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Planning ArcServer Services - Bare Feature Class or Customized MXD?

Question asked by bryan.chandler_tscggis on May 25, 2016

I am in the process of overhauling a directory of REST services and was interested to know if there are any best practices based on intended use.  Nearly all of the services are designed to be consumed through AGOL web maps\apps or Business Analyst Online. 

 

The question???

Is it better to create "standard" services based on the feature class and allow the user to further customize within each map/app or to create the service based on an MXD with predefined symbology, number of layers, and filtering? 

 

  • If the first methodology is taken, then multiple copies of the same service are often needed to create the intended information package within the map/app. 
  • If the second methodology is taken, then customization is limited, but much less setup is required to reach the intended result within the map/app.

 

I am trying to avoid creating a number of variations of the same service while also trying to standardize the output of the information.  While the answer will be somewhat opinion, any guidance or suggestion(s) would be greatly appreciated.

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