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Data download settings

ArcGIS Enterprise Sites provides file downloads for several item types that are added to a site’s content library. Various file formats are available depending on the type of item. For example, spatial data (feature layers, feature services, and map services) are supported in .csv, .kml, shapefile, and GeoJSON formats. You can also enable support for file geodatabase downloads.

How downloads work

Downloading is a process where someone requests a file format for an item that is available for download in a site's content library.

File generation

When someone requests a download on an item's preview page, one of the following occurs:

  • For hosted layers, ArcGIS Enterprise Sites checks for changes before refreshing the cache. If a dataset has been changed or updated since the cache was made, ArcGIS Enterprise Sites refreshes the cache. Otherwise, the download comes from the previous cache.
  • For services hosted elsewhere (for example, on-premises servers), ArcGIS Enterprise Sites refreshes the cache if it has been more than 24 hours since the last refresh. If it is within the 24-hour period, the user gets the data as it was last cached.

To manually reset the data cache, see Update content.

Private downloads

To make data available for download through ArcGIS Enterprise Sites, an administrator must enable the Export Data setting on the item's detail page in Enterprise because ArcGIS Enterprise Sites relies on the extract capabilities of the underlying service. For more information, see Export data from hosted feature layers.

Recommendations and limitations

Review recommended configurations when making items available for download.

Data export

You must enable the export data setting on items that have download formats to make these download formats available for download. Doing so also allows ArcGIS Enterprise Sites to use a different pipeline when creating download files. This pipeline is better at handling large items with many records and/or complex geometry. You can also use this setting to enable the file geodatabase download option and make private data available for download. For more information, see File geodatabases.


In addition to enabling data for export, ArcGIS Enterprise Sites creates an exported item on an authenticated user’s account. In ArcGIS Enterprise Sites, users will see an “item-export” folder where these exports are stored. When a user downloads an updated file, they will see an additional item in this folder.

Default download formats

ArcGIS Enterprise Sites supports the following formats by default:

  • Feature layers, feature services and map services support .csv, .kml, and shapefile formats
  • Image services support .jpg, .png, .tiff formats
  • Tables support .csv

Local projections

The Local Projections setting checks whether the spatial reference of the content is different from the default EPSG:4326. When enabled, public content is downloaded in the custom projection. To enable this setting, see Data.


For private downloads, ArcGIS Enterprise Sites automatically uses the spatial reference that is set on the underlying service.

Editor tracking

ArcGIS Enterprise Sites uses the “last edit date” on a service to know when a service was updated and if a cached file is out of date. This allows ArcGIS Enterprise Sites to display status messages to visitors, such as “File Generation in Progress” and “The file does not yet exist”. Editor tracking also ensures that dates are displayed on the content view are accurate. For more information, see Editor tracking.

Large files

Large files with many records and/or complex geometry will take time to update and generate in the download format selected by a visitor. For large or frequently updated content, publish hosted services when possible. If you want to share a .csv file, for example, choose to host it as a table and then add the hosted service to a site's content library. See Publish hosted feature layers and Upload content using a URL for more information.

Anonymous downloads

Download file formats are not automatically available on publicly shared data to users who do not have an Enterprise account. To make any item available for download in its supported file formats, an administrator must ensure that the export data setting is enabled for the item. To make data available for anonymous download, an administrator must also ensure the following:

  • The item is shared publicly and belongs to the content library of a publicly shared site.
  • The administrator or someone with the privilege to Create items has created a cached version of each file format (.csv, .jpeg, and so on) by clicking Download on the item's content page to make all file formats available for download by anonymous users. This creates an export file (item-exports folder) in ArcGIS Enterprise.
  • The items in the item-exports folder are also shared publicly.
  • Note:
    This process is not automatic. When data are updated, an administrator must repeat this process to update the previously cached download formats.

Users who attempt to download a file format that hasn't been made available for download will see a message asking that they contact an administrator and request that they make the file format available for download. They can also request access to an Enterprise account.

Additional support for download files

ArcGIS Enterprise Sites provides several additional download formats that can be enabled by an Enterprise administrator or item owner. All vector datasets are automatically available for download as .csv files, .kml files, and shapefiles and are accessible in the GeoJSON and GeoService APIs.

File geodatabases

For spatial datasets, you can go to the item details page in Enterprise to add file geodatabase as an available download format in the item's content view. For more information, see Enable file geodatabase download.


This setting is recommended for public data to hasten the download process. For nonhosted feature services, add custom distributions to the service's structured metadata.

Excel and feature collection files

Private content can be downloaded as Excel files or feature collection files. This is because ArcGIS Enterprise Sites uses a service’s export function when downloading private content. The same formats are included in the export options on the item's content view as a download option.

External formats

Site owners and core team members can make files or documents that are not supported natively in Enterprise, such as CAD files or nonhosted file and geodatabases, accessible on the item's content view. Additional resource links are shown on the side panel when clicking the download button download.

To add an additional resource, open the item's details page in Enterprise, click Metadata, choose Distribution, and choose Online Resources. Provide the URL and ensure that the file has a name and that the Function parameter is set to Download.

If the Metadata button is hidden, have an Enterprise administrator enable metadata.