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What is Portal for ArcGIS?

Portal for ArcGIS is a component of ArcGIS Enterprise that allows you to share maps, scenes, apps, and other geographic information with other people in your organization. The content that you share is delivered through a website. You can customize the website to fit your organization's look and feel.

Portal for ArcGIS brings together all the geographic information in your ArcGIS platform and shares it throughout your organization. For example, with Portal for ArcGIS you can:

  • Create, save, and share web maps and scenes.
  • Create and host web mapping apps.
  • Search for GIS content within your organization.
  • Create groups for sharing GIS information with coworkers.
  • Share links to GIS apps.
  • Share map and layer packages to use in ArcGIS Desktop

Portal for ArcGIS puts GIS in the hands of people who might not otherwise have any experience with it. For example, Portal for ArcGIS includes geographic viewers designed for those who are just beginning with GIS. Experienced GIS users can connect to Portal for ArcGIS from ArcGIS Desktop, developer APIs, and other applications.

To view an example of how Portal for ArcGIS can be used, see An example of using Portal for ArcGIS in your organization.

What do I get with Portal for ArcGIS?

Portal for ArcGIS includes the following:

  • The portal website—People in your organization sign in to the portal website to search, use, and share content.

  • Map viewer—The portal website includes a map viewer for designing and saving web maps. Think of the map viewer as a canvas in which you combine GIS information and services to make your own map. You can save your maps, share them with others, and embed them in apps you create using configurable app templates or Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.

  • Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS—The portal website includes an embedded interactive app 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 smartphones 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. To learn more, see About Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.

  • Activity Dashboard for ArcGIS—The website includes an embedded app that reports various usage statistics for items, users, and groups. Portal administrators can use this information to monitor reports, information, and metrics detailing activities in the organization. To learn more, see About usage reports.

  • Scene viewer—The portal website includes an application for viewing 3D geospatial content. The scene viewer works with desktop web browsers that support WebGL, a web technology standard for rendering 3D graphics.

  • ArcGIS apps—Portal for ArcGIS supports user-friendly applications that allow people to interact with web maps and scenes from your portal. For a full list of portal-ready applications, see Common clients of Portal for ArcGIS.

  • Living Atlas of the World content—By default, portals are configured to access Living Atlas of the World content provided by Esri. (Requires an Internet connection.) Maps and scenes from Living Atlas are available on the Esri Featured Content tab of the portal's gallery. Living Atlas layers are available in the map and scene viewers to allow portal members to use these layers in their own maps, scenes, and apps. Portal members can also use these layers in analysis tools in the map viewer and Insights for ArcGIS.
  • Administrator tools—The portal website includes administrator tools that allow management of users, groups, and content. Only members of the portal who have administrator privileges can see these options when they sign in to the website.

  • ArcGIS Portal Directory—The ArcGIS Portal Directory is an interactive view of the ArcGIS REST API's resources for working with the portal. For example, some administrative tasks such as unregistering the Web Adaptor, updating the location of the portal's content directory, and setting the identity store are all available in the ArcGIS Portal Directory. To learn more, see About the ArcGIS Portal Directory.

Getting started

If you are just getting started with Portal for ArcGIS, review the following topics:

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