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Publishing a map service

Once you finish creating a map in ArcMap, you can publish the map document as a service to ArcGIS Server and share it with others both locally and on the web. To publish your map document as a service, follow the steps below.


If you are working with versioned data, by default, only the version in the map document is exposed through the map service when you publish the service. If you want to work with a version other than the one that was used to publish the map service, you can do so using the ArcGIS Server REST and SOAP APIs. To learn more, consult the documentation specific to these APIs.

  1. Open your map document in ArcMap and choose File > Share As > Service from the main menu.

    The Share as Service window appears.

  2. Choose Publish a service and click Next.
  3. Choose the ArcGIS Server connection you want to use from the Choose a connection drop-down list. If the server connection you want to use is not listed, you can create a new connection by clicking Connect To ArcGIS Server Add ArcGIS Server. If you need help with this step, see the topic About connecting to ArcGIS Server in ArcGIS for Desktop.
  4. Optionally, in the Publish a Service window, enter a new name for the service. The name cannot be more than 120 characters long and may contain only alphanumeric characters and underscores.

    Click Next.

  5. By default, services are published to the root folder (root) of ArcGIS Server. Services can be organized into sub folders under the root folder. Choose the folder where you want to publish the service, or create a new folder to contain the service, and click Continue.

    The Service Editor appears.

  6. Set the properties that you want for your map service. Here, you can choose what users can do with your service and take fine-grained control of how the server will expose your service. For details on how to manually set map service properties, see the topic Setting map service properties. You can also automatically import properties from an existing service definition or a published map service by clicking Import Import. For information on how to best configure your service for deployment, see the help topic Tuning and configuring services.

    If you close the Service Editor during this session, you'll be prompted to save your work as a draft service. Draft services allow you to come back to your service configuration work at a later time. By default, draft services are saved in the Drafts folder of your ArcGIS Server connection. For more information, see About draft services.

  7. Click Analyze Analyze. This examines your map document to see if it can be published to the server.
  8. Fix any errors (Error) in the Prepare window so you can publish your map document as a service. Optionally, you can fix the warnings and informational messages to further improve the performance and appearance of your map service. For more information about resolving these issues, see Analyzing your GIS resource.

    To give yourself more viewing area when configuring your map service, click the Collapse button Collapse at the top of the Service Editor.

  9. Optionally, click Preview Preview. This can give you an idea of how your map will look when viewed on the web. See Previewing your map for more information.
  10. Once you've fixed the errors and, optionally, any warnings and messages, click Publish Publish.

    If the map service you are publishing will be copying data to the server, the size of the data and your network bandwidth will impact the time it takes to publish.

Your map service is now running on the server and can be accessed by users and clients on your network. If your server administrator has allowed web access to the service, your service is also now available on the web.