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Listed below are frequently asked questions about ArcGIS Enterprise. If you encounter issues when working with ArcGIS Enterprise, see Troubleshoot for recommended solutions.






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What is ArcGIS Companion?

ArcGIS Companion is a native mobile app for iOS and Android that provides access to your ArcGIS organization, content, and profile. Use the app to search, browse, and manage ArcGIS content, members, and groups, and to share and collaborate with others. With Companion, you choose where you want to open items such as maps, scenes, apps, and layers. For example, you can open web maps in ArcGIS Explorer. Discover the most popular and up-to-date content in your organization and stay informed with the latest Esri news, blogs, and tweets. Administrators can perform common tasks such as resetting member passwords, enabling and disabling members, updating user profiles, adding members to the portal, assigning groups to members, and changing roles.

Companion is available to all members of ArcGIS organizations and developers who are part of the ArcGIS Developer Program. It is available in all languages that the portal website supports.

To get started, install ArcGIS Companion on your mobile device from the following:

What is a weak password in ArcGIS Enterprise?

Weak passwords may not be accepted. A password is considered weak if it's a commonly used password such as password1 or includes repetitive or sequential characters—for example, aaaabbbb or 1234abcd.

Who can use distributed collaboration?

Distributed collaboration is available for all ArcGIS Enterprise deployments at version 10.5 and later. At minimum, your organization must have an ArcGIS Enterprise base deployment to use collaboration.

Why should my organization use HTTPS only?

Encrypting sensitive information is the primary reason to use HTTPS. HTTPS uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocols that provide secure communication across networks. The ArcGIS platform uses TLS, which is a more recent and secure encryption protocol than SSL. When you send information over the Internet using HTTPS in your URL address, only the intended recipient can understand the information. This encryption is important because the information you send over the Internet is usually passed between many computers before it gets to the destination server. Any computer between you and the server can see sensitive information, such as passwords, if the information is not encrypted with a valid TLS or SSL certificate. When a valid TLS or SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except the server where you are sending the information. This protects it from malicious activity such as identity theft.

By default, ArcGIS Enterprise enforces HTTPS for all communication, however you can adjust your security protocols to fit the needs of your organization through the security settings. It is also recommended that you enable TLS on all your on-premises services. When you add layers to maps or add layers as items, it is recommended that you use HTTPS URLs. HTTPS helps protect your data and also mitigates mixed content issues with browsers. Many websites today can only be accessed through HTTPS. HTTPS ensures that your data and all other communication between your browser and ArcGIS Enterprise are encrypted.

For more information on TLS, SSL, HTTPS, and Internet security, visit Trust Center. Esri created Trust Center as your resource for security, privacy, and compliance information about the ArcGIS platform. Trust Center provides information about product security, security alerts, security compliance, best security practices for your organization, and more.

How can I change the data source URL protocol for my secure service with embedded credentials to HTTPS?

If you own or have privileges to administer secure services with embedded credentials such as an ArcGIS Server feature layer or a print or geocoding service, you can replace http with https as the URL protocol of the data source on the Settings tab of the secure service item's item page. It is recommended that you make all services accessible using HTTPS only, which encrypts the information in the service when it is transmitted over the Internet. For more information, see Why should my organization use HTTPS only?

What does it mean when an ArcGIS Configurable Apps template is labeled mature?

A Configurable Apps template is moved to mature status when an improved comparable template replaces it. When a template is moved to mature status, existing apps you created with it continue to work and remain accessible to users, and you can still edit and update your apps. You can also create apps with a mature Configurable Apps template; however, this is not recommended as Esri doesn't add new features or fix issues in mature templates. For example, mature app templates are not updated to support browser changes or changes in ArcGIS that affect app functionality. Nevertheless, if you want to create an app based on a mature app template, you can do so by clicking the Create a Web App button on its item page.

When do members see contact information for the administrator of their organization?

You can choose administrators who will be listed as points of contact for your portal. If added, details of the specified administrators will be visible to all nonadministrator organization members on the Organization page.


