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Manage hosted feature layers

You can alter certain settings on a hosted feature (or table) layer, while others are set on individual layers in the hosted feature layer. The following sections describe how the layer owner, or an administrator, can manage the settings for a hosted feature layer and the layers it contains.

Tip:

The following settings apply to anyone who can access your hosted feature layer. Take these into consideration when you share your layer:

  • Use a hosted feature layer offline or in a collaboration—Enable Sync (required for offline use and collaboration)
  • Export data from the hosted feature layer—Allow others to export to different formats
  • Add attachments to features in hosted feature layers—Enable attachments

Also be aware that when you share a hosted feature layer with a shared update group, group members can manage many of the settings on the layer.

Rename layers

You can change the name of hosted feature layer items and layers inside hosted feature layers.

Changing the item name or layer names in a hosted feature layer does not affect the names in any dependent hosted layers or views. Similarly, changing the dependent layer's item name or the names of the layers in the dependent layer does not change the names in the source hosted feature layer.

  1. Sign in to your organization and open the item page for the hosted feature layer. To rename a sublayer, open its item page by clicking the layer name under the Layers list on the Overview tab.
  2. On the Overview tab, click the Edit button next to the item or layer name you want to change.
  3. Type a new name for the layer or item and click Save.

Manage editor settings

As the owner of a hosted feature layer, or an administrator, you can allow others to edit the hosted feature layer. If you allow others to edit, you can also record editors' logins and further restrict feature access based on those logins.

The owner of the hosted feature layer can edit the layer even if editing is not enabled on the layer.

Note:

The term editor here refers to any member that can edit data in the layer. This is not restricted to members with the Editor user type.

Allow others to edit

As the owner of a hosted feature layer or an administrator in the organization, you control what edits can be made to a hosted feature layer, if any. You can configure the layer to keep track of when and by whom edits are made on each feature in the layer. If you choose to track edits on a hosted feature layer, edits are tracked for all editable views you create from the hosted feature layer.

Note:

If the feature layer is shared with the public, you must enable Public Data Collection on the layer before you can enable editing.

Follow these steps to enable editing and specify what types of edits can be made:

  1. Open the details page of the hosted feature layer that you want to allow others to edit.
  2. Click the Settings tab.
  3. Scroll to the Feature Layer (Hosted) Settings or Feature Layer (Hosted, View) Settings section and check Enable editing.
  4. Check Keep track of who created and last updated features to track editors' logins and further control what editors can see and do with hosted feature layers.

    Hosted feature layer views inherit this setting from the hosted feature layer from which they are created and cannot be configured independently. To enable or disable editor tracking for a hosted feature layer view, change the editor tracking setting on the hosted feature layer from which the view was created.

  5. Choose one of the following options for the What kind of editing is allowed? setting:
    • Choose Add to allow editors to add feature geometry. Editors can also provide attribute values when they create the feature. Once created, editors must have the Update privilege to change the feature or its attributes.
    • Choose Delete to allow editors to delete features.
    • Choose Update to allow editors to update feature geometry and attributes. To allow editors to update attributes only and not update feature geometry—in other words, you don't want them to move features—choose Attributes only.
  6. If you configured the hosted feature layer to track who creates and edits data, you can choose to apply the following additional restrictions to the hosted feature layer or its dependent feature layer views. These are useful if your hosted feature layer or feature layer view is going to be used in crowd-sourced apps in which you want to limit what contributors see or what control each contributor has over the data.
  7. If you want editors to only see the features they create, select Editors can only see their own features (requires tracking) under the What features can editors see? setting. Enable this option if the layer contains sensitive or proprietary information such as medical records or research data for which editors may only have clearance to work with the data they collect.
  8. If you don't want editors to see any features, including those they add, choose Editors can't see any features, even those they add under the What features can editors see? setting. Enable this option when the editor doesn't need to or shouldn't see newly added features. For example, if you have people collecting survey information from the public using apps such as ArcGIS Survey123, GeoForm, or Crowd Source Polling configurable apps, you may not want the editor to see the information the survey respondents provide, as it could be private or sensitive information such as the respondent's home address.

    When the owner of the hosted feature layer or a member of the default administrator role adds the layer to the map with full editing control, he or she sees all features in the layer even if Editors can't see any features, even those they add is enabled. Similarly, if you share the hosted feature layer with a group configured to allow editing of all contents, members of this group also see all features.

