Distributed collaboration - can you only enable editing in the location where you initially publish a feature layer?

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05-15-2020 11:20 AM
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Occasional Contributor III

Hello everyone,


I have a distributed collaboration scenario and I want to make sure that I am on the right track in understanding the limitations correctly.

Question 1: It appears to me that when you have a feature layer that is published for collaboration you can only enable editing on the side where you initially publish it. Is that correct? So if you publish to ArcGIS Enterprise, you enable editing there and cannot enable editing in AGOL, and vice-versa.

Question 2: Is it true that you cannot have a “hosted” feature layer in AGOL sync to a “user managed” ArcGIS Enterprise feature service with data residing in SQL? You can only sync to an “ArcGIS managed” feature layer in Portal?

Details
My preferred workflow will not work for what I am trying to accomplish:

  1. Publish a “user-managed” feature service with data referenced in a SQL geodatabase into a federated ArcGIS Enterprise Portal.
  2. Using distributed collaboration, have that data sync to a “hosted” feature layer on AGOL.
  3. My editing requirements are one-way, but I want the editing to be done on the destination “hosted” feature layer in AGOL, not on the initially-published Enterprise SQL feature service.
  4. When I set this up, the data synched from Enterprise to AGOL, but then I was not able to enable editing on the “hosted” feature layer in AGOL. The only thing I could do is disable editing in Enterprise.


Alternate workflow:

  1. Publish a “hosted” feature layer directly to AGOL and enable editing.
  2. Using distributed collaboration, have that data sync to a “user-managed” feature service with data referenced in SQL. This feature service does not need to have editing enabled, it can be read-only.
  3. The Esri distributed collaboration Q&A suggests this workflow is not possible.
    Question: Can I copy data from ArcGIS Online into my enterprise geodatabase?
    Answer: No. Destination layers within a collaboration must be hosted layers from ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.
  4. As I understand that answer: the sync must be to an “ArcGIS managed” hosted feature layer in Portal. It cannot be a “user managed” feature service with data in SQL.



Software used: ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7.1.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback!

Hilary Curtis

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Esri Contributor

Hello Brian Fausel

I've tried to answer your questions below:

"Question 1: It appears to me that when you have a feature layer that is published for collaboration you can only enable editing on the side where you initially publish it. Is that correct? So if you publish to ArcGIS Enterprise, you enable editing there and cannot enable editing in AGOL, and vice-versa."

If you share an item as a reference from portal to ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online creates an item which references the federated server feature service. The capabilities of the item are determined by the capabilities enabled on the ArcGIS Server service (e.g. query, update, delete etc.). When sharing a hosted feature layer as a copy from portal to ArcGIS Online a hosted feature layer is published in ArcGIS Online. Editing is disabled on the ArcGIS Online hosted feature service. This is intentional as collaboration does not support bi-directional sync. 

"Question 2: Is it true that you cannot have a “hosted” feature layer in AGOL sync to a “user managed” ArcGIS Enterprise feature service with data residing in SQL? You can only sync to an “ArcGIS managed” feature layer in Portal?"

You can sync a referenced feature service (e.g. data in SQL) to ArcGIS Online. As mentioned above a hosted feature service is published in ArcGIS Online. However it is not possible to edit the collaborated hosted feature service. The same logic applies to a hosted feature service shared from ArcGIS Online to portal.

"My preferred workflow will not work for what I am trying to accomplish:

  1. Publish a “user-managed” feature service with data referenced in a SQL geodatabase into a federated ArcGIS Enterprise Portal.
  2. Using distributed collaboration, have that data sync to a “hosted” feature layer on AGOL.
  3. My editing requirements are one-way, but I want the editing to be done on the destination “hosted” feature layer in AGOL, not on the initially-published Enterprise SQL feature service.
  4. When I set this up, the data synched from Enterprise to AGOL, but then I was not able to enable editing on the “hosted” feature layer in AGOL. The only thing I could do is disable editing in Enterprise."

Unfortunately I don't think this workflow will be possible as you will not be able to edit the hosted feature layer in ArcGIS Online.

"Alternate workflow:

  1. Publish a “hosted” feature layer directly to AGOL and enable editing.
  2. Using distributed collaboration, have that data sync to a “user-managed” feature service with data referenced in SQL. This feature service does not need to have editing enabled, it can be read-only.
  3. The Esri distributed collaboration Q&A suggests this workflow is not possible.
    Question: Can I copy data from ArcGIS Online into my enterprise geodatabase?
    Answer: No. Destination layers within a collaboration must be hosted layers from ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.
  4. As I understand that answer: the sync must be to an “ArcGIS managed” hosted feature layer in Portal. It cannot be a “user managed” feature service with data in SQL."

This workflow would publish a hosted feature layer on portal. As you mentioned it is not possible to have the hosted feature layer in ArcGIS Online sync to a referenced feature service in portal. 

If you want to have users in ArcGIS Online edit portal hosted or referenced feature services you may want to use share as reference.

