I am writing code to update attributes of ArcGIS Online feature layers using local data, arcgis online data or arcgis server data. I have been mostly successful using either edit_feature with updates (very slow) or calculate.
Basically, I'm adding/moving polygon attributes to points.
Calculate is much faster, but when processing a lot of features (looping) it tends to time out. Also, calculate you have to be aware of special characters that sql doesn't like and escape them.
I'm just wondering if anyone has different approaches to this. I have started looking into join_features, but haven't written anything yet.