    Caution:

    If you enable the Editors can't see any features, even those they add option, the layer cannot be used in ArcGIS Collector.

  9. To restrict feature edits based on the creator of the feature, select Editors can only edit their own features (requires tracking) under the What features can editors edit? setting. This allows editors to delete or modify the features they create but not delete or modify others' features.
  10. If you want anonymous users (those who access the hosted feature layer without signing in to your organization) to only be allowed to add features, select Only add new features, if allowed above (requires tracking) under the What access do anonymous editors (not signed in) have? setting. This prevents anonymous users from editing existing features while still allowing such edits to be made by editors who are members of your organization.

    Note:

    This setting is only applicable if the layer is shared with everyone (public). If the layer is not public, anonymous users cannot access it.

  11. Click Save at the bottom of the Settings tab.

Full editing control for owners

You can open any hosted feature layer you own in Map Viewer with editing enabled. You can do this regardless of whether the feature layer is editable by other people. This allows you to use a single feature layer for both public display and internal edits.

To enable editing, open the hosted feature layer's details page, click the Open button, and click Add layer to new map with full editing control.

Further control of edits for layers

Sometimes you need to make a hosted feature layer available to the public or a group with a lot of members for viewing, but you only want a few members of your organization to edit it. If you enable editing on a public hosted feature layer, anyone can edit it. Similarly, if you enable editing on a hosted feature layer shared to a group, all members of the group can edit the hosted feature layer.

To allow the public or groups with a large number of users to see the layer but only allow a small group of people to edit it, an administrator in your organization can create a group that is configured to allow editing of all contents. Add or invite organization members to this group who you want to edit items. All items shared to this group can be updated by group members, including hosted feature layers that do not have editing enabled.

When members of the group need to edit the hosted feature layer, they must open the hosted feature layer's details and click Open > Add layer to new map with full editing control.

Full editing control for administrators

If you are a member of the default administrator role for your organization, you can open a hosted feature layer in Map Viewer with editing enabled. You can do this regardless of the editing level you have set for nonadministrators or whether the layer is editable by others. This is useful if you need to curate or clean up a map that others are editing. It also allows you to use a single feature layer for both public display and internal edits.

To enable editing, open the hosted feature layer's details page, click the Open button, and click Add layer to new map with full editing control.

Full editing control for data curators

If you have the privilege to edit with full control, you can open an editable hosted feature layer in Map Viewer and add, update, and delete features. You can do this regardless of the editing level set on the layer. The layer must have editing enabled.

To edit, open the hosted feature layer's details page and click Open > Add layer to new map with full editing control. Note that the Add layer to new map with full editing control option is only available if the layer has editing enabled.

Control edits on a per field basis

If you enable attribute updates on a hosted feature layer, you can further control which fields others can edit.

Note:

When you configure a field so that it cannot be edited, no one can edit its contents, not even you (the owner) or the organization administrator, until you enable editing again. This means that you also cannot calculate values for that field.

You cannot disable edits for system fields such as the object ID or shape field.

Follow these steps to disable editing for a field in a layer in a hosted feature layer.

  1. Open the details page of the editable layer that contains fields that you don't want anyone to update.
  2. Click the Data tab and click Fields to switch to the fields view.
  3. Choose the layer you want to configure from the Layer drop-down list and click the name of the field for which you want to alter edit settings.
  4. In the Editable row of the Settings table, click Edit, uncheck Allow attribute edits to disable editing, and click Save.

    If you later decide to allow edits to this field through this hosted layer, repeat these steps but check Allow attribute edits to enable editing instead.

If you disabled editing, no one can edit the values in the specified field using this layer item.

Allow offline editing or collaboration

To allow others to take the hosted feature layer offline and work with it while disconnected from the network, or to share hosted feature layer data as a copy in a distributed collaboration, you must enable synchronization on the hosted feature layer.

Follow the steps to edit web layer details and check Enable Sync (required for offline use and collaboration) on the Settings tab. This allows offline editors to get the latest updates to features at the time they connect. Any edits they made to features while disconnected are also applied at the time they connect. It also allows changes made to the layer in the sending organization of a collaboration to be synchronized to the feature layer in the participating organizations.