Portal for ArcGIS - About sharing feature layers as a reference:

About sharing feature layers as a reference—Portal for ArcGIS (10.8) | Documentation for ArcGIS Ente... 

Portal for ArcGIS - Frequently asked question about distributed collaboration:

Frequently asked questions about distributed collaboration—Portal for ArcGIS | Documentation for Arc... 

Hope this information was useful.

Thanks,

Thomas.

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Esri Contributor

Hello Brian Fausel

I've tried to answer your questions below:

"Question 1: It appears to me that when you have a feature layer that is published for collaboration you can only enable editing on the side where you initially publish it. Is that correct? So if you publish to ArcGIS Enterprise, you enable editing there and cannot enable editing in AGOL, and vice-versa."

If you share an item as a reference from portal to ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online creates an item which references the federated server feature service. The capabilities of the item are determined by the capabilities enabled on the ArcGIS Server service (e.g. query, update, delete etc.). When sharing a hosted feature layer as a copy from portal to ArcGIS Online a hosted feature layer is published in ArcGIS Online. Editing is disabled on the ArcGIS Online hosted feature service. This is intentional as collaboration does not support bi-directional sync. 

"Question 2: Is it true that you cannot have a “hosted” feature layer in AGOL sync to a “user managed” ArcGIS Enterprise feature service with data residing in SQL? You can only sync to an “ArcGIS managed” feature layer in Portal?"

You can sync a referenced feature service (e.g. data in SQL) to ArcGIS Online. As mentioned above a hosted feature service is published in ArcGIS Online. However it is not possible to edit the collaborated hosted feature service. The same logic applies to a hosted feature service shared from ArcGIS Online to portal.

"My preferred workflow will not work for what I am trying to accomplish:

  1. Publish a “user-managed” feature service with data referenced in a SQL geodatabase into a federated ArcGIS Enterprise Portal.
  2. Using distributed collaboration, have that data sync to a “hosted” feature layer on AGOL.
  3. My editing requirements are one-way, but I want the editing to be done on the destination “hosted” feature layer in AGOL, not on the initially-published Enterprise SQL feature service.
  4. When I set this up, the data synched from Enterprise to AGOL, but then I was not able to enable editing on the “hosted” feature layer in AGOL. The only thing I could do is disable editing in Enterprise."

Unfortunately I don't think this workflow will be possible as you will not be able to edit the hosted feature layer in ArcGIS Online.

"Alternate workflow:

  1. Publish a “hosted” feature layer directly to AGOL and enable editing.
  2. Using distributed collaboration, have that data sync to a “user-managed” feature service with data referenced in SQL. This feature service does not need to have editing enabled, it can be read-only.
  3. The Esri distributed collaboration Q&A suggests this workflow is not possible.
    Question: Can I copy data from ArcGIS Online into my enterprise geodatabase?
    Answer: No. Destination layers within a collaboration must be hosted layers from ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.
  4. As I understand that answer: the sync must be to an “ArcGIS managed” hosted feature layer in Portal. It cannot be a “user managed” feature service with data in SQL."

This workflow would publish a hosted feature layer on portal. As you mentioned it is not possible to have the hosted feature layer in ArcGIS Online sync to a referenced feature service in portal. 

If you want to have users in ArcGIS Online edit portal hosted or referenced feature services you may want to use share as reference.

Portal for ArcGIS - About sharing feature layers as a reference:

About sharing feature layers as a reference—Portal for ArcGIS (10.8) | Documentation for ArcGIS Ente... 

Portal for ArcGIS - Frequently asked question about distributed collaboration:

Frequently asked questions about distributed collaboration—Portal for ArcGIS | Documentation for Arc... 

Hope this information was useful.

Thanks,

Thomas.

View solution in original post

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Occasional Contributor III

Thanks for the information Thomas, it was very helpful and it confirmed my suspicions. The workflow I am likely to implement is publish to AGOL as a "hosted" feature layer, enable editing there, and then sync via distributed collaboration back to Enterprise as an "ArcGIS managed" hosted feature layer in Portal. The parameters I am up against in this project are:

- Editing must be enabled on the AGOL "hosted" feature layer.

- Our Enterprise system is not available to the Internet, so sharing as a reference will not work in this case. We have a need to access the data on a mobile device that is not on the network and doesn't have VPN access.

Thanks again,

Brian

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New Contributor III

We had a similar scenario and on a large enough scale (we provide GIS and administer web GIS services for twelve  small clients) that ESRI's only answer was for us to purchase a second instance of Enterprise and install it on a Cloud Server. We chose Azure. Now we have an external web enterprise we replicate the data to, the clients can edit from that Portal, and we replicate the changes back down to our system of record Portal/Server. But, our on-premise enterprise Portal is also exposed to the internet so I'm not sure if, conceptually, this solution would even work in your case. 

It did make managing 12 AGOL sites a lot easier, instead, we just have one Portal and can use Sites. I know that wasn't your question though, sorry to digress.

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Occasional Contributor III

Thanks for the information. Yes it won't work in our case this time but it is good to know for the future.

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