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Author maps to publish feature services

When you author a map to publish as a feature service, you need to consider the purpose of the feature service and where the data for the feature service is stored, as that affects how you create, manage, and use the feature service.

This topic covers authoring a feature service to be published to a stand-alone or federated ArcGIS GIS Server site. The feature service references the data in a geodatabase or database you registered with the GIS Server site.

Before you author your map, prepare the data to meet feature service requirements and register your data stores with the GIS Server site. Once your data is ready, create and configure a map in ArcGIS Pro that contains the data you want to publish, define symbology and other data properties within the map, and define a feature template for the editing environment (if you want the feature service to be editable).

Configure a map

After you prepare and register the data, add it to a map in ArcGIS Pro and set properties on the layers and tables. These properties define how the data appears and what the client can do with the data.

Configure a map in ArcGIS Pro

See Author a web map in the ArcGIS Pro help for information on configuring a map for publishing.

Configure a map document in ArcMap

To create a map in ArcMap 10.8.x and earlier, see Author maps to publish feature services in the ArcMap help. After ArcGIS Server 10.9.1, you cannot publish from ArcMap to ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Enterprise.

Additional geodatabase functionality

If your data is stored in a geodatabase, you can take advantage of additional functionality. Configure this functionality before publishing a feature service.

Subtypes and attribute domains

If the data you publish is in a geodatabase, configure your datasets to use subtypes and attribute domains where appropriate to enhance the user experience of the feature service and prevent data entry errors. These provide ways of categorizing your data and ensuring that appropriate values are entered when the data is edited. Feature services can detect and use the subtypes and domains. For example, if you have a domain limiting the color of a fire hydrant to red, yellow, or blue, you see a drop-down list in the web application that allows you to only select one of those three colors.

Editor tracking

If you will enable editing on the feature service and will share it with others so they can edit, consider enabling editor tracking on the feature classes to record who creates and alters features.


Feature services allow you to query and edit attachments. An attachment is a media file associated with a feature or object in a geodatabase. For example, with attachments, photographs and videos can be added to a bird sighting and viewed when the sighting point is clicked. To use this feature, datasets within a geodatabase must first be configured to support attachments. When these datasets are added to a map document and published, clients can query, insert, and delete the attachments through the feature service.

There are limits imposed on the size and file types you can attach to a feature service. To learn more about these limits and how to modify attachment settings, see Uploads in the ArcGIS REST API help.

For more information about how to configure a dataset to support attachments, see Add or remove file attachments.

Relationship classes

To include related data in a feature service or hosted feature layer, define a relationship class between the feature class and related table or feature class. The related data accessed through a relationship class will be included in the feature service you publish.

Branch versioned data

To allow others to edit data that is registered for branch versioning, you must publish an editable feature service that has version management enabled.


Topologies check and enforce spatial rules to help you ensure geographic data integrity. If your data is registered for branch versioning, you can create topologies in the geodatabase and publish them in a feature service.

User type extension functionality

ArcGIS Server sites federated with an ArcGIS Enterprise portal and licensed with one of the supported user type extensions can be published to include those extension data types.

In this topic
  1. Configure a map