Consider the following when you enable synchronization on a layer:

  • Enabling synchronization may increase the feature storage size for the layer.
  • If synchronization is enabled, you can append new features to the hosted feature layer but not update existing features using the Update Data option in the layer's details page.
  • To enable synchronization on a hosted feature layer view, the hosted feature layer it was created from must have synchronization enabled.
  • If you have multiple areas of interest defined on the layers in a hosted feature layer view, you cannot enable synchronization.
  • To disable synchronization on a host feature layer that has dependent views, you must first disable synchronization on all the views.

Caution:

Do not disable synchronization until all offline users and collaborations synchronize their edits. If they're using ArcGIS Collector, they must also remove the offline web maps containing the layer from their devices before you disable synchronization.

If you disable synchronization by unchecking Enable Sync (required for offline use and collaboration), but the hosted feature layer or view participates in an offline web map or collaboration, any edits made by offline users while disconnected from the network cannot be synchronized and collaborations cannot be synchronized. These edits cannot be synchronized even if you enable sync again.

Map areas stop functioning when you disable synchronization. You need to delete them. If you enable sync again and require map areas, re-create them.

If you disable synchronization on a hosted feature layer or hosted feature layer view, open and save each map that contained the layer or view to ensure that the maps reflect the state of the hosted feature layers they contain.

Allow editing on public layers

When you enable editing on a layer that is shared with everyone (public), anyone with access to the layer can edit it even if they don't sign in to your organization. You must decide whether to allow editing on these layers to ensure data isn't lost or corrupted. For example, you may share with the public a map that contains a feature layer showing evacuation areas, because this is important information for the public to see. But you don't want a member of the public to alter the extent of an evacuation area or delete it.

By enabling Public Data Collection on a public feature layer, you essentially approve a hosted feature layer for public editing. This helps avoid accidentally sharing an editable layer with everyone.

When you publish a hosted feature layer or hosted feature layer view with the express purpose of using it to collect data within a public map or app, enable Public Data Collection from a hosted feature layer's Settings.

  1. Sign in to your organization as the layer owner or an administrator.
  2. Open the details page for the hosted feature layer for which you want to allow public editing.
  3. Click the Settings tab and scroll to the Public Data Collection section.
  4. Check Approve this layer to be shared with the public when editing is enabled and click Save.

If you don't enable public data collection on the layer, you will be blocked from sharing the layer with the public. If the layer is already shared with the public, you will be blocked from enabling editing until you enable public data collection.

Allow data exports

As the owner of a hosted feature layer or an administrator, you can export data from the layer to a comma-separated values (CSV) file, Microsoft Excel file, shapefile, file geodatabase feature class, GeoJSON file, or feature collection. You can also configure a hosted feature layer to allow others to export data from your layer when they access it in the portal website.

When users other than the owner or administrator export from a hosted feature layer view that has field or feature definitions applied, the exported file only contains those fields or features that the definition allows. When the owner or administrator exports, the definitions are not applied and the exported file contains all fields and features.

Follow these steps to allow others to export from a hosted feature layer or hosted feature layer view when they access the layer in the portal website:

  1. Sign in as the owner of the hosted feature layer or hosted feature layer view, or sign in as an administrator.
  2. Open the item page for the layer you want to allow others to export.
  3. Click the Settings tab and scroll to the Feature Layer Settings section.
  4. Click Allow others to export to different formats and click Save.

Now other members of your organization can export from the hosted feature layer.

Note:

This setting does not affect others' ability to export data from the underlying service. Even if you do not enable this export setting on your feature layer, anyone who accesses this layer in other clients can export data from it.

Allow attachments

You can allow editors to attach images and other files to individual features in a layer in a hosted feature layer. This allows you to associate documentation or photos to specific, relevant features. For example, a code compliance officer can attach a photo of the code violation for a specific address point, or a building inspector can include a PDF of a permit for a building feature.

Each hosted feature layer view inherits the attachment setting of the hosted feature layer from which it was created. By default, all view users can see the attachments inherited from the hosted feature layer. To control who has access to these attachments, you can hide the attachments in the hosted feature layer view.

Each file you attach to a feature can be a maximum size of 2 GB. To attach files larger than 2 GB, you can use the Upload Part and Add Attachment operations from ArcGIS REST API to do a multipart upload.

For a list of supported file types you can attach, see Edit tables.

Follow these steps to allow people to attach files to features in a layer in your hosted feature layer:

  1. Enable editing on the hosted feature layer.

    If you do not enable editing, users cannot add attachments to the layer.

