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Layer does not overwrite when using to_featurelayer()

06-07-2023 10:08 AM
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New Contributor III

-Goal: I am trying to create a script to access a layer on portal and clone it. After cloning it I would like to overwrite a layer in either a SQL database or back in portal. 

-Reason: As the original layer updates I would like to run the script to update the copy in which I have view layers created from.

-I have been able to copy the layer and publish it to portal using to_featurelayer()

The issue is that the layer will not overwrite the existing layer in portal.

Here is the code I have been trying:

def overwrite_existing_layer(source_layer_name,feature_service_id,copy_layer_name):

        # Connect to the ArcGIS Portal
        gis = GIS('pro')

        # Retrieve the feature layer you want to clone
        source_layer =, item_type="Feature Layer")[0]
        # Create a temporary copy of the layer
        temporary_copy = source_layer.layers[0].query()
        # Creat Pandas df from temporary copy
        temp_sdf = temporary_copy.sdf

        # Create a dictionary for the properties of to_featurelayer method
        fl_properties = {
        'layer': 0,  
        'featureServiceId': feature_service_id  

        # Overwrite the feature layer
        new_layer = temp_sdf.spatial.to_featurelayer(title=copy_layer_name, overwrite=True, service={'layer': 0, 'featureServiceId': feature_service_id})

        print("Temporary copy overwritten in SQL database.")

        print('Finished running script')

    except Exception as e:
        # Handle any errors that occur during the process
        print(f"An error occurred: {str(e)}")

The script runs fine but does not overwrite the existing layer. I have the correct feature_service_id from the existing layer in portal but am not sure why it does not recognize the existing layer. 


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2 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Normally in Pro there is an "overwriteOutputs" option" to enable you do do exactly what you want.  I dont' know if it can be used with the api and portal.

You might want to "delete" using the appropriate python arcgis api call prior to adding the newer version.

... sort of retired...
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New Contributor III

Dan, I appreciate your response. Unfortunately have not found a way to overwrite like you can in pro.

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