ArcGIS Hub released a beta capability last week called “hosted downloads,” designed to improve reliability and performance of downloads from hosted servers. In this blog post, we will briefly cover how downloads currently work and what issues hosted downloads aims to solve. Try out the beta capability today and let us know what you think.
Several years ago, before downloads were available in ArcGIS Online, the ArcGIS Hub team pioneered a way for users to download datasets. Today, anonymous users and collaborators can visit a dataset view and download files. Datasets shared to an ArcGIS Hub site that depend on a Feature Service or Map Service can be downloaded in several popular formats such as CSV, KML, SHP, GeoJSON.
Depending on the configuration of a service, to generate files for download, ArcGIS Hub either pages through a service’s records or creates a File Geodatabase (FGDB). Hub then stores this source file and converts it into other formats like CSV, KML, and SHP. When a user clicks the download button, Hub will check for updates, and generate an updated file if the data has changed. This behavior is the same for Esri-hosted and ArcGIS Enterprise Server services. To learn more about the recommended server configurations, see Server configuration details.
With Hub’s use of the new platform capability called “Hosted Downloads,” we are aiming to alleviate the following:
This work is part of a larger strategy by ArcGIS Hub to shift key services, including downloads, to run on core ArcGIS platform capabilities. ArcGIS Hub will begin focusing on improvements and expansion of the “Hosted Downloads” experience.
In contrast to the old system described above, ArcGIS Hub’s use of Hosted Downloads will have several important technical changes:
Hosted Downloads will come with some handy benefits out of the box. Most importantly, downloads will be faster, more reliable, and more performant. Additionally, users will see more file formats such as SQLite Geodatabase, GeoPackage Feature Collection and Excel, widening opportunities and applications for use of various types of data.
We are excited to make these highly requested performance improvements available to ArcGIS Hub customers as soon as possible. The tentative release timeline is as follows:
To take advantage of this more dependable download system, we encourage customers to switch their services to Esri hosted services.
To try the Hosted Downloads capability, authenticate as a content manager on your ArcGIS Hub site and navigate to the Content Library (found at <your_hub_site_URL>/content/edit). Then, search for an item of interest and click on it to navigate to the item’s Content Details editor. We recommend first testing an item that does not receive a lot of traffic, due to the rate limiting mentioned above.
Click on the new “Downloads” tab, enable the server “Extract Capabilities” and “Hosted Downloads” settings, and click Save. To enable “Extract Capabilities,” you will need to have privileges to edit the service. This is best accomplished by an organization admin account and the user who created the item. To enable “Hosted Downloads” you will need to have item editing privileges.
Then, click the “X” in the top left to navigate to the content’s live view and open the download sidebar. When users want to download your content, they will see a simplified list of available formats. If you run into issues, you can always disable the “Hosted Download” setting to use the existing Hub download system.
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