Web services are often created by publishing or sharing a GIS resource from a desktop application to ArcGIS Enterprise. Esri offers ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap desktop applications, both of which allow you to create GIS content and share it to ArcGIS Enterprise.
In ArcGIS Pro, there are two fundamental sharing models. The first shares web content to an active portal, which can be an ArcGIS Enterprise portal or ArcGIS Online. The second model publishes services directly to a stand-alone ArcGIS Server site (one not federated with a portal).
When you have registered an Active Portal with ArcGIS Pro, you can share many types of content to it: web layers, web maps, web scenes, and various packages. As part of sharing each of these content types, one or more services are published to an ArcGIS Serversite federated with the portal. Sharing is an enriched form of publishing, because additional information is sent to the active portal. For example, when you share a web layer, symbology, pop-up information, and access permissions are packaged and preserved in a new portal layer item, rather than at the service level. This allows you to create multiple layer items that reference the same service.
If you are working with an ArcGIS Server site that's not federated with a portal, you can register the server with ArcGIS Pro and directly publish services to sites running ArcGIS Server 10.6 and later. You can publish map services, geocode services, and image services in this way. You can also add services from the stand-alone server site into ArcGIS Pro using a server connection.
Types of web layers
When your ArcGIS Server site is federated with an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, you can share the following types of web layers to the portal. Each web layer exposes a service that's published to the ArcGIS Server site.
Supports feature querying, visualization, and editing. Feature layers are appropriate for visualizing vector data on top of your basemaps. When sharing a feature layer to ArcGIS Enterprise with the Copy all data data option, the service will always be published to your hosting server. When sharing a feature layer to ArcGIS Enterprise with the Reference registered data data option, it's shared as a dependent layer to a map image layer.
A feature layer exposes a feature service.
Supports fast map visualization using a collection of predrawn map images or tiles. These tiles are created and stored on the server after you upload your data. Web tile layers are appropriate for basemaps. When sharing a tile layer to ArcGIS Enterprise, the service will always be published to your hosting server.
A tile layer exposes a hosted, cached map service.
Supports fast map visualization using a collection of predrawn vector tiles. Although these tiles do not support raster data, they can adapt to the resolution of their display device and be restyled for multiple uses. When sharing a vector tile layer to ArcGIS Enterprise, the service will always be published to your hosting server.
A vector tile layer exposes a vector tile service.
Supports map visualization and feature querying. Map image layers can be drawn dynamically by the server or from tiles. Map image layers can only be shared to ArcGIS Enterprise. Map image layers can reference datasets in workspaces that have been registered with your federated server. When sharing a map image layer, the service can be published to any server that has been federated with the portal to which you have access. Additional layers and capabilities can be enabled; for more information, see Additional layers and capabilities.
A map image layer exposes a dynamic or cached map service.
Supports querying and visualization of point, 3D object, building, and point cloud data. When sharing a scene layer to ArcGIS Enterprise, the scene service will always be published to your hosting server.
Point and 3D object scene layers can have an associated feature service that allows you to edit the scene layer.
Supports visualization, metadata, mensuration, and image processing to display data as a basemap or the results of analysis. Imagery layers can be shared to any server federated with ArcGIS Enterprise.
An imagery layer exposes a dynamic or cached image service.
Supports visualization, metadata, mensuration, and image processing of elevation data sources in the ground surface of a scene. The elevation layer is used in web scenes to display 3D content on a custom elevation surface. When sharing an elevation layer to ArcGIS Enterprise that is cached locally, the service will always be published to your hosting server. When cached on the server, the service can be published to any server federated with ArcGIS Enterprise.
An elevation layer exposes a cached image service that uses a LERC compression tiling scheme.
Supports viewing, filtering, and editing of table attributes.
A stand-alone table exposes a feature service.
Publishing to stand-alone server sites
You can connect to stand-alone server sites (those that aren't federated with a portal) with ArcGIS Pro. Using this publisher or administrator connection, you can publish map services, geocode services, and image services directly to ArcGIS Server sites at 10.6 and later. Any service you publish to a stand-alone server site will be made available through a service URL, or REST endpoint. Client applications can use that URL to access the service and other capabilities that you enable during the publishing process.
Map services allow others to view and interact with GIS content on the web. Map services support visualization and querying, and can be drawn either dynamically from the source data or by using tiles from a cache. Many capabilities can be configured for the service before publishing.
If you need to update the map service you've published, you can overwrite the service from ArcGIS Pro.
Geocode services provide geocoding capabilities on the web. They support various operations such as finding addresses or places, geocoding tables of addresses or places, finding information about a location with reverse geocoding, and providing interactive autocomplete suggestions. By publishing a locator to a stand-alone ArcGIS Server site, geocoding capabilities are available to anyone with access to the server site.
Prior to publishing, there are several capabilities and parameters you can configure for your geocode service.
Once you have created a publisher or administrator connection from ArcGIS Pro to a stand-alone server site, you can publish a geocode service to the server site. You can also use the CreateGeocodeSDDraft function in ArcPy to create a service definition file that can be published.
If you need to update the geocode service you've published, you can overwrite the service from ArcGIS Pro.
Image services provide access to raster and image data through a web service. By default, image services are always published with image service capabilities, and you can optionally configure the WMS and WCS capabilities. Users can then connect to these services as they would any other published ArcGIS Server service.
Using a publisher or administrator connection to a stand-alone server site, you can publish an image service from ArcGIS Pro.