What kinds of layers can I add to a map?

For the full list, see What layers can you add?.

What's the difference between features stored in the map and features stored in a feature service layer?

Features stored in the map come from creating a map notes layer or from an uploaded file that can only be edited by the map author. Features from feature service layers are streamed from a web service and can be edited by users if the service owner allows it.

What's the best way to add features to a map?

It depends. If you have large amounts of data, an effective approach is to create a feature service and add it as a layer to your map. You should also add feature layers if you want others to edit the features and their attribute information. By default, your features will be editable by anyone viewing your map.

If you only want to add a few features, add a map notes layer with Map Viewer. Map Viewer provides several templates from which you can choose shapes and symbols. However, it's not practical to add large numbers of features, since you have to create each one in Map Viewer—you cannot, for example, upload a file of predefined features. These layers are read-only, so others cannot change the features or edit related attribute information.

If you have features in a delimited text file (.txt or .csv) or a GPS Exchange Format file (.gpx), you can import them into your map. This is a convenient way to add features you have stored in a file on your computer. Once you've added them to your map, you can change the symbols and configure pop-ups.

If your file contains many features, you should place it on a web server and reference it through a URL using Add Layer from Web, rather than importing it directly into the map.

How do I save an individual feature layer as an item?

To save an individual feature layer from a multilayer feature layer, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the item page of the multilayer feature layer and go to the Visualization tab.
  2. Choose the layer you want to save from the Layer drop-down menu.
  3. Click Save as new layer to save a copy of the layer as a new item in My Content.
  4. Type a title, tags, and a summary, and optionally choose a different folder to save the layer.
  5. Select to create the new item with Just the current layer and click Save.

How can I tell if a map is time enabled?

If you see a time slider at the bottom of a map, that map includes one or more temporal layers, and you can play the map to see how the information changes over time.

What's the difference between Save and Save As?

Save updates an existing map you own. Save As creates a copy of the map, and you see the original Save Map window where you can update the title, tags, and so on. You can save a copy of any map that is not owned by you; you cannot update an existing one you do not own.

What is the difference between building a map with an ArcGIS API and using Map Viewer to make a map?

You can think of Map Viewer as a canvas onto which you can easily mash up different layers that interest you. Once you've created a map, you can share it with other portal users or embed it in an app. This might be an app that you wrote using ArcGIS APIs, or if you have little programming experience, it could be a preconfigured app such as the portal's web app templates.

ArcGIS APIs can also be used to build a mashup from scratch without starting in Map Viewer. This involves more code and layer management by the developer.

How do I make a layer available as a basemap in my organization's basemap gallery?

The basemap gallery in Map Viewer uses basemaps from ArcGIS Online by default, but your portal administrator can configure Map Viewer to use a different group to populate the basemap gallery. If your portal uses a custom basemap gallery, the portal administrator allows other people to contribute content to it, and you are a member of a role that has privileges to create and share content, you can create a basemap and add it to the basemap gallery. To make a layer available to the custom basemap gallery, follow these steps:

  1. Contact your portal administrator to confirm the basemap gallery uses a custom group that allows its members to contribute content. If it does, join the group or ask your administrator to add you to it.
  2. Sign in to your organization and open Map Viewer.
  3. Add the layer to the map as a basemap. Several layer types are supported. The layer must be shared to the basemap gallery group and your organization.
  4. Save the map. Give the map a concise name that lets your fellow portal members know what it contains.
  5. Click Share and share the map with the basemap gallery group and with your organization.


What is a scene?

A scene is a 3D representation of a collection of layers, styles, and configurations that allow you to share symbolized geospatial content with others over the Internet. You can create 3D scenes through ArcGIS Pro or Scene Viewer in an ArcGIS Enterprise portal.

What is Scene Viewer?

Scene Viewer is an app built into the ArcGIS Enterprise portal for creating and interacting with 3D scenes. Scene Viewer works with desktop web browsers that support WebGL, a web technology standard built into most modern browsers for rendering 3D graphics.

