate processes improved

The federate and unfederate processes have been improved to provide the following enhancements:

  • When federating an ArcGIS Server site with Portal for ArcGIS, your existing ArcGIS Server services are now automatically shared as portal items. Similarly, service items imported during the federate process are now removed automatically when unfederating. You are no longer required to manually import or remove your services from the portal.

    If you've published hosted services to your portal, they are not removed as part of the unfederate process. Your existing hosted services remain online and as portal items until you explicitly delete them from the server. You can delete them through the My Hosted Services node in the Catalog window of ArcMap, or you can delete them using ArcGIS Server Manager.

  • If you specify a federated server as a hosting server for your portal, the hosting server's print service is automatically configured with the portal. You only need to start and 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 then configure it as a utility service. To learn more, see Configuring utility services.

Portal for ArcGIS scripting documentation enhanced

PortalPy provides a collection of high-level Python classes that hide the complexities of working directly against the ArcGIS REST API. Using PortalPy requires some level of Python programming knowledge but provides the most productive environment for automating the administration of your portal. As with Python sample scripts, you can access the source code to extend PortalPy if desired. See Scripting administrative tasks with PortalPy for details.

Support for publishing very large numbers of feature services to your portal

ArcGIS 10.3 includes a new setup named ArcGIS Data Store. When Portal for ArcGIS's hosting server is configured to use ArcGIS Data Store, a larger number of feature layers can be hosted on your portal, enabling your organization to multiply the number of publishers to the portal, with minimum hardware requirements.

You or the feature layer owner can configure feature layers published to Portal's hosting server configured with ArcGIS Data Store to enable attachments, time visualization, sync capabilities, editor tracking, data export. You can enable this functionality from the feature layer's item details page.

Site administration improvements

The following improvements have been made to My Organization:

You now have more options when configuring your site, including the following:

  • You can choose to automatically include Esri default basemaps and Esri default templates in the groups you use to configure the map and configure groups.
  • The default basemap in the map viewer opens at the default extent you set. Map configuration has options to choose the default extent, including a geocoder to help find a specific place or address.
  • You can configure general settings to include a contact link for your organization in the footer on the site.
  • You can view the HTML source for the organization description, which allows you to more easily create a description with HTML.
  • As an Administrator, you can configure the default map units for the scale bar, measure tool, directions, and analysis.
  • You can set the portal language option to Browser Default so that the portal website will display in the default language of the browser through which it is being viewed.

Configure Portal for ArcGIS with your organization's forward proxy server

A forward proxy server is a computer on your LAN that allows you to connect outside the network without compromising the security of your internal network. Use of a forward proxy server is very common in perimeter networks (also known as demilitarized zones [DMZ] or screened subnets) to protect the identity of internal machines. If your organization uses a forward proxy server to connect externally, you can configure Portal for ArcGIS to use your forward proxy server.

For full instructions, see Using a forward proxy server with Portal for ArcGIS.

Work with maps offline

You can take maps and data offline to view, collect, and update features when you are disconnected from the Internet. Use Collector for ArcGIS to download maps and view, collect, and edit data. Manage map content on your device and synchronize changes when you reconnect.

Stream live data to your portal

With ArcGIS GeoEvent Extension for Server, you can create services from ArcGIS GeoEvent Manager that connect to data sensors to stream real-time data through a stream service. You can add stream services to your portal content, and use these real-time data feeds as layers in maps and applications.

Create presentations

Use the map viewer to create a presentation of your map. A presentation is a collection of slides that can show specific locations, layers, pop-ups, basemaps, and titles. Once created, you can share your presentations with others. See Create presentations and Share presentations in the Portal for ArcGIS help.

Publish hosted tiles from a hosted feature layer

You can publish a tile layer from an existing hosted feature layer. This is useful if you do not have ArcGIS products installed locally. For example, you can publish a CSV file as a feature layer, and then publish that feature layer as a tile layer.

Publish a hosted feature layer from a file geodatabase or feature collection

When you add a file geodatabase to My Content, you have the option to publish the supported contents of the file geodatabase as a hosted feature layer. Two-dimensional feature classes, nonspatial tables, relationship classes, and attachments in the file geodatabase can be published.

You can publish hosted feature layers from feature collections you save in the map viewer.

Register custom applications

You can now register OAuth 2.0-based custom apps with Portal for ArcGIS. This allows developers to create custom applications that work with maps and layers from the registered portal.

You can continue to log in to Portal for ArcGIS from apps that do not use OAuth 2.0, but you cannot register them.

Create a list of favorites

You can create a list of favorites from items you find through search and the gallery, and that you've added through My Content. Mark an item as a favorite by clicking the star icon that appears in the upper left corner of the item's thumbnail. You can also search for favorites when you add layers to a map. View your list in a new My Favorites section of the gallery.

Operation views

Deployment of Operations Dashboard with Portal for ArcGIS has changed at ArcGIS 10.3. See Upgrading Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS for more information on these and other changes.

