Data access considerations for geoprocessing tasks

Any resource (data, tools, and documents) used by a geoprocessing task must be accessible by ArcGIS Server when the task executes. This includes datasets referenced directly within your model and datasets referenced by layers in your source map document or result map service.

There are two basic data access configurations: local and distributed. Local data means that all data resides on the server's local disks and is accessed using absolute paths (paths that begin with a drive letter, such as E:\). Distributed data means anything else, where resources are accessed with UNC paths (such as \\cogitator\datastore\studyarea.gdb\roads), via database connections, and through other servers. You can distribute all resources and data across your local area network as long as the server has access.

Resource and data configurations

Below are a number of topics that discuss data access across a local area network (LAN):

An overview of sharing tools and toolboxesSharing and connecting to UNC pathsAccessing ArcSDE data in toolsPreparing resources for publishing as services

Giving ArcGIS Server permission to shared folders

In addition to sharing folders so that services can find resources, you may also have to give ArcGIS Server permission to access those shared folders. When ArcGIS Server is configured, the server administrator creates an ArcGIS server object container (SOC) user and account on the server machine. This account is typically a local account, meaning it is valid only for that particular machine and is not recognized as an account by other machines on the LAN. In most cases, the way to ensure that the server SOC account has access to data stored in network locations is to create a duplicate of the original SOC account on the machine with the shared resources and give this duplicate SOC user access permission to the data location.

  1. On the machine where the shared data is stored, right-click My Computer and click Manage.
  2. Expand the Local Users and Groups node.
  3. Right-click Users and choose New User. On the New User dialog box, enter the SOC user name and password supplied by your server administrator.

    Adding new user


    You must disable the User must change password at next logon option. If you do not, ArcGIS Server will not be able to access your machine and find your documents, data, or tools. You should also enable the User cannot change password and Password never expires options.

  4. Click Create.
  5. Give this new SOC user access permission to the shared folder. For more information, see Preparing resources for publishing as services.

A note about address locators

On occasion, you may need to use an address locator in your models. (For an example of using an address locator in a model, see the example Selecting data). Address locators have a reference data property. In a distributed data environment, be aware that you may have to use a UNC path or a relative path to this reference data.

Learn more about creating an address locator

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