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Best Practices for Joining Features in ArcGIS Online

04-04-2023 05:25 AM
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New Contributor III

I've been increasingly finding myself in situations where I need to combine data and have not been terribly happy with either solution, so I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to best manage data hosted in ArcGIS Online that needs to be combined. I'll outline 2 situations and the solutions I've tried below for feedback.

Scenario 1: I have a point feature layer and a related inspection table. I want to be able to combine the newest inspection record to the point so I can symbolize and summarize by the most recent status (or age since last inspection) in a Dashboard. I have done this using a FeatureSetbyPortalItem() Arcade data expression (references below), but even with 100 features and 100 related records, the dashboard takes over 1 minute to load. 


Scenario 2: I have a hosted feature service that needs periodic updating (geometry only). I have a unique attribute that I used to Join (under classic map viewer analysis tools) to a hosted table that contains many attributes associated with the geometry of the hosted layer. The idea behind organizing the data this way was so the geometry could be updated by appending a zipped geodatabase to update the layer and the table would stand alone. 

However, Joining layers then locks the schema of the underlying layers. This is a major limitation, as I have views created from the hosted services (internal with editing enable, external read-only, etc). These views are used in multiple maps and dashboards. So, when I have to add a field or adjust a domain, I have to delete all the join views and the rebuild everything after making the changes. I have seen elsewhere that esri is working on improving this workflow, but have not seen a timeline for implementation.

Any suggestions or tricks that would help make either of these workflows more efficient would be much appreciated.

2 Replies
Esri Contributor

Hi, I just wanted to point out a recent blog that in parts cover what you are asking for: Visualize Data from Related Records Using Arcade (

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New Contributor III

Thanks for this. I have seen this article before and have taken some of its concepts and put them to use. Rather than pulling summary statistics as described in the article, I am trying to pull several attributes from the feature set (e.g. return latestRecord.flow, except 4 or 5 attributes instead of just one). Also, in a couple cases I've encountered, the data was not published with a relationship. I am suspecting the FeatureSetByRelationshipName performs more efficiently than an unrelated feature set and plan to test that as well.

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