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Editor permissions for feature services

Feature services (web feature layers) allow you to control what types of edits users can make to the service. You can specify edit settings when you publish or you can alter editor settings on the existing service after you publish.

Editor settings when publishing

You can alter editor permissions on the Configuration tab of the Share As Web Layer pane when you publish web feature layers that reference registered data sources or that copy data from ArcGIS Pro. See Configure a web feature layer in the ArcGIS Pro help for instructions.

Editor settings for existing ArcGIS Server feature services

Publishers and administrators can alter editor permissions for existing ArcGIS Server feature services from ArcGIS Server Manager.

When you publish a feature service to an ArcGIS Server site that is federated with an ArcGIS Enterprise organization, a map image layer item and a feature layer item are created in the organization. The item owner or an organization administrator can alter editor permissions for the feature layer item in the portal.

Editor settings for ArcGIS Server feature services on federated servers

You can control editor settings from the feature layer's item details page in the portal when you publish an ArcGIS Server feature service to a federated server.

The editing options, ownership-based access control settings, and advanced properties that affect editing are described in Manage feature layers.

Editor settings in ArcGIS Server Manager

To control editor settings for ArcGIS Server feature services published to stand-alone ArcGIS Server sites, sign in to ArcGIS Server Manager for that site. You can also use ArcGIS Server Manager to control editor settings for feature services on federated servers.

The settings you can alter in ArcGIS Server Manager are described below.

Editing operations

You can enable or disable the following feature service operations from the Capabilities tab of the Services page in ArcGIS Server Manager. You must select Feature Access in the capabilities list to access these operations.

  • Create allows editors to add features to the feature service. This operation is enabled by default.
  • Delete allows editors to delete features in the feature service. This operation is enabled by default.
  • Extract allows editors to extract copies of the data to a file geodatabase or SQLite database using custom applications that use the createReplica REST operation with the syncModel parameter set to none. This operation is disabled by default.
  • Update allows editors to update features in the feature service. They can move existing features or alter features' attribute values. This operation is enabled by default.
  • Sync allows users to work with feature service data while offline. Although this operation is not strictly used for editing—you can also enable sync to take a feature service offline for reference purposes rather than editing—it is most often used to allow for offline editing. To learn more, see Prepare feature services for offline use. This operation is disabled by default.
  • Query is required for users to view the data in the feature service. In most cases, you will enable the Query operation. However, if the editors with whom you share this feature service will only add features, and they should not see features added by other editors, you can disable the Query operation. This is useful for custom applications that require users to only input new features but not see, edit, or delete existing features. Note that the service owner and ArcGIS Server administrator can still see, edit, and delete existing features.

If you disable an operation and a user attempts to do any action corresponding to that operation, the service returns an error. Client applications, such as those built with the ArcGIS Web APIs, can check for the allowed operations before attempting to apply edits. You can design these applications to disable or limit commands to match the allowed operations.

For layers in the feature service that can store attachments, the Create or Update operation allows editors of the feature service to add an attachment to a feature. The Update operation further enables editors to update or delete an attachment that is associated with a feature. If only the Delete operation is enabled, editors can delete attachments.


For feature services on stand-alone ArcGIS Server sites, allowed operations apply only to publishers and users. Server administrators and the service owner have full access to the service with all operations allowed.

For feature services on federated ArcGIS Server sites, organization owners and feature layer owners can edit a feature layer even if the feature layer does not have editing enabled. The allowed editing operations set on a feature service on a federated site apply to the following:

  • Any user who is a member of a role that has privileges to edit features and who has access to the feature layer.
  • If you share the feature layer with everyone (public), anyone with access to the feature layer can edit it. This includes people not signed in to the organization and all organization members, even those who do not have privileges to edit features.

