Registering data folders and databases with ArcGIS for Server is a new functionality in version 10.1. The purpose of registering data is to ensure your data is accessible to ArcGIS for Server or if it must be copied to the Server. When registering an enterprise database, we have the option of registering it as ArcGIS Server's Managed Database.
If you want to copy the data over from its primary location, and your service type (a feature or web feature (WFS) service) needs an enterprise geodatabase, you will need to register an enterprise geodatabase as managed.A managed geodatabase is suggested if...
- Publishers do not have access to an enterprise geodatabase and need to host feature services or transaction-enabled WFS services from filed-based data
- Users will only work with data through a feature or WFS service
- Your ArcGIS Server site is running in a cloud environment
- If you want to publish a service type other than a feature or WFS-T service
- If your data already resides in an enterprise geodatabase
- If you want to publish database tables accessed through an OLE DB connection file (.odc)
- If you want to synchronize changes between the publisher's machine and ArcGIS Server's Managed Database
The documentation link below provides an example of good scenarios for when to use the managed database option with ArcGIS for Server.
Carrie D. - Support Services Analyst