Rethink the add-on user type extensions

10-09-2020 08:59 AM
Status: Open
Occasional Contributor II

I see this is a new way for Esri to confuse us with complicated licensing. We're trying to test out editing the parcel fabric with Portal in Pro and I now see that fabric editing requires a user add-on extension license. If we want 1 person or 10 people to be able to edit OUR parcel data, we shouldn't have to pay for or assign yet another license to a named user. In the current desktop (arcmap) parcel fabric, we could have as many versions/editors as we needed. Now this is restricted because it's a service? We should be able to create as many versions and have as many people edit parcel fabric as we want without having to add licenses and (probably) more money into the mix.

Give us flexibility to control parcel fabric editing through roles or permissions or something we already have available to us. Don't force us to use complicated licensing for something that doesn't need licensing.


Good day Nathan,   There is no cost for the parcel fabric user type extension.   Beginning with ArcGIS 10.4, all ArcGIS Desktop Licenses include a license to add a Named User (Creator user type license) to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise for all ArcGIS Desktop licenses on maintenance or for current term license subscriptions.  The creator user type, when licensed to your enterprise, will include the Parcel Fabric user type extension at no cost.   ArcGIS Online does not support user type extensions at this time.  Your portal admin will need to turn this on for the creator user type (It is included with GIS Professional user type, standard or advance).   I explain why we took this approach in this blog.  

I did some checking and there is a cost. If you have an ELA, this is not included with all creator user types. We have a small government ELA and are only given a small number of these new parcel fabric addon licenses. So if we needed more than a couple people to utilize the fabric tools, we'd have to pay for more licenses. If this was truly a "no cost addon" included with every creator user type, then we'd have as many parcel fabric extensions available as the number of creators we have available with our ELA.

This should really be something controlled within the user roles and privileges settings rather than yet another license. Have a checkbox in the Editing or Premium Content area or something. That way if we can control who edits parcels based on role rather than having to fight with licenses.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding too, but it sounds like what I call "the free companion" AGO Creator license to your Desktop license is mutually-exclusive to either AGO or Enterprise - it also sounds like a common thought is that it should be available in both systems so users don't have to decide where to assign their license(s).  I think what the community thinks is that the user shouldn't have to choose between AGO and Enterprise, especially after years of AGO-only use for their account.  These companion accounts have built a lot of AGO content over the years and to move them from AGO to Enterprise Creator sounds to them like loss of access, or what Nathan Fazer‌ is describing as an additional cost.

It's also going to happen for the Utility Network, too?  I suppose it will and we will have several more users in this camp.

Right now, this new User Type isn't sounding very conducive to migration to Pro and Enterprise.  I don't see a solution either, due to the crazy licensing that's developed over the years. 

On a similar note, Autodesk recently announced that they would no longer provide concurrent (shared network) licensing and they're "offering" a 2:1 increase of licenses to offset the burden.  This is in no way, shape, or form a benefit nor does it offset what they're about to break - we have 40+ users on 10 network licenses, so now we have to decide which 50% of our users will get the named-user subscription.  This is a delicate game for already cash-strapped jurisdictions.

Late edit: hot off the presses...How do I license my ArcGIS Parcel Fabric? 


The license soup has become extremely convoluted. Our organization really wanted to try Spatial Analyst for a year, but I discovered that because we have perpetual Desktop licenses we are prohibited from purchasing the extension for an annual term and would instead be forced to purchase it perpetually because "the license terms have to match." This is so anti-consumer and arbitrary, it really bothers me. I know there are non-production trials, but we would need to test it in a production environment to realize the potential benefits to our workflows.


Offering the option of purchasing a GIS Professional AGOL license that we have absolutely no use for just to gain access to a reduced extension term is completely absurd, and quite frankly felt like a slap in the face. I strongly dislike the way many of Esri's products are currently packaged and sold, there are a lot of "it's clearly only this way because it maximizes revenue" stipulations, very disappointing.