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Best practices for tile caches

Hosted tile layers run quickly on the web, but it takes an investment of server power, time, and storage space to build and maintain the tile cache. You need to prepare for the time and network resources that it takes to build a cache. You also need to anticipate the amount of disk space the cache will use on the hosting server.

View cache status

Anytime after you start creating tiles, you can display a scale-by-scale progress report of the percentage of cache your server has generated. Right-click your hosted tile layer in the Catalog tree in ArcMap and click View Cache Status. You'll immediately notice that the larger cache scales take much longer to cache than the smaller scales.

You can alternatively see the cache status in the My Content page of the portal website by clicking the Manage Tiles link.

Build tiles strategically

By default, tiles are created for the full extent of the map. If you're creating tiles for a large geographic entity that is not rectangular, you can conserve time and processing resources on the hosting server by interactively defining the area of interest to cache. The Manage Map Server Cache Tiles tool allows you to digitize an area of interest polygon in ArcMap. This is how you constrain tile creation to an irregularly shaped boundary instead of creating tiles for the full extent of the map.

Build a cache for hosted tiles

You can choose to build a cache on your tiles automatically when publishing, or build the cache manually after publishing. When you first start publishing, it is easier to build the cache automatically. Your tiles are created for you by your hosting server. You don't have to take any further action other than optionally monitoring the cache progress.

As soon as you become familiar with what your caching needs are, though, Esri recommends that you build the cache manually. Caches that are automatically generated may be larger than you need. The larger the cache, the longer time it takes to build.

If you choose to build a cache manually after publishing your tile layer, you can launch the cache jobs from My Content. Display the item page for your tiles, click the Settings tab, and click the Manage Tiles button in the Tile Layer (Hosted) Settings section. This displays a window allowing you to create tiles and view the status of each scale level.


You can also modify the visible scale range in the Tile Layer (Hosted) Settings section of the Settings tab.

Alternatively, you can launch the tile creation from ArcMap, which gives you more control over the geographic area cached. The following steps explain how to build the cache from ArcMap:

  1. Start ArcMap.

    Optionally open the map document from which you originally published the service. Opening the map document is necessary only if you want to interactively define an area of interest for tile creation.

  2. Sign in to your portal..
    1. Click File > Sign In.
    2. Type your organizational user name and password and click Sign In.
  3. Open the Catalog window and expand My Hosted Services.
  4. Right-click your hosted tile layer and click Manage Cache > Manage Tiles.

    The Manage Map Server Cache Tiles tool dialog box appears. This tool creates tiles for tile layers.

  5. Set the tool parameters as desired.

    Note the Area Of Interest parameter, which allows you to interactively digitize a polygon to define where tiles are created.

    If you need help understanding any of the other tool parameters, click Show Help in the tool dialog box.

  6. Click OK to begin creating tiles.


    To view a scale-by-scale progress report of cache tile creation, right-click your hosted tile layer in the Catalog tree and click View Cache Status. To learn more, see Viewing cache completion status.

The tiles are created and stored on your portal's hosting server.

If you ever want to delete tiles, you can run this same tool with the Update Mode parameter set to Delete Tiles.