How do I open a scene?

You can view scenes in the portal website with Scene Viewer or sign in to your organization and create scenes. You can also open scenes in ArcGIS Pro.

How do I create a scene?

You can sign in to your organization to create a scene in your portal with Scene Viewer, or you can use ArcGIS Pro to create and share a scene.

What's the difference between a scene and a map?

A scene is similar to a map in that they are a mashup of data layers you can view in a browser. Scenes are different from maps because, unlike maps, scenes display data in a 3D environment and allow navigation in any direction and angle.

Do I need ArcGIS Pro to create a scene?

No. You can create scenes by mashing up layers shared with your organization using Scene Viewer.

How can I use Scene Viewer with my 2D data?

You can bring your 2D data into a 3D environment and get a better understanding of the data. For example, you can create 3D symbols from your 2D symbols by applying a size and height. You can zoom in and out and rotate the surface to see the data from different angles. You can also add elevation to overlapping 2D layers so you more easily view the data in each layer.

What is the difference between Scene Viewer and CityEngine Web Viewer?

Scene Viewer and CityEngine Web Viewer are two different applications available in ArcGIS Enterprise, each with its own unique functionality and purpose.

In Scene Viewer, you can do the following:

  • View scenes created from Scene Viewer or ArcGIS Pro. Scene Viewer doesn't support CityEngine web scenes.
  • Author scenes: for example, you can add and remove layers, modify symbology, or capture slides.
  • Display a collection of portal layers, such as scene layers, feature layers, image layers, or tile layers.
  • View scenes rendered in world extent with basemaps in a spherical globe view (global scene) or a planar view (local scene).
  • Navigate scenes where data loading and image-graphic rendering are performed progressively.

In CityEngine Web Viewer, you can do the following:

  • Display static CityEngine web scenes (.3ws) exported from CityEngine or ArcScene. CityEngine Web Viewer doesn't support scenes.
  • View CityEngine web scenes that are rendered in a small local extent with a Cartesian coordinate system.
  • Comment and compare scenarios: for example, you can use the swipe tool to see the differences between two scenarios.
  • CityEngine Web Viewer loads CityEngine web scenes as an initial download on opening and does not load any streaming data afterward.
  • CityEngine Web Viewer is a viewing tool and doesn't support authoring, such as adding basemaps, changing symbology, or configuring layers.

Can I share 3D geometry in feature layers?

Yes. You can share 3D points, lines, and polygons.

Can I share my own terrain models in scenes?

Yes. You can share custom terrains through ArcGIS Server. Use ArcGIS Desktop 10.3 or later to create a cached elevation image service and share the service through ArcGIS Server. You can also use ArcGIS Pro to build a tile package from your elevation data to create a hosted elevation layer in ArcGIS Enterprise. You can then add these elevation services and layers to your scene.


Why doesn't my story map app display the app or web content I embedded in it?

If your portal is configured to communicate over HTTPS only, the story maps you create in that portal will always be accessed through HTTPS. If you embed an app or web content that is accessed via HTTP, the embedded item will not display in your story map.

Which ArcGIS apps support vector basemaps in the basemap gallery?

Vector basemaps are available in Map Viewer, Scene Viewer, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Collector, ArcGIS Workforce, ArcGIS Explorer, ArcGIS Excalibur, ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, Ortho Maker, and ArcGIS Configurable Apps. To determine whether vector basemaps are available in a specific ArcGIS app, refer to the app documentation.

To learn more about vector basemaps and how they compare to raster basemaps, see Tile layers.


How large a file can I upload?

You can upload files up to 500 GB to My Content through a web browser.


To publish large tile packages, it is recommended that you use the Share Package geoprocessing tool, which can take advantage of multiple processing cores.

What can I share?

You can share supported types of maps, apps, layers, tools, and files.

Can I share a URL of my map or app?

Yes. Content items, search results, and groups can be accessed directly by a URL.

What happens if I delete the source item used to publish a hosted layer?

