ArcGIS Pro

Sharing Workflows from a Mobile Geodatabase

Data sharing promotes connectivity and collaboration among coworkers, departments, and organizations. At ArcGIS Pro 3.0 we’ve enhanced the data sharing capabilities from a mobile geodatabase to support a variety of workflows and business requirements. The ArcGIS Pro 3.0 release comes with lot of usability enhancements for mobile geodatabase users, which we covered in the Mobile Geodatabase Enhancements in ArcGIS Pro 3.0 blog article.

The goal of this blog is to talk in more depth about the different types of sharing capabilities supported from a mobile geodatabase, what data requirements you have to meet depending on the sharing option that you choose, and what type of web layers are supported.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

Data sharing options from a mobile geodatabase
Data sharing options from a mobile geodatabase

In general, when you share a web layer, a service is published and exposed through that web layer. Depending on the layer type and active portal, there are two main sharing methods supported in ArcGIS Pro; by reference and hosted. If you share your data to an ArcGIS Enterprise portal by referencing registered data, an ArcGIS Server service is published. If you share your data to ArcGIS Enterprise portal by copying all data to the hosting server, or if you share to an ArcGIS Online portal, a hosted service is published. Let’s go over these sharing methods from a mobile geodatabase perspective.

Note: To share data from a mobile geodatabase to ArcGIS Enterprise portal, you need to have a minimum version of ArcGIS Pro 3.0 and ArcGIS Enterprise 11.

 

Sharing a web layer that references registered data to ArcGIS Enterprise portal

 

When choosing this option, the web layer will reference the data from the mobile geodatabase stored in a folder that you registered with your federated server. This sharing option allows any edits made to the mobile geodatabase data to be dynamically displayed in the resulting web layer.

Requirements to share content from ArcGIS Pro:

Types of layers that can be shared by refencing registered data:  

Output:

Why would you share data by reference from a mobile geodatabase?

If you are working on an ongoing project where the data stored in a mobile geodatabase is dynamically changing and you want to have the most current state of the data available at the ArcGIS Enterprise organization level, you will find the option to share data by reference advantageous. Let’s look at the example below.

The city of Sydney is promoting a go green lifestyle for its residents. The DOT department is actively building new bike parking areas across the city and their sole GIS Specialist is tasked to map the newly created parking areas. Because of that, there is no need for a multiuser editing environment, so having the Bike Parking feature class stored in a mobile geodatabase fits right in. However, the GIS Specialist needs to make the data accessible to the entire DOT department for review.

In this scenario, the best option is to share data by reference. As edits are continuously made by the GIS Specialist directly to the mobile geodatabase, this sharing option will ensure the edits will immediately become available to the web layer. Because the DOT department representatives will only be reviewing and not editing the data, the resulting read-only web layer ensures that no edits can be made.

Sharing the Sydney Bicycle Parking feature class by reference as a map image layer.
Sharing the Sydney Bicycle Parking feature class by reference as a map image layer.

NOTE

When sharing data stored in a file geodatabase or mobile geodatabase by reference, we strongly recommend storing your file or mobile geodatabase on the local server machine.

If your business or project needs requires storing your file or mobile geodatabase on a network share, we recommend the following:

By following these steps, you will improve editing performance and avoid potential data corruption in a single user editing workspace environment.

Check out this resource to learn more about the techniques and considerations for aggregating live data.

 

Sharing a hosted web layer to ArcGIS Enterprise or to ArcGIS Online portal

 

When sharing your data as a hosted web layer, you can choose between sharing to ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online portal. If you choose to share data from a mobile geodatabase to ArcGIS Enterprise, but you don’t want the layer to reference your source data, then you will go with the Copy all data sharing option. Your data will be copied to the server and the resulting hosted web layer with become a standalone copy of the original data.

If your organization doesn’t have its own ArcGIS Server site (ArcGIS Enterprise portal), then you can choose to host your mobile geodatabase data in an ArcGIS Online portal, by sharing it as a hosted web layer.

Requirements to share content from ArcGIS Pro:

Types of layers that can be shared by copying all data to ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online: 

Output:

Note: If syncing capabilities or multiuser editing are needed you will have to migrate your underlying data from a mobile geodatabase to an enterprise geodatabase and enable versioning capabilities.

Why would you share data as a hosted web layer from a mobile geodatabase?

Continuing the above scenario, the DOT department has reached its goal and completed the mission to build bike parking areas in Sydney. Because of its success, the Parks & Recreation group wants to continue the work by adding scooter rental areas alongside the bike parking ones.

As sharing a web layer by reference allows for read access only, the DOT GIS Specialist will share the bike parking feature class stored in the mobile geodatabase, as a hosted feature layer with editing capabilities enabled. Because the DOT department has its own ArcGIS Enterprise portal and the Parks & Recreation group is part of the department, the GIS Specialist can share the bike parking data as a hosted feature layer. This will ensure the Parks & Recreation group can edit the hosted feature layer and add the scooter rental areas.

Sharing the Sydney Bicycle Parking feature class as a hosted feature layer.
Sharing the Sydney Bicycle Parking feature class as a hosted feature layer.

Sharing as package

 

A package is a compressed file containing GIS data. You share a package in the same way as any other file – via email, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), the cloud, thumb drives, and so on. You can share it between colleagues in a workgroup, between departments in an organization, or with other users via ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online.

Prior to this release, when sharing data stored in a mobile geodatabase as a project package or map package, the resultant package converts the mobile geodatabase to a file geodatabase format.

With the ArcGIS Pro 3.0 release, we’ve added the capability to preserve the mobile geodatabase format when sharing as a project package or map package from ArcGIS Pro.

Note: Currently, the option to Preserve mobile geodatabase is available only to the Package Project and Package Map geoprocessing tools.

Output:

Why would you share data as a package from a mobile geodatabase?

The GIS Specialist working for the DOT department has received an inquiry via email from a contractor working for the City of Sydney. The contractor is interested in finding out what bike parking areas are located within 2 blocks of the stadium, pubs, and other recreation areas. They have requested access to the original data together with the results of the geospatial analysis.

After adding the recreational locations and performing a select by location analysis, the GIS Specialist stored the results in a different map within the same Pro project and shared it as a project package with the save to file option checked. Then added it as an attachment in his email to the contractor.

By choosing to share the bike data and the analysis as a project package, the GIS Specialist was able to include the complete project along with the maps, the reference data, and the folder connections. Because the contractor is not a member of the DOT department, the GIS Specialist was able to share the resultant file as an attachment file via email.

Sharing the Sydney Metro data stored in a mobile geodatabase as a project package and map package, with the option to preserve the mobile geodatabase enabled.
Sharing the Sydney Metro data stored in a mobile geodatabase as a project package and map package, with the option to preserve the mobile geodatabase enabled.

With each software release we are enhancing the mobile geodatabase to better support workflows that help you achieve your business goals. We hope you find these types of usability enhancements useful, and we look forward to seeing how you include them in your workflows.

 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

About the author

Product Engineer in the Geodatabase team, passionate about making a difference in people's lives using GIS. Hiker and a true Éclair and Crêpe lover in her free time.

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