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Publishing a geodata service

Publishing a geodata service involves referencing a file geodatabase or enterprise geodatabase that you want to publish as a service. To publish a file geodatabase as a geodata service, the ArcGIS Server account must have permissions to access the geodatabase. To publish an enterprise geodatabase as a geodata service, the ArcGIS Server account must have permissions to access the geodatabase and the connection file used to connect to the geodatabase.


You must use an ArcGIS Server site licensed as ArcGIS GIS Server to publish geodata services.

For example, the connections you've made in the Catalog tree are located in your Windows profile directory under AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop<version number>\ArcCatalog. Before publishing the geodata service, it is recommended that you copy the connection file to a common directory to which the ArcGIS Server account has been granted access. For more information, see Making your data accessible to ArcGIS Server.

When publishing a geodata service from SQL Server Express, you need to save the connection to your geodatabase to create the connection file. To do this, browse to the geodatabase in the Catalog tree under the Database Servers node. Right-click the geodatabase you want to publish and click Save Connection. This creates a connection (.sde) file in your profile directory as described in the previous paragraph. You need to reference this connection file when publishing the geodatabase. As suggested, copy the connection file to a common location to which the ArcGIS Server account has access before you publish the service.

To publish a geodata service, you right-click a geodatabase in the Catalog tree, and choose the option to share it as a geodata service. Follow these steps to publish a geodata service to ArcGIS Server using ArcCatalog or the Catalog window in ArcGIS Desktop:

  1. In the Catalog tree, browse to your geodatabase.
  2. Right-click the geodatabase you want to publish and click Share As GeoData Service.

    The Share as Service window appears.

  3. Choose Publish a service and click Next.
  4. 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 connection to the server by clicking Connect To ArcGIS Server Add ArcGIS Server.

    If you need help with this step, see Connect to ArcGIS Server from ArcGIS Desktop.

  5. Optionally, in the Publish a Service window, provide a new name for the service. The name cannot be more than 120 characters and can contain only alphanumeric characters and underscores.
  6. Click Next.
  7. By default, services are published to the root folder (root) of ArcGIS Server. Services can be organized into subfolders under the root directory. Choose the folder where you want to publish the geodata service, or create a folder to contain the geodata service.
  8. Click Continue.

    The Service Editor dialog box appears.

  9. Set the properties you want for your geodata 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 geodata service properties, see the topic Geodata service capabilities and allowed operations. You can also automatically import properties from an existing service definition or a published geodata service by clicking Import Import. For information on how to best configure your services for deployment, see the help topic Tune and configure services.

    If you close the Service Editor dialog box 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.

  10. Click Analyze Analyze.

    This examines your geodatabase to see if it can be published to the server.

  11. Fix any errors (Error) in the Prepare window so you can publish your geodatabase as a service. Optionally, you can fix the warnings and informational messages to further improve the performance and appearance of your geodata service.

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

  12. Once you've fixed the errors and, optionally, any warnings and messages, click Publish Publish.

Your geodata 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 geodata service is also now available on the web.

If you want to use the disconnected editing commands to create replicas or extract data from the geodata service, you need to create a map service with the same name as the geodata service. For full instructions, see Publish a geodata service with a map service.