  2. Open the feature layer's details page by clicking the layer on the My Content tab of the content page.
  3. Click the name of the layer in Layers list on the Overview tab to open its details page.
  4. Click the Enable Attachments toggle switch.

Now, when others edit the layer, they can attach files to individual features.

If you decide you no longer want any files to be attached to your layer, open the sublayer's details page and disable the toggle switch next to Enable attachments. Be aware, though, that this removes all existing attachments from the layer and prevents people from adding any more attachments.

Hide attachments in views

Hide attachments in hosted feature layer views if a subset of users need access to the feature attributes, but they should not see or do not require access to the attachments.

For example, if the attachment contains sensitive information that only a few organization members should see, share the hosted feature layer with a group that contains those few members. Create a hosted feature layer view from the layer, hide the attachments, and share the view with a larger audience.

Follow these steps to hide attachments on individual layers in a hosted feature layer view:

  1. Open the details page for the hosted feature layer view.
  2. Locate the Layers list on the Overview tab and click the layer that has attachments you want to hide.
  3. Click the Hide attachments toggle to prevent users of the hosted feature layer view from accessing the attachments on that layer.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each layer that has attachments you don't want users to access.

If you decide view users do need access to the attachments for one or more of the layers in the view, click the Show attachments link under the applicable layers on the Overview tab of the hosted feature layer view's details page.

Enable time settings

If you have a hosted feature layer that records different information for the same location based on a date and time, you can enable time settings on layers in a hosted feature layer. Once time settings are configured and you add the hosted feature layer to a map, you can configure time settings on the map and see what happened at a specific time or visualize patterns and trends that emerge as the data changes over time.

Overwrite hosted feature layers

To update the data in hosted feature layers published from a file geodatabase, shapefile, GeoJSON file, or CSV file containing coordinates, replace the data with data from an updated source file using the Overwrite option available on the layer's item page. For example, if your hosted feature layer is public and you don't want it to be editable, or if another department regularly sends you data updates in a shapefile, you can overwrite the data in the hosted feature layer. This maintains the URL, layer properties you set on the hosted feature layer's item page, symbology, and pop-up configurations.

When you overwrite the data, both the source file and the hosted feature layer data are replaced with the data from the updated source file. If the source is a shapefile with metadata or a file geodatabase that contains feature classes with metadata, the portal adds or replaces the layer-level metadata in the hosted feature layer.

You must use the same source file type and schema when you overwrite a hosted feature layer.

If the Overwrite option isn't available, your hosted layer cannot be overwritten due to one of the following conditions:

  • It was published from a client other than the ArcGIS Enterprise portal. For example, if you published the hosted feature layer from ArcGIS Pro, overwrite the service from ArcGIS Pro.
    Note:

    When you overwrite hosted feature layers from ArcMap, the service definition originally created with the web layer must exist in the portal.

  • It was published while the portal was at version 10.4.1 or earlier.
  • Sync functionality is enabled on the hosted feature layer.
  • It's a hosted feature layer view rather than a primary hosted feature layer. To update the data in both the hosted feature layer view and hosted feature layer from which it was created, overwrite the hosted feature layer and the updates will be reflected in the view.

Caution:

  • If editing is enabled on the hosted feature layer, any edits that were made to the layer data are replaced by the data from the updated source file.
  • The file, field, and feature class names must be the same as they were in the original file you uploaded.
  • The same fields and feature classes (in the case of file geodatabases) must be present in the updated file as were in the original file. For example, if you delete a feature class from the file geodatabase, or add a field to the shapefile or feature class, do not overwrite.
  • If you do overwrite and the fields and feature class names and schemas do not match, the feature layer and web maps that use the feature layer may not function as expected. If the source data schema has changed, or if you want to preserve the edits made through the hosted layer, load the shapefile, file geodatabase, or CSV file as a new item and publish a new layer instead.
  • The data source and hosted layer must be owned by the same account. If you change the owner of one, change the owner of the other. If you do not, you can't overwrite the hosted layer.
  • If you altered the details of individual sublayers, those edits will be lost when you overwrite the hosted feature layer from a file, ArcMap, or ArcGIS Pro.
  • The feature layer will be unavailable to other users for a brief period of time while the layer is overwritten.

