Improve Groups where members can update all items and documentation

Idea created by paul_hoeffler@fws.gov_fws on Nov 20, 2019

    ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise groups can be created so that members can update all items shared to the group. Whether or not this is enabled cannot be changed after group creation. Groups with this functionality can be incredibly useful, but they are confusing, inadequately documented, and fraught with complicating factors and caveats (not the least of which is the UI issue explained in The Case of the Missing Group).


    Currently, web map items with offline map areas enabled can be shared with update-all groups, but once shared the map areas cannot be managed until the item is unshared from the group, at which point the owner can manage the map areas. Unfortunately the ability to share web maps with map areas to update-all groups has been labeled as a defect, and Jennifer Wrightsell-Hughes indicates that this will be fixed in the future to bring the behavior in line with the documentation which states "You cannot share a web map that contains a map area with groups that allow members to update all items..." (see Note at Take web maps offline—ArcGIS Online Help | Documentation). The "defect" provides us with more utility than the "fix" well and we propose that web map items with offline map areas can be shared with update-all groups, as is currently the case, and the documentation updated accordingly.


    Create groups—ArcGIS Online Help | Documentation has some good documentation on what update-all capability groups can and cannot be used to update, and what only item owners can do, but it is not complete.


    Share items—ArcGIS Online Help | Documentation notes that "At this time, the item update capability is intended for use with item details and the contents of maps, configurable apps, and scenes. Currently, most ArcGIS apps do not support the item update capability. To determine whether this capability is supported in a specific ArcGIS app, refer to the app documentation." - this is important information, and we propose that documentation should be cross-referenced by providing links between the two (there is a link from this page to the Create groups page, but not the reverse).


    A major issue that we have not seen documented is that items shared with update-all capability groups cannot have ownership changed.

    Administrator must do the following to fix the issue:

    • Take the time to check each item
    • Must look at the groups each item is shared to
    • Must determine what groups have "update capabilities"
    • Must be sure they are a member of that group
    • Must go to the group page > Content
    • Must document each sharing change for each item
    • Must find the item, check it, and choose Remove from Group
    • Change ownership of the item from the original owner to the new owner
    • Go to the new owner's content, find the item, and re-share that item with the documented group(s) from which it was unshared

    We have over 4700 user accounts, 31000 items, and two part-time administrators. The above is not sustainable, especially when non-administrators can create and own groups with the update-all capability, as in other large organizations.


    We have been told repeatedly that this will not be addressed (see first BUG listed below), but it is a significant and growing problem.



    Groups - add filter for "update capability enabled" 

    Groups that allow members to update shared items (collaboration groups) 

    Allow overwrite ofa hosted feature service by all members of group with update capability enabled 

    BUG-000089698 - "Unable to change the owner of any item in ArcGIS Online when shared with a group with the 'Members can update all items in this group' option selected while creating the group." with the closed status and notes from Development set as: We don't allow to change ownership of item that is shared in group with update capability. We have implemented an error message for when this is attempted.

    BUG-000126866 - "List of Values (Domains) cannot be edited by anyone but the content owner or the organization administrator in groups where settings are set to 'Members can update all items'"

    BUG-000122808 - "A publisher role is unable to add new fields via the item details section even when the group settings are set to 'Members can update all items'

    ENH-000082367 - "Provide a way to change the coded values in a domain in ArcGIS Online"

    Esri marked the following as Implemented on 12/19/2019:

    - BUG-000126856 - "No error occurs when unsuccessfully trying to share content to a group when the content owner is not a group member."

    - BUG-000126857 - "No error occurs when unsuccessfully trying to share content to a group when the content owner is not a group manager or owner and the group is set to contributors: managers or owner only."