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Manifest.json vs manifest.xml (ArcGIS Server 10.6)

Question asked by agelfert on Mar 5, 2020

What exactly is the difference between manifest.json and manifest.xml. I mean both are a format for a service manifest but I thought JSON had replaced XML. Under what circumstances should I still be seeing XML when publishing map services to ArcGIS Server? 

I'm using something like this to find data sources behind services and it bombed for any XML:

manifestPath = os.path.join(folder, "extracted/manifest.json" )
if os.path.exists(manifestPath):
   with open(manifestPath,'r') as f:
      text =
   print(folder, "XML only")
manifestJSON = json.loads(text)

Of course, if you use the ArcGIS Python API, you can do something like:

from arcgis import gis

mygis = gis.GIS('https://..../portal/home/',  username='arcgis_python')
servers = mygis.admin.servers.list()
server = gistest.admin.servers.list()[0]

services =

Then, once you have a reference to a specific service, this works:


I was really just wondering where the XML comes from. Wasn't expecting to see that and I see it in a very few cases.