You can open operation views in the web dashboard in Portal for ArcGIS. Load the operation view as an item to your portal, open the view's item details, and click Open > Open in Operations Dashboard (Browser) to open the view in your portal.

Gallery enhancements

The gallery has been redesigned to help you find your organization's featured content and items you have designated as favorites. The gallery also includes better tools for sorting and filtering items.

Content enhancements

The following new file types can be added to My Content:

  • Layer (.lyrx)
  • File geodatabase (.zip)
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Drawing (.zip)
  • Layout (.pagx)
  • Pro Map (.mapx)
  • iWork Keynote (.zip)
  • iWork Numbers (.zip)
  • iWork Pages (.zip)

Several enhancements have been made to item details.

  • When you add a CSV file or image file to your portal and share it with everyone (public), the details page displays the URL. Use the URL to reference the file as a layer in web apps and pop-ups.
  • Members with privileges to add content to the portal can enable delete protection on the items they do not want accidentally removed from the site, for example, layers within featured maps and maps within featured apps.
  • You can edit the URL of an ArcGIS Server service layer you've moved to a different server.
  • Authors choose whether or not to allow others to save a copy of their map. Set save as option from within the edit mode of the map item details page.
  • Hosted feature layer owners and portal administrators can export data from hosted feature layers to CSV or shapefiles (.zip). As the owner of a hosted feature layer, you can choose whether nonadministrators can download data.

Map viewer enhancements

The following new functionality is available in the portal map viewer.


  • When adding layers to your map, you can search for layers from your favorites.
  • You can now configure feature search on layers in your map. This allows people to locate features on your map using the search box at the top of the map viewer. For example, you could enable search on your parcel layer so users could find specific parcels. Map users select the parcel layer in the search box and enter the parcel ID they want to find, and the map zooms to the parcel and shows a pop-up with attribute information.
  • If your portal uses the World Geocoding Service or if the portal administrator has configured the portal to use a geocode service that is enabled for suggestions, the geocoder in the map viewer suggests matches as you type an address or place. If you do not use one of the geocoder's suggested locations when you search and find that the location on the map isn't what you wanted, click the Not what you wanted? link in the window and choose a different location from the list.


  • Authors can make a copy of a layer in their map; configure different properties on the copied layer, such as pop-ups and symbols; and save the layer as a new item. You can also save layers you import to your map, such as CSV and map notes. Saved layers become referenced in the map, and changes made from the map are saved in the item if you are the item owner.
  • There is no longer a 1,000-record limit when adding GeoRSS layers or GPX, CSV, or text files containing latitude and longitude values to the map viewer.
  • You can set a refresh interval on CSV layers from the web that contain latitude and longitude fields. Enabling a refresh interval keeps your maps in sync with the latest data while the map is open. For example, you could set a refresh interval of five minutes on a live earthquake layer and the earthquake data would update every five minutes while the map was open.
  • The Esri basemap system has been further optimized for even higher performance and scalability. The upgrade also includes support for WMTS access to the maps as well as support for tile resampling, in which most Map data not yet available tiles have been replaced with resampled map tiles from the most detailed level available.
  • You can drag layers in the Contents pane to change their order.

Map layout

  • Members can set the map units they see for the scale bar, measure tool, and directions by editing their profile page.
  • Time-enabled layers include an option to disable the time animation so the time slider does not appear on the map.
  • More options are available to change symbols. You can now set rotation angle on point symbols by an angle in a field allowing the symbol to reflect a direction, for example, the direction the wind is blowing or a vehicle is traveling. New symbols have been added that are appropriate for indicating a direction or heading. To help show the relative size of your data, normalize your data based on percent of total or by a field such as area. You can vary the width of lines to show, for example, the volume of traffic along highways, and use size to display a graduated point symbol over a polygon to show, for example, population values. You can also now change single symbols in single-layer GeoRSS layers.
  • Three new collections of symbols and map notes templates are available for showing the location of natural disasters, infrastructure, and infrastructure damage.
  • Authors can add text symbols to their map when using map notes layers with the Map Notes, Park Planning, or Recreation template.
  • You can now create labels for features in a layer. To display labels for a layer, select one or more attributes you want to show, for example, the name or type of feature. The map viewer automatically places labels on the map on or near the features they describe. You can control the text size, color, and style to help differentiate labels from different layers.
  • You can now configure pop-ups to show related data in your map layers. Related data is shown in a table at the bottom of the map. Create data relationships in ArcGIS for Desktop and publish the data to your portal or ArcGIS for Server (version 10.1 or later is required).


  • Walking directions are now available in the map viewer if you configure your portal to use the ArcGIS Online World route service.
  • You can have up to 20 destinations in the directions you create in the map viewer.
  • A new Route All Features option on the layer menu is available for point layers. This option allows you to add the points as the origin and destination for directions. If the layer includes a sequence field, the points are ordered based on this field.

