Human/GIT Readable APRX & STYLX formats

01-21-2019 04:50 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Although not necessarily the most human readable, the MAPX (exported map) and LYRX (layer file) are all human readable, essentially being JSON by nature. Although not its main purpose, editing these files is nice, but what's even nicer, is the fact that versioning systems such as GIT (such as in use in our company in the form of Azure DevOps) really really play well with these files:

For some inexplicable reason, however, the APRX (project) and STYLX (style... especially styles...) are very much still:


This is troublesome, especially for a system such as a style, where many people could be working on one style... a GIT Merge would be awesome for this potentially... but also for APRX this would be nice.

I would love to just... commit, push, merge to my hearts' desire... at the moment the workflow's slowly turning into "export mapfiles, export layers, make own copy of style, commit, push"

Make ArcGIT real! Make our files version-tracked


APRX files are zip archives. STYLX are SQLite databases. At this point there are no plans to change this.

by Anonymous User

That actually helped me to at least build a model to change-track APRX files. SQLite Stylx is another issue though... i'd be great for them to have some history/tracking/multi-user/centered-ness in them. We hook a lot of them up in portal, so our users can re-use them as well, but the act of actually changing them involves a re-upload, and that's frankly a hassle. Not to mention the awkward merges if they change up in GIT...


Hey Craig,

It would be REALLY sweet if you released the xsd document for the various xml files found in the unzipped APRX. Any chance of that?

Nathan Warmerdam


We've been focusing on documenting the JSON variation of this spec (see We've had requests to have a JSON schema version of this which we're considering, but no plans to do an XML schema at this point.

mapx, lyrx, pagx, and items in styles all use the JSON spec.


Hey Craig,

Thanks for getting back to me.  I'd actually be happy with either the JSON or XML schemas for the CIM.  There are tools that can get you a long way from sample xml/json files but I know that I'll never be able to provide a fully complete sample to these tools and thus never have full confidence in what comes out the other side.



Projects (aprx files) will be stored as JSON starting in ArcGIS Pro 3.0 expected to be available in June 2022. See