I thought I might just rant about the amount of work needed to bring data offline to work on ArcGIS Collector and get the community's feedback on perhaps better or easier ways to bring data offline.
One of the most annoying part is that I cannot reference multiple layers to a single source file on SDE. I'm sure some of you have more layers with multiple definition queries originating from a single feature class but because Collector doesn't like it if you reference the source more than once, you would have to resort to exporting a subset for a every single def query you have. The workaround I can think of is to symbolise the layer using many fields but this isn't supported as well when bringing data offline in Collector. Because of this, my SDE database is filled up with multiple duplicated dataset that originate from a single source which makes data management much more confusing !
Another issue I found was the need to have every single layer be published as a feature service , surely there are layers which we want to remain not editable or just as a layer that supplements data collection. I know you can turn these off in the web map but if I have 15 datasets, it is annoying to turn them off one by one. Adding to the already complex array of steps, we have to add global ids and enable archiving on every single feature service that we need to bring offline.
Totally agree it is a terrible workflow to use offline data collection with collector. We have had nothing but problems as well and end up having to maintain multiple edit services.
Surely ESRI can redesign this workflow to make things much more bearable or fix some of the issues above. Although we live in a connected world, there are still large parts of the world that are still disconnected . We often deploy mobile devices to remote parts of Australia where internet connection is more of a luxury.