Last Friday afternoon, my coworker Kelly offered to give me a ride home since my car was in the shop. I told Kelly that I needed a few more minutes to check out my ArcGIS Pro license because I was planning to do some work from home over the weekend. Puzzled, Kelly looked at me and said, Why? Don’t you have internet at home?
If you’re like me, your first instinct is to want to take ArcGIS Pro offline anytime you need to use it while you’re away from the office. After all, this is what you do when you want to use ArcMap in the field or when you’re not in the office.
However, the ArcGIS Pro licensing model is different from that of ArcMap. With ArcGIS Pro, the license is assigned to you as a named user and that identity travels with you. Therefore the only time it makes complete sense to take ArcGIS Pro offline is when you are going to have unreliable or no access to the internet.
Otherwise, keep your ArcGIS Pro license online, and reap these benefits anywhere you have internet access:
- Uninterrupted access to web GIS (data, maps, apps, services) and the entire ArcGIS platform. No need to fret over whether or not you remembered to download everything you need onto your laptop. Your projects, data, and workflows will be at your fingertips and you can pick your work up where you left off.
- Lighten your load and keep your work computer in the office. As long as you have ArcGIS Pro installed on the computer that you want to use while you’re away from the office, you can simply log in to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS and continue your work (the same user can log in concurrently from up to 3 machines).
- Install ArcGIS Pro updates when they become available. When your ArcGIS Pro license is offline, you won’t be able to install the latest updates until you get back online.
If taking ArcGIS Pro offline is necessary for your work, remember that you will only be able to launch ArcGIS Pro from the machine you used to take the license offline. In other words, you (the same user) cannot launch another instance of ArcGIS Pro on a different machine.
You can check an ArcGIS Pro license back in from anywhere you have internet access (your home, your favorite coffee shop, etc.). However, you will need to check an ArcGIS Pro license back in from the same machine you used to take it offline.
To help you (and your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS administrator) easily identify which machine was used to check ArcGIS Pro offline, consider using an alias for your machines (e.g., Sam’s work laptop, Sam’s home computer, Sam’s work desktop). This will also help you communicate with Esri Customer Service in case you need help restoring a lost license, which can happen if a machine crashes or is lost or stolen.
So remember, in most cases it is more beneficial for you and your organization to keep your ArcGIS Pro license online. If you decide you need to use ArcGIS Pro in a disconnected environment, you can check out the ArcGIS Pro documentation for more information.