  1. Sign in to the organization as the owner of the hosted feature layer or as an administrator.
  2. Open the item page of the hosted feature layer.
    • If you signed in as the layer owner, click the My Content tab of the contents page and click the hosted feature layer to open the item page.
    • If you signed in as the administrator, click the My Organization's Content tab of the contents page and click the layer name to open the item page.
  3. Click Overwrite.
  4. Click Browse or Choose File (depending on your browser) and browse to the location of the source file on disk.
  5. Click Overwrite.

Append data to layers

The owner of a hosted feature layer or hosted spatiotemporal feature layer or the organization's administrator can append features to a layer in an existing hosted layer. This allows you to publish initial data, or even an empty hosted feature layer, and later add more data as it becomes available without having to overwrite the entire hosted feature layer. For example, if you have a number of employees who do inspections in the field and they gather that information in a CSV file or a custom app that writes to a shapefile, you can take the file from each inspector at the end of the day and update the hosted feature layer with the new data.

If the update file contains changes to features that are already published, you can also use the input file to update existing features. This requires that the layer and the file you use to load updates both contain a field of unique values that ArcGIS Enterprise can use to identify the feature to update. You can use a global ID in one of the sublayers for a unique ID.

Caution:

You must ensure that the field values in the update file and the layer correctly and uniquely identify the feature to update. If the values do not, you can lose data when an update overwrites attributes for an existing feature. Update and append fails if you update results with nonunique values in a field you have identified as unique.

Field names, including the letter case, in the file you use must be identical to those in the existing feature layer. When you publish from a CSV or Microsoft Excel file that has field names with spaces, the field names in the hosted feature layer have underscores inserted between words. When you append, you must insert underscores in the field names in the file; otherwise, field names will not be identical.

You can use the following file formats to append or update data:

  • Shapefile (zipped)
  • CSV file—The spatial field must be provided in latitude and longitude coordinates.
  • Microsoft Excel file—The spatial field must be provided in latitude and longitude coordinates.
  • GeoJSON file (.geojson)

If your hosted feature layer is enabled for offline editing, you can only append features; you cannot update features.

Follow these steps to append and update features in a layer in a hosted feature layer:

  1. Sign in to the organization as the owner of the hosted feature layer or as an administrator.
  2. Open the item page of the hosted feature layer.
    • If you signed in as the hosted feature layer owner, click the My Content tab of the contents page and click the hosted feature layer to open the item page. To open the details of a sublayer in the hosted feature layer, click the name of the sublayer in the Layers section of the Overview tab.
    • If you signed in as the administrator, click the My Organization's Content tab of the contents page and click the layer name to open the item page. To open the details of a sublayer in the hosted feature layer, click the name of the sublayer in the Layers section of the Overview tab.
  3. Click Update Data > Append Data To Layer.
    Note:

    You can only add new data to a hosted feature layer that has synchronization or change tracking (Keep track of created and updated features) enabled.

  4. Click Browse or Choose File (depending on your browser) and browse to the location of the source file on disk.
  5. If the file is a zipped file, choose the file format from the Contents drop-down list.
  6. Click Upload and Continue.

    When ArcGIS Enterprise finishes analyzing the input file, the Append Data dialog box appears.

  7. If the hosted feature layer contains multiple layers, choose the layer to which the data will be appended or updated.
  8. If the field names in your input file do not exactly match the fields in the layer, click Show field matching to map the fields from the file to the fields in the layer.

    The append operation drops fields that do not match.

  9. If you are only appending new features to the layer, click Apply Updates.

    ArcGIS Enterprise adds the new features to the layer. They are available in maps, scenes, and dependent WFS layers and hosted feature layer views as soon as updates are applied.

  10. If the input file contains updates you want to apply to existing features in the layer, follow these steps:
    1. Check Update existing features.
    2. Specify the fields in the input file and the layer that ArcGIS Enterprise can use to uniquely identify the features to update.
    3. To update the location of the existing features and nonspatial attributes, check Update geometry for existing features. If you do not check this option, ArcGIS Enterprise updates only the nonspatial attributes in each feature.

      Note:

      If the input file's geometry type (for example, points or lines) is different than that of the hosted feature layer, the only option available will be to update attributes for existing features.

    4. If you want the update to proceed even if the input file contains rows that are not in the layer, check Ignore features without a match.
    5. Click Apply Updates.

    ArcGIS Enterprise adds new features and updates the existing features based on your input. Changes and new features are available in maps, scenes, and dependent WFS layers and hosted feature layer views as soon as updates are applied.