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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 (.shp), and GeoJSON formats.

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, the following occurs:

  • For hosted layers, ArcGIS Enterprise Sites checks for changes before exporting a new file. If a dataset has been changed or updated since the last export file was created, Enterprise Sites creates a new one. Otherwise, the download comes from the previous export.

Enterprise Sites supports download of content from hosted services. Non-hosted services will not have download options.

To make data available for download through Enterprise Sites, an administrator must enable the Export data setting on the item's detail page in Enterprise because 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.

Enable downloads for service items

To make any service item available (ex. Feature Layer) for download in its supported file formats, an administrator or user with the Create items privilege must ensure that the Export data setting is enabled for the item.


In addition to enabling data for export, ArcGIS Enterprise Sites creates an exported item on an authenticated user’s account. In 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.

Anonymous downloads

Download files are not automatically available on publicly shared data to users who do not have an Enterprise account. 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.
  • An administrator with the create items privilege must have already created a cached version of each file format (.csv, .shp, geoJSON, etc.). These are exported items. This can be accomplished by either clicking Download for each format on the item's content page, or clicking Export data on the item details page within the /portal/home application. The result recreates an export file in the /portal/home/content under the user's home folder or "item-exports" folder.
  • The exported items in the user's home folder or the user's "item-exports" folder must be shared publicly.
    This process is not automatic. When an item's data or metadata are updated, an administrator or user with the Create items privilege must repeat this process and publicly share new exported items.

Due to the workflow outlined above, the application will show a warning to anonymous users or users without the Create items privilege. These users will see a permanent warning stating that some download formats may be unavailable or that the available download formats may not be up to date.

Default download formats

ArcGIS Enterprise Sites supports the following formats by default:

  • Feature layers, feature services, and map services support .csv, .xlsx, .kml, .shp, file geodatabase, .geojson, and feature collection formats
  • Image services support .jpg, .png, .tiff formats
  • Tables support .csv
  • Other specific item types can be downloaded in their native format (ex. a GeoJSON item can be downloaded as .geojson)

Field lengths, field precision, and scale may be altered in the download. The download process changes the data schema so that all values will be within the signed range of integer values that can be stored in 32 bits. The data itself does not change.


For private downloads, 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 Enterprise Sites to display status messages to visitors, such as “File Generation in Progress” and “Downloading an updated file may take some time.” Editor tracking also ensures that dates 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.

Additional support for download files

External formats

Site owners and core team members can provide links to files or documents that are not supported natively in Enterprise, such as CAD files, non-hosted files, and geodatabases. To add an additional resource, open the item's details page in Enterprise. Select Metadata, Distribution, then Online resource.


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

Provide a link for URL and a Name, and set Function to Download. Additional resource links appear on the item's content view on the side panel (at bottom) when selecting the Download button download.


At this time, additional resources are only supported for items that reference a feature service or a map service.