Properties that affect editing

Feature access properties build on the operations you set and provide you with further control over what other users can do with the feature service. For example, if you enabled the Update operation, but you want editors to only edit nonspatial attributes, you can disable the Allow Geometry Updates property. Or, if you want editors to edit geometry, but only if the geometry does not contain true curves, you can enable the Allow Geometry Updates property but disable Allow update of true curves. The following list describes these and other editing-related properties you can set for an ArcGIS Server feature service:

  • Allow geometry updates allows editors to edit the geometry of a feature in the feature service. This is enabled by default. If you disable this option, editors can update only the nonspatial attributes of features in the feature service.
  • Allow update of true curves allows editors to update geometries even if the geometry contains a true curve. Be aware that if the editor updates a true curve geometry from any client that does not support true curves, the feature's true curve geometry will be replaced with a densified geometry.

    This operation is enabled by default and available only if you have enabled Allow geometry updates. If you disable Allow update of true curves, editors receive an error if they attempt to edit a true curve geometry.

  • Only allow true curve updates by true curve clients is enabled by default, and it helps protect your true curve data from being replaced by a densified geometry. Leave this property enabled if you want to be sure your true curve geometries are only edited by clients that are capable of preserving true curves. If your workflow does not include the use of clients that can preserve or create true curves, you can disable this property.


    True curve geometries are currently only supported by ArcGIS Pro 1.3 and later. If your data contains true curves and you enable Allow update of true curves but don't enable Only allow true curve updates by true curve clients, the geometry will be returned as a densified version of the true curve when edited from any other ArcGIS client.

  • Apply default z-value allows you to specify a default z-value. If an editor adds or updates a feature through the feature service and does not specify a z-value, the default z-value is applied. For more information, see Configure default z-values for editable feature services.
  • Allow geometry updates without m-value is a setting you can use if layers within your feature service are enabled to store m-values, but you are not using the m-values. When editors edit feature geometries through the feature service, NaN m-values will be inserted if the client does not provide a value. See Configure editable feature services that contain m-enabled layers for more information.
  • Enable ownership-based access control on features allows you to restrict people from accessing features they do not own. For more information, see Ownership-based access control for feature services.

    Ownership-based access control on features can only be used with enterprise geodatabases, not databases.

Advanced editing options

Click the Advanced Options button at the bottom of the Capabilities tab to configure the following additional options related to editing data through a feature service:

  • Add realm to user name when applying edits allows you to specify a value to be appended to the ArcGIS Server usernames recorded when editing through the feature service. This allows you to differentiate when a user is editing through the feature service rather than directly against the data in the geodatabase. To enable this, check Add realm to user name when applying edits and type the realm value you want added to usernames. See Editor tracking for feature services for more information.
  • The Create version for each downloaded Map option in both the Traditional Versioned Sync and Branch Versioned Sync sections affects the behavior of sync-enabled feature services that contain versioned data. When you enable this option on the feature service, a replica version is created each time a user downloads a map that contains this feature service. For an explanation of the use of versioned data in offline maps, including these options, see Offline maps and traditional versioned data.
  • Filter web content prevents input of unsupported HTML entities or attributes. This option is enabled by default and, unless your editors require the ability to input these unsupported HTML entities, do not disable Filter web content. Disabling this option allows a user to enter any text in the text boxes, which exposes the service to potential cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Editor settings for hosted feature layers

To alter editor settings on existing hosted feature layers, open the Settings tab of the feature layer item's details page in the portal. See Manage hosted feature layer editing for instructions.

Configure multiple tiers of access

If you need to support multiple tiers of users, each requiring different editing access, the recommended approach varies by web feature layer type.

  • For ArcGIS Server feature services, create one service for each level of user. For example, you could create a Professors service that might have all editing operations allowed. You can create a second, less-privileged Students feature service with only Create and Query operations allowed. Share each service with the appropriate group of users.
  • For hosted feature layers, create hosted feature layer views from the hosted feature layer, and grant different editing privileges on each view. Share the hosted feature layer views with the appropriate group of users.