"Failed to publish web layer" (from ArcGIS Pro to Portal)

05-27-2020 10:24 AM
New Contributor III

For the past several weeks, I've been encountering issues trying to publish very simple map image layer (web map services) from ArcGIS Pro to Portal/ArcGIS Server.

I am getting inconsistent successes/failures when publishing the same feature class and I cannot for the life of me sort out the problem (frustrating!).

Background Info:

Currently publishing from ArcGIS Pro v.2.2.1 (connected to active portal as administrator)

Portal v.10.5.1

ArcGIS Server v.10.5.1 (with recent security patch installed)

The Server is federated with Portal

Data source: Feature class in Enterprise (ArcSDE) Database v.

                     SQL Server Enterprise Geodatabase

                     Registered with server through data store

Share As Web Layer:

- Successfully gets through: "Preparing data references and staging web layer"

- Fails during: "Uploading Service Definition"

Message: Failed to publish web layer

Check Messages: No Errors or Warnings found. 

Check ArcGIS Server Logs in Server Manager:

Service containing process crashed for 'System/PublishingToolsEx.GPServer'. Please see if an error report was generated in 'C:\arcgisserver\logs\CVRDGISIIS.INGRAM.CVRD.LOCAL\errorreports'. To send an error report to Esri, compose an e-mail to ArcGISErrorReport@esri.com and attach the error report file.

Error handling request to service 'System/PublishingToolsEx.GPServer'. Cannot obtain a free instance.; nested exception is: com.esri.arcgis.discovery.ejb.ArcGISServerEJBException: Could not initialize service 'System/PublishingToolsEx.GPServer'.

Job submitting to delegate failed.

Bad syntax in request. (status code 400).

Error executing tool. PublishServiceDefinition Job ID: j6e0a95a684d74eadab77fa93e8f63f4a : ERROR 999999: Error executing function. Bad syntax in request. (status code 400). Failed to execute (Publish Service Definition).

javax.ejb.EJBException: Cannot obtain a free instance.; nested exception is: com.esri.arcgis.discovery.ejb.ArcGISServerEJBException: Could not initialize service 'System/PublishingToolsEx.GPServer'. at org.apache.openejb.client.EJBInvocationHandler.convertException(EJBInvocationHandler.java:215) at...

Try Restarting ArcGIS Server

- no change

Check PublishingTools geoprocessing service in ArcGIS Server Manager

- Services > System > PublishingTools. The service is started and running fine.

Check that recent ArcGIS Server Patch didn't impact Publishing Tools

- Go to ArcGIS REST Services Directory > Login as administrator

- Check home>services>System for PublishingTools and PublishingToolsEx services, both are there. 

Anyone have any other suggestions? I'm not sure why it's failing to upload the service definition file. 

It may be worth mentioning, that up until recently, there were no issues publishing services to portal. 

I can also change the active portal to ArcGIS Online and publish to Online with no problems. 

Update: Out of curiosity, I tried adding the same feature class to ArcMap (v10.5.1) and publishing to Portal, and it had no problem generating the service definition file or publishing the service. So, maybe I should update ArcGIS Pro to a newer version (hesitant to do so). 

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2 Replies
Occasional Contributor

Hi Chris

Did you get to the bottom of this? 

Thank you

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New Contributor III

Hi Vicky,

No – I didn’t really find a cut and dry solution to this problem. The best I can tell is that for the Publishing utility geoprocessig service in ArcGIS Server there is actually 2 underlying services: PublishingTools and PublishingToolsEx. It seems like PublishingTools gets kicked on when you publish in ArcMap and PublishingToolsEx is used by ArcGIS Pro. When I monitor the windows services – I’m not seeing the Publishing service spin up when trying to publish from Pro, so it’s failing during the “Create Service Definition File” stage of the process.

I’m fully resigned to the fact that there is something wrong/corrupt with my Enterprise install – and I’m putting off looking for a fix until I roll out a full new enterprise deployment.

Good luck.


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