General map viewer

  • The map viewer includes guided tours to help you learn how to make and style a map. The tours appear in the About panel when signed in to the portal with an account that has privileges to create items. For the best experience, follow each step of the tour.
  • A simplified map viewer opens if you are not signed in to the portal. This makes it easier to explore maps for casual, anonymous users. The simplified viewer includes such functionality as the ability to show tables, edit features, change symbols, share, and view data through time.
  • You can add layers or configure pop-ups in the map viewer even when you are not signed in to the portal by clicking Modify Map. However, you cannot save the map if you are not signed in to the portal. The Modify Map option is not present if the author of the map you opened has enabled save as protection on the map.
  • World Geocoding Service has been enhanced for ten countries, including new mile markers for Puerto Rico and address points in Singapore, India, and Thailand.

New and improved web app templates

Web app templates have been optimized to improve loading and speed.

In addition, the following app templates are new, improved, or retired in Portal for ArcGIS 10.3:

New templates

  • Find, Edit, and Filter is a new configurable app template that allows you to search for features, edit, set attribute values, and filter content.
  • Summary Viewer is a new configurable app template that summarizes the numeric attributes of features in a specified operational layer within the visible map area. The summaries can be configured to show the sum, average, minimum, and maximum of specified field values.
  • Panels is a new configurable application template that allows you to display an ArcGIS web map with a legend, description, and basic map tools. Functionality available in the retired templates One Pane, Two Panel, and Header & Footer is available in Panels.
  • Public Information is a new, fully configurable mapping app that allows you to incorporate content from social media sites. Public Information provides functionality previously available in the retired Social Media template, but is more configurable and has a different look.
  • Story Map Journal is a configurable story map app template that allows you to present a map-based narrative organized into a set of journal entries. It is designed for creating compelling multimedia stories that combine text, graphics, and maps, especially where you have a lot of text and detail you want to convey. You can specify what the maps will show and how they will behave as people read through your journal. Two different layout options are provided. The app includes an interactive builder for helping you configure your own story.
  • Local Perspective is a new configurable app template for highlighting features from a map based on a user-selected location or address. In addition to your data, you can include demographics, lifestyle, and live weather information, and enable driving directions.
  • GeoForm is a configurable template for form-based data editing of a feature service. It allows you to enter attribute edits through a form instead of a pop-up in the map.
  • Impact Summary is a map application that highlights an area and shows a summary of data related to its location. You can configure the map to present relevant integer data at the bottom of the map, allowing you to answer new questions about locations that you cannot answer with maps alone.
  • Information Lookup is a configurable app template that can be used to provide the general public, internal staff, and other interested parties with information about a location. Optionally, the location entered can be stored in a point layer.

Improved and renamed templates

  • Parcel Viewer has been renamed to Finder to reflect that it is useful for more than just parcel searches. In addition, the configuration experience has been improved in the Finder template.
  • Elevation Profile is a new version of the Elevations Profile template. Elevation Profile can be used to display the elevation profile for a selected feature or a measured line along a web map. To take advantage of the new functionality in Elevation Profile, re-create your application with the Elevation Profile template.
  • A new version of the Legend template is available. The new Legend template has more configuration options than the old template, such as multiple color schemes, a configurable header and footer, control over the legend and description location, and the ability to enable location searches. To take advantage of functionality in the new Legend template, re-create your application with this new template.
  • The Basic Viewer, Simple Map Viewer, and Filter templates have been redesigned for a modern user experience, and now support feature search.
  • Due to the popularity of the original Basic Viewer, the original version has been renamed to Classic Viewer and is still available in the default map viewer template gallery.
  • Suggest capabilities are available in the location finder in the following templates:
    • Basic Viewer
    • Classic Viewer
    • Edit
    • Filter (10.3 version)
    • Impact Summary
    • Information Lookup
    • Legend (10.3 version)
    • Local Perspective
    • Panels
    • Public Information
    • Simple Map Viewer (10.3 version)
  • The following templates have been renamed, though functionality is unchanged at this release:

    Former nameName at 10.3

    Map Tour

    Story Map Tour

    Storytelling Basic

    Story Map Basic

    Storytelling Compare


    Storytelling Swipe

    Story Map Swipe and Spyglass

    Storytelling Text & Legend

    Story Map Text & Legend

Retired templates

The following templates have been retired. In most cases, retired templates were replaced by new templates with more functionality. If you have published apps based on one of these templates, re-create the app using the 10.3 version of the template.

  • GPX
  • Elevations Profile (replaced by Elevation Profile)
  • Header & Footer (merged into Panels)
  • One Pane (merged into Panels)
  • Two Panel (merged into Panels)
  • Social Media (replaced by Public Information)
  • Filter (replaced by 10.3 version)
  • Legend (replaced by 10.3 version)
  • Simple Map Viewer (replaced by 10.3 version)