Download from a REST-based Feature Layer in a Site

02-11-2021 09:39 PM
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New Contributor II

Hi all, 

We have a bunch of Feature Layers in Portal, that I've made available in our portal Site. This works fine if the user just wants to view the data. BUT...

I'd love them to be able to download the data also. The option to download is disabled unfortunately!  I'd hazard a guess that this functionality is not enabled on an arcgis server based feature layer, but is available on a Hosted Feature Layer however - which I'm trying to avoid using. 

It's interesting that I can set this up in AGOL Hub, and it allows you to download (providing you make the data public it would seem!)

is anyone else experiencing this quirk with Portal, or am I doing something completely against the grain? 

and I really, really do not want to look at Datastore/hosted layers!



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2 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Unlike Hub, in Sites, that Download button is akin to this one:


If you've used that button, you know it doesn't download the selected filetype directly, but rather creates a separate content item in your folder, which you can then download. Because of this, the Download button on a Portal Site requires that the user be both logged in and have sufficient privileges to own content items.

I'd guess that there's something different going on under the hood in Hub that makes the direct download possible there.

If it's any consolation, those of us who prefer Hosted Features Layers are in the same boat here, so switching to hosted would not fix this issue for you. From Portal, the only way to allow users to directly download a layer from a content item is if it is the file itself.


Which, of course, would require you to keep a regularly updated copy of the file available as its own separate content item. And that feels like a step backwards, honestly.

Workaround: AGOL Hub and Collaboration

In order to get around this limitation, my department

  1. Set up a Hub page in AGOL.
  2. Set the Hub to include all content items from a designated group in AGOL.
  3. Create a corresponding group in Portal
  4. Establish a Collaboration between AGOL and Portal using the two groups
  5. From Portal, share all "public download" items to the group. They will be automatically added to the Hub page on AGOL, where the download button works as expected.

It's not perfect, but it works!

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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New Contributor II

Hi Josh - thanks for the detailed reply - it's much appreciated. I guess we are coming at this from differing workflows. You guys are using hosted services, while we are using the more 'traditional' Rest-based/Geodatabase services. It's interesting how esri are providing different options across both Portal and AGOL in these cases.

We were hoping that portal could do what AGOL actually does, and allow you to download from Rest services. I'm not really understanding why AGOL can do it, and Portal cant? I can understand why you've gone down the collaboration path to get around this and all, but I'd be hoping that esri can fix this discrepency in Portal.

We are trying to avoid using the whole datastore and or hosted service approach as we dont really want to be sucked down into the esri vortex of black boxes, complex architecture, and  editing regimes that involve the extra user types and cost. We are trying to keep things pretty simple and cost effective, and was hoping that portal could deliver some simple tools on top of our current architecture that suits us for the moment 🙂

thanks again 


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