Enable File Geodatabase downloads (on Open Data) for ArcGIS for Server feature services.

03-23-2018 05:27 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor III

Not having the option to download a file geodatabase impacts all users of our Open Data site.  Currently the only option is to download a shape file.

When you download a shape file you are impeded by size limitations and you lose data integrity because any and all domains associated with the data are lost. 

I understand that the option of downloading as a file geodatabase is available if we host our data in ArcGIS Online but for our organization that is not a viable option.

These limitation cause our open data site to be used less than it should be.   We consistently get requests for file geodatabases and end up having to provide the data the old fashioned way - zipped and emailed or via FTP.

In addition, when we need to acquire data from our partnering communities, data that is used to support several critical systems, we are forced to request file geodatabases from them via zipped email or FTP rather than use their respective Open Data site because shape files do not meet our requirements.  This makes the true impact of this for us two-fold. 


I completely support this idea, our City is currently building our own open data site and as Esri encourages the use of .gdb in lieu of shapefile exports this seems like a logical enhancement.  Shapefiles are a very poor option for distribution of complex data with many attributes.  


Nice idea. Especially needed to share data for projects with multiple feature data sets. You could pass the file back and forth as each disjointed team/unit competed their data updates.


CartoDB allows direct export to a SQLite table, so this concept isn't exactly new.


Hmmm, maybe this is something new. I found this documentation about Enabling file geodatabase downloads.  I enabled data exports on all of my Open Data (Hub) hosted feature services.  None of them show an 'Additional Resources' section under download options, thus, no file geodatabase download option.  Am I missing something?

Screenshot of instructions:

Export File Geodatabase instructions.


I just realized this idea was for enabling file geodatabase of ARCGIS SERVER services.  Apologies for not paying attention.

I will say though, that the directions above for enabling file geodatabase downloads of hosted feature services were not entirely clear to me. I understood how to allow data exports for each, it was the part about reindexing that confused me.  I was clicking the 'Rebuild Indexes' button on each feature services 'Settings' tab.  What I needed to do was go to my Open Data admin page --> 'Data' tab --> Reset Dataset and Downloads.  Instructions from Esri Support:

1.hosted feature services must have Export Data enabled.To enable Export Data:

  • Open the Item Details page of the hosted feature service.
  • Click the Settings tab.
  • Under the Feature Layer (hosted) Settings section, under Export Data, check Allow others to export to different formats.

2.After Export Data is enabled, the dataset must be re-indexed before the File Geodatabase option appears on the dataset on the Open Data site:

  • Go to the Open Data admin page
  • Click the Data tab.
  • Search for the dataset.
  • Click the Reset Dataset and Downloads button next to the dataset:

3.When the index is finished updating, the File Geodatabase download format is available under Additional Resources on Open Data site.

Just thought I would share in case anyone else is having issues with getting file geodatabase download options for hosted feature services.


We would like users to be able to download off Hub /Open Data 2.0 sites as GDB as well. That would have the benefit of including domains, metadata, field names longer than 10 characters, no size limitations, etc. The purpose of a data downloading site is the data.  Exploration and intuitive UI are good new capabilities.. but downloading Geodatabase would be the most useful thing they could add to Open Data at the moment for our use. As others mention for now we have to often export data out. Sidenote, we use our own ArcGIS Server 10.51 services for the Open Data.


I just started getting Open Data all setup with the singular hope of allowing fGDB downloads and am stopped dead in my tracks.  All my data is coming from feature services via ArcGIS Server on my local premises.  

Esri, really?  Do you have plans to open this up to ArcGIS Server services?


This link from ESRI explains how to add the option to create a file geodatabase for map services on our Portal and shared with Open Data.    We have used this for most of our layers here at Washington State Department of Natural Resources:


This should enable you and those you get data from to set up to export File Geodatabases.


Why is file geodatabase not ALWAYS available as an option? We are losing this setting when overwriting existing feature services so we have to go back in , turn it on and then reindex. Additionally it looks really strange under "Additional Resources" , why not just always have this format available in the standard list?


Hi Jeffrey, could you elaborate a bit more on the steps that you have taken to enable that? I haven't been able to achieve anything according to the link you mentioned. Nothing about how to configure the feature layer services.