What is the difference between a .ppkx and an .aptx file?

06-04-2020 10:40 AM
New Contributor

Hi, my company is currently making the transition to ArcPro from ArcMap.  We have .mxds that we currently use as templates for creating maps for use in reports. These files have pre-determined layers for use in that map (such as habitat types in one and locations of CNDDB species in another), and a layout to go with the map that has the company logo and editable report information to track the project. I want to set these up for use in Pro. The .mxd has imported into Pro, but I'm not sure which file type to use to save the new map and layout as a template base.

1. What is the difference between a .ppkx and .aptx, if any?

2. When would I use one vs. the other?

3. If there are any major differences which one should I use and why? (These are for internal use only.)


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Esri Frequent Contributor


.ppkx - Project Package - Share a project package—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation 

A project package is a file that contains all maps and the data referenced by its layers, as well as folder connections, toolboxes, geoprocessing history, and attachments

.aptx - Project Template - Project templates—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation 

 template includes different aspects of an ArcGIS project that are important to complete a specific task or achieve a specific goal. For example, a template can include connections to folders, databases, and servers; a template can provide either complete datasets or schema-only data definitions; a template can provide custom geoprocessing toolboxes; and a template can deliver organizational standard layouts and styles to the teams who need them.

2. I would use the .aptx for providing and "empty" shell of a Pro project for people to start with (I think of this as the .mxt). For the .ppkx I would provide this to another person to see all of the maps / layouts that have been created. (I think of this as sharing the .mxd)

3. I would probably start with the .aptx to see if that gets you the desired results.

Hope this helps.

--- George T.