Credits are the currency used across ArcGIS Online. They are consumed during specific transactions, such as performing analytics and storing features. ArcGIS Online and any ArcGIS product that interacts with ArcGIS Online, such as ArcGIS Pro, Insights for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Business Analyst, ArcGIS Enterprise, and Survey123 for ArcGIS, can use credits.
There are many ways ArcGIS Online users and administrators can maintain their credit budgets. Regardless of the ArcGIS product you are using, credits are managed through ArcGIS Online. This blog article will show you best practices for managing your credits. We will also share answers to questions users asked during our recent User Conference Spotlight Talk.
Tips for administrators
1. Turn on credit budgeting
Administrators can allocate credits to users by turning on credit budgeting. Turning this on:
- Enables administrators to assign a specific quantity of credits to each user. Credit budgets can be assigned individually, through groups or roles, or during the invitation process.
- Allows members to see their available credits on their profile page.
- Gives members the flexibility to use credits any way they choose.
- Creates an additional column of information within the Members tab that shows administrators how many credits each member has remaining.
- Helps members avoid mistakes by preventing transactions that would consume a large number of credits.
Turn on credit budgeting by following this path: Organization: Settings > Credits > Enable credit budgeting tools.
2. Create custom member roles with privileges
When administrators know which tools members need, they can create and assign custom member roles with privileges to limit access to credit consuming tools.
Within the privilege settings, the “Premium Content” section defines the access each member role has to credit consuming tools and content including:
- Network Analysis
- Spatial Analysis
Within the “Content” section, the administrator can control access to feature storage by preventing or enabling users to:
- Create, update, and delete
- Publish hosted feature layers
- Publish hosted tile layers
- Publish hosted scene layers
Create custom roles by following this path: Organization > Settings > Member Role
3. Monitor organizational usage
Administrators can monitor their members credit usage through tools on the Organization page Overview and Status tabs that enable them to:
- See a summary of their organization’s credit usage (Overview tab).
- Drill into charts that show credit usage over time and usage by type (Status tab).
- Access the Feature Storage Report for a detailed list of each feature layer, its size, who owns it, when it was created, and when it was last modified (Status tab).
- Download a CSV of credit usage (Status tab).
Administrators will also receive an email notification when a member has consumed all her credits (when credit budgeting is enabled), when the organization has consumed 75% or more of its credits, and when the organization has consumed all its credits. Additional service credits are sold in blocks of 1,000 and can be purchased any time through the Esri Store.
Tips for everyone
1. Monitor your usage
Visit your profile page to see the number of credits available to you. (If you don’t see this information, ask your administrator to enable it within the credits settings.)
2. Know how many credits the transaction requires
Before running an analysis tool in ArcGIS Online, you can use the credit estimator to calculate the expected number of credits you will use in the transaction. Click “show credits” above the “run analysis” button to run the credit estimator.
Feature storage is the only credit consuming service that cannot be calculated with the credit estimator. Storage is calculated for the organization, not individual members, and is charged hourly. If you are worried about a storing a large or complex item, upload the item and check it in an hour using the Feature Storage Report. (You must be an administrator to access this report). If the item is consuming too many credits, you can modify or delete it.
3. Understand what consumes—and doesn’t consume—credits
Know what capabilities consume credits and at what rate. This informative table includes a list of credit consuming capabilities, the rate of consumption, as well as examples of where the capability is used.
Questions & Answers from a User Conference Spotlight Talk
Q: Why does ArcGIS use credits? They make us uncomfortable.
A: Different organizations use credits for different things. Polling the audience during our spotlight talk, we found that some organizations use their credits geocoding, others storing features, while others were running analysis. The use cases for ArcGIS are incredibly diverse, and we only want to charge our users for the portion of ArcGIS they use. Credits enable us to do that.
Q: When does geocoding consume credits?
A: Searching for addresses does not consume credits. Credits are only consumed when geocoded points are saved, for example, when you drag and drop a CSV of addresses into a web map and geocode them into points.
Q: Do field collection apps consume credits?
A: When data is collected in the field, it is added to a feature layer. Storing the features consumes credits. The size and complexity of the feature layer will determine how many credits are consumed storing it.
Q: Does storing media files in ArcGIS Online consume a lot of credits?
A: You can store photos, PDFs, and videos as items or with features as attachments. In both scenarios, the media files will be charged as file storage which is more economical than feature storage.
Q: If I geocode a set of addresses and then geocode that same set of addresses plus a few new ones, will I be charged credits for the addresses I already geocoded?
A: Yes. Every address will be geocoded. The best way to update your data and avoid duplicate geocoding is to use an append workflow.
Q: What happens when a user does not have enough credits for a specific transaction?
A: When a member submits a transaction in Map Viewer that exceeds her budget, she will receive an error message informing her that she does not have enough credits to perform the operation. The transaction will not start if there are not enough credits. She can ask her administrator for additional credits for the transaction.
A: When using the REST API, the transaction will consume credits until the budget runs out. Then the operation will stop. Make sure you have enough credits when using the REST API or add a credit budget check in your app so you do not waste credits in a partial transaction.