Make a non federated portal more capable

02-26-2021 09:28 AM
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Occasional Contributor III

I would like to see non-federated portals more capable than the current setup.  At this time we cannot justify federating our portal.  When using a non federated portal I had noticed that there are some very important features that are missing:

  • We cannot host vector tiles
  • We cannot serve hosted feature layers.
  • The local datahub will allow users to download data, but they cannot view the data in an interactive map.

Why do I think these should be allowed

  • We are already paying for big bucks for ArcGIS Enterprise.
  • Keeping some of the data on our local server may make backups easier.
  • ArcGIS Online understandably limits the amount of data that we can keep in the cloud.  Using our own server we can host more data.
  • We can separate the security between a traditional ArcGIS Server (one without portal installed at all) and ArcGIS Portal.  That will allow our current applications to work without any changes.
  • Note:  I don't even care if a non federated portal has any secured services as long as users can access secured services through the traditional ArcGIS Server.
  • A non federated portal is not much better for the public to access our data than using a non GIS content management system (such as Wordpress or Joomla).

Why cant I justify federating portal at this time:

  • Very small municipalities are allowed to access some of our data.  Some of the municipalities only use the secured services a couple times a year.  Therefore it is not worth paying for licenses.  With a traditional ArcGIS Server we can have as many users as we want when using ArcGIS Server built in permissions.
  • I don't want the complexity of federating Portal.  It sounds like when we federate portal that there are a lot of things that change under the hood.




1 Reply
Esri Regular Contributor

Portal by design doesn't host any data, which is why the options for having hosted data (tile or feature layers) aren't available.  All data in an ArcGIS Enterprise deployment resides within ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS DataStore, while being referenced in Portal.  While ArcGIS Server can be used by itself, the other two pieces (Portal for ArcGIS & ArcGIS DataStore) are not designed to be functional in that same way, and it's why we call all three, when federated (Portal, DataStore, and Server), ArcGIS Enterprise.

If you are already paying for an ArcGIS Enterprise license, you would have the licenses needed to share published services with the other municipalities that are currently using them.  Additional user licenses need to be purchased only when creating content within an Enterprise (web maps, web apps, publishing, etc.), not when the end user is only viewing content.  Since most REST services are view only anyways, you would be covered on this front without having to purchase anything additional.


The main change that happens to ArcGIS Server after federation is that the security of users is then managed through the Portal UI, instead of Server Manager.  Otherwise, REST services still function the same and can be shared like they always have been, and any published services will automatically be added to the Portal as content items.  REST URLs don't change after federation, so applications or data links in MXDs won't break suddenly.

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