About editing data from ArcGIS Server

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.

ArcMap allows you to edit data from ArcGIS Server by creating a local copy of data from a map service with an associated feature service or geodata service. You can then make edits to the local copy in ArcMap and synchronize the edits back to the service. Edits can be made to the local copy without having to be connected to the server. Access to the server is only required when creating the local copy or applying changes from the local copy to the server. This workflow can be useful when your organization has disconnected employees and provides a common method for editing the same data using multiple clients, such as through the Web or using desktop applications. The functionality is built into ArcMap and does not require any customizations

By default, the data is copied to a new file geodatabase that is created for you automatically. You can also choose to store the data in an existing ArcSDE geodatabase. If you plan on making many updates to the data, consider using ArcSDE since it allows you to make edits and synchronize multiple times.

Making a local copy of a service

To create a local copy, first add data from an ArcGIS Server map service with an associated feature service or geodata service. Then, pan and zoom to the area you want to edit. The extent of the map defines the data that will be in the local copy. To create the local copy, right-click the map service group layer (or individual sublayers), point to Edit Features, then click Create Local Copy for Editing. If the service is not editable for some reason, you will receive an error message when you attempt to create the local copy.

Once the local copy is made, new layers referencing the local copy are added to a new group layer in the map. Layer properties, including the symbology and feature templates from the service layers, are preserved in the new layers. You can now make edits to the data in the new layers. The service layer is still present in the map, but it is unchecked in the table of contents so it does not display. If you plan to make edits over several ArcMap sessions, save the map document to make it easier to work with the local layers again.

Keep in mind that once a local copy is created, you cannot later expand the area that it covers. If you find that you need to edit a different area or a larger area, pan and zoom to the area in the service and create another local copy. You can have multiple local copies on the same machine.

Synchronizing the local edits with the server

When you are finished editing the local layers, you can synchronize the edits with the server. To do this, right-click the group layer containing the local layers, point to Edit Features, and click Synchronize Local Edits with Server. Once the synchronization process completes, you can turn on the service layers and see the edits applied in the service.

You can only synchronize edits one time if a file geodatabase is being used to store the local data. If you want to apply more edits in the future, you need to create a new local copy. However, if you use an ArcSDE geodatabase to store the local copy of the data, you can perform multiple synchronizations. In addition, when ArcSDE is used, the synchronization process applies the latest changes from the service back to the local copy. Note that if the data in the service is from a nonversioned ArcSDE geodatabase, you will not be able to store the local copy in ArcSDE. If you attempt this, an error stating that you cannot replicate nonversioned data will be displayed with you run Create Local Copy for Editing. To run the command successfully, do not set ArcSDE as the target geodatabase. See Setting options for editing server layers locally for steps on how to do this.

When you no longer need to synchronize edits, you should disconnect the local copy from the server to clean up metadata on the client and server. The metadata cleanup process is important in that it aids server maintenance. If a file geodatabase is used to store the data locally, synchronizing also cleans up the metadata.

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