If the source item used to publish a hosted layer is deleted, the layer continues to draw as expected. However, certain functionality that requires access to the source data may no longer work as expected. The specific functionality can vary from layer to layer. Impacted functionality includes the following:

  • If you delete a service definition file, the Overwrite an existing service option in ArcMap may no longer work as expected.
  • If you delete a shapefile, file geodatabase, or CSV file, the Overwrite option on the hosted feature layer's item page is no longer available.
  • If you delete a tile package (.tpk), the hosted tile layer published from it can no longer be taken offline.

When the source item used to publish a hosted layer is a hosted layer itself, the hosted layer used as the source item cannot be deleted until all hosted layers published from it are deleted.

How can I update the data in my hosted feature layer?

If you enabled editing on a hosted feature layer, you can edit the features and their display in Map Viewer. If you save the layer in a web map and use the map in an app, you can edit the features in your hosted feature layer through the app.

To update the data in hosted feature layers published from a file geodatabase, shapefile, GeoJSON, or a CSV or Microsoft Excel file containing latitude and longitude information, replace the data with data from an updated source file using the Overwrite option available on the hosted feature layer's item page.

If you published the hosted feature layer from ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro, overwrite the service from the same map in the same application.

What is the difference between a web map and a web app within the context of the website?

A web map is a set of informational layers and pop-ups covering a certain geographic area. The map is interchangeable such that it can be viewed in a browser, mobile device, or desktop app. You can use app-specific tools to change the map extent, find places, and see detailed data about a location.

You build a web map by defining an area of interest, choosing a basemap, adding data layers, and configuring pop-ups. You can save maps and share them with everyone or with specific groups to which you belong.

A web app is a website that combines maps, data, and tools for a targeted use such as finding polling stations for an election. It might be as simple as a navigable map image embedded in a blog or as complex as a GPS navigation visualization.

Web apps can be based on templates (included with the portal) or developed from scratch using ArcGIS APIs. Both of these types of apps can plug in to ArcGIS maps. In general, apps are constructed from information in maps, supplemented with specific configurations and customizations. Apps can be hosted as a part of your content in the system, or they can be managed independently and registered with the system.

When my organization changes the basemap gallery, what happens to the basemaps in my maps and scenes?

By default, your existing maps and scenes continue to use their current basemaps. To update the basemap, you must open the map or scene, choose a new basemap, and save the map or scene.

How can I control how hosted feature layers are reprojected when viewed on ArcGIS Online basemaps?

When you add layers to ArcGIS apps such as Map Viewer, Scene Viewer, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcMap, the apps perform on-the-fly reprojection of the layers so the data lines up with the basemap. ArcGIS chooses the appropriate default transformation for the on-the-fly reprojection based on the coordinate system of the basemap. Sometimes the default choice is not as precise as you need, which can make it look as though the features are shifted slightly in one direction. Or the default choice may not match with the transformation you use as part of your GIS best practices for your organization.

When you publish a hosted feature layer from ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro, and you know people will use the hosted feature layer in maps that contain ArcGIS Online basemaps, you can do one of the following:

  • Option 1: Preserve the projection of your data but define a geographic transformation that your portal can use when performing on-the-fly reprojections of the hosted feature layer.

    With this option, your source data and hosted feature layer data remain in the same projection. You define what geographic transformation should be used when on-the-fly reprojection is required.

    The following steps summarize how to keep your data's original projection and define a geographic transformation to control how the layer is reprojected when viewed on an ArcGIS Online basemap.

    1. In ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro, open the map you want to publish as a hosted feature layer.
    2. Open the data frame properties for the map and set the data frame's coordinate system to match the coordinate system of the source data in your map and apply your changes.
    3. Define a geographic transformation. This involves defining what the transformation will project to and the projection used to perform the transformation. Choose to project to WGS 1984.

    When you publish, the hosted feature layer stores the geographic transformation you set and uses it when reprojecting the layer to view on an ArcGIS Online basemap.


    If ArcGIS Enterprise doesn't support the transformation you define for the layer, it either uses the default transformation or fails to reproject. ArcGIS Enterprise supports the transformations installed by default in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro.

