Skip To Content

Enable offline mapping

In this topic

You can enable offline editing on features you published to your portal. Clients can make edits while not connected to the portal, and then synchronize the data with the hosted feature layer when they are online. If you enable offline editing (sync) from ArcMap when you publish to your portal, the data is automatically configured to allow synchronization to occur. However, if you decide to enable offline editing after publishing from ArcMap, or you publish a feature layer from a shapefile or CSV file in your portal, you must prepare the data to participate in offline map use.


ArcGIS clients and developer SDKs will progressively add support for offline map use and the sync capability in feature services. The first clients to support working with maps while offline are the 10.2.2 versions of Collector for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Runtime SDKs.

Clients currently access the sync capability through the ArcGIS REST API.

The following sections describe how to add a Global ID to the feature class in your portal's managed database, enable the feature class for archiving, and enable the sync capability on an existing feature layer (service).

Alter the data in the managed database

When you publish a shapefile or CSV in the portal website, a feature class is created in the managed database of your hosting ArcGIS Server. Similarly, when you publish features to your portal from ArcMap, all the feature layers are copied to the managed database. To allow people to download and synchronize the feature layers, Global IDs must be added to the feature classes in the managed database, and the feature classes must be enabled for archiving. This can only be done by the owner of the feature class. If you do not know the user name and password used for the hosting server's managed database, contact your portal administrator to prepare the data for you.

  1. Determine what feature classes are in the feature layer for which you want to enable offline map use (the sync capability).
    1. Start ArcCatalog and connect to your hosting server. You must make a publisher or administrator connection.
    2. Open the Hosted folder.
    3. Right-click your feature layer service and click Service Workspaces.
    4. Click the Copied tab.

      The name of the feature class (or classes) that participate in your feature layer are listed here. Take note of the feature class names, as these are the feature classes you need to modify to enable sync capabilities.

  2. In ArcCatalog, connect to the enterprise geodatabase that has been registered as your hosting server's managed database. Be sure to connect as the same user that was used when the geodatabase was registered with ArcGIS Server.
  3. Right-click the first feature class, point to Manage, and click Add Global IDs.
  4. Once Global IDs have been added, right-click the same feature class, point to Manage, and click Enable Archiving.
  5. Repeat the previous two steps for every feature class that participates in your feature layer.

Now you can enable the sync capability on the feature layer.

Enable the sync capability

Once the data is prepared, the owner of the feature layer or anyone who has privileges to update content can enable the sync capability to allow offline editing.

Enable the sync capability from the item details page of the feature layer in the portal website.

  1. Sign in to your portal as the owner of the hosted feature layer or someone with privileges to update content.
  2. Open the item details for the features.
  3. Click Edit and scroll down to the Properties section of the page.
  4. Check the box next to Enable Sync (disconnected editing with synchronization).
  5. If you want to allow clients to edit the data they will download, check the box next to Enable editing and allow editors to, and choose the type of edits you want to allow.
    • Add, update, and delete features gives editors the most privileges of the three choices. Editors can add new features, move existing features, change existing attribute values, and delete existing features.
    • Update feature attributes only is useful when you want editors to enter attribute information for existing features without changing any feature geometry. For example, you might have a set of observation towers whose locations should not be allowed to change, but whose attributes may be updated regularly.
    • Add features only is useful if you want editors to report geographic information to you but not delete or update existing features. For example, if you have an application that allows citizens to report graffiti so you can send a crew to investigate and remove it, you would want the citizens to add new locations but not remove or alter existing locations.
  6. Click Save to apply your changes.