  • Option 2: Configure the map so that the feature class data is reprojected into WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere) when it is copied to the relational data store.

    With this option, the hosted feature layer data is stored in the relational data store in the same coordinate system as the ArcGIS Online basemaps; therefore, no on-the-fly reprojection is needed when viewed on these basemaps. However, this means the hosted feature layer data and the data in your data source are now in different projections.

    The following steps summarize how to configure the map so the publishing process reprojects the hosted feature layer data so it is stored in WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere):

    1. In ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro, open the map you want to publish as a hosted feature layer.
    2. Set the data frame's coordinate system to WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere). This is the projection in which the hosted feature layer data will be stored.
    3. Define a geographic transformation. Choose the projection used by the source data in your map.

    When you publish, the data copied to the relational data store is stored in WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere).

Esri featured content

What is ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World?

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is an evolving collection of authoritative, ready-to-use global geographic information from Esri. It includes imagery, basemaps, demographics and lifestyle, landscape, boundaries and places, transportation, earth observations, urban systems, oceans, and historical maps that can be combined with your own data to create maps, scenes, and apps and perform analysis.

What is subscriber content?

Subscriber content is the collection of ready-to-use map layers, analytic tools, and services published by Esri that requires an ArcGIS Online organizational subscription account to access. This includes layers from Esri such as NAIP imagery, landscape analysis layers, and historical maps. Subscriber content does not consume ArcGIS Online credits.

What is premium content?

Premium content is a type of ArcGIS Online subscriber content. It is a collection of ready-to-use map layers, analytic tools, apps, and services published by Esri that you access through an ArcGIS Online organizational account and consume credits when used. Premium content layers from Esri include demographic and lifestyle maps as well as tools for geocoding, geoenrichment, network analysis, and spatial analysis.


How do I give my colleagues permission to modify content I share with them?

You can allow other people in your organization to update your maps, apps, layers, and files, as well as their item details, by sharing the items with a shared update group. When you share items to a shared update group, you allow group members to update any items shared with the group. This includes modifying an item's details or updating its content.

Allowing other members of your organization to update your shared content is useful in many scenarios. For instance, it makes it easy for a team of shift workers to share responsibility for updating a critical web map—adding or removing layers, changing symbols, updating the map's description, and so on. Another common scenario is giving a team of editors the ability to edit a publicly visible hosted feature layer without enabling editing on the layer for everyone.

To allow others to update your shared items, do the following:

  1. Create a shared update group as follows:
    1. Ensure that you have privileges to create groups with update capabilities.
    2. Create a group. For the What items in the group can its members update? setting, select All items (group membership is limited to the organization).

      This option is only available when creating groups and when membership in the group is only open to those who are invited or request and are approved to join.

    3. Add yourself and the colleagues with whom you want to collaborate to the group.

      You can only invite members of your organization who have privileges to create, update, and delete content.

  2. Share your items with the group.

    You remain the owner of the items, and other group members can update them, including changing the item details and updating the content.


Only the owner (or administrator) of the item can perform the following actions on the item (not all actions apply to all item types): delete, share, move, change owner, change delete protection, publish, register an app, overwrite data in hosted feature layers, and manage tiles in hosted tile layers.


How can I limit access to content for some organization members, such as external contractors?

To limit access to content—for example, content of a highly sensitive nature—for some members of your organization, you can assign them a custom role with the following privileges turned off:

  • Content: View content shared with the organization
  • Groups: View groups shared with the organization

Members who are not granted these privileges can only view content shared with groups they belong to, while being restricted from viewing other organization content.

To restrict certain members from seeing a list of members in the organization and accessing the Organization page, turn off the following privilege:

  • Members: View

What is a contrast ratio?

A contrast ratio is displayed when you select a font color and background color for your organization's information banner or shared theme. Contrast ratio is a measure of legibility based on WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards; a contrast ratio of 4.5 is recommended to adhere to these standards.