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Frequently Asked Questions


No. Esri Geoportal Server is a stand-alone product that does not require ArcGIS Enterprise to use. It consumes a set of Web services that may be provided from ArcGIS Online, an accessible ArcGIS Server, WMS service or OpenStreetMap basemap.

The Esri Geoportal Server runs independently from other Esri software. We do perform comprehensive testing to ensure that the geoportal can sync successfully with new versions of ArcGIS Enterprise services. Older Geoportal implementations can be configured to support newer versions of ArcGIS. We also test the Geoportal add-ons, such as the CSW clients and the Publish client, to ensure compatibility with the latest version of ArcGIS for Desktop. Please contact if you have more specific questions about the compatibility between your Geoportal and ArcGIS implementations.

Metadata is the fuel that powers the geoportal. You publish your content to the geoportal by registering the content's metadata with the geoportal's catalog service. If your content does not currently have metadata, the Geoportal Server includes tools to help you create and register metadata.

For your existing metadata, the Geoportal Server provides several options for publishing content:

  • Upload individual resource metadata documents using the geoportal's Web interface.
  • Expose your metadata through an Esri metadata service, Web-accessible folder, open Archive Initiative service, CSW catalog for synchronization, or THREDDS Data Server.
  • Copy and paste the resource's Web endpoint, such as various Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) services, REST URLs, OpenSearch description XML, or metadata XML URL, for server-side synchronization with the geoportal.
  • Use the Publish Client for ArcCatalog to upload your metadata to the geoportal.

For further details on these options, please see How to Publish Resources in the Geoportal Server Web help.

The Esri Geoportal Server catalog is exposed via a CSW service and as an OpenSearch endpoint. It is also accessible through a the Geoportal REST API, which provides GeoRSS, KML, HTML, or JSON responses. See the Geoportal Server as a Broker help document for different service protocols supported by the Esri Geoportal Server.

Open Source

From the beginning, customers have been able to access the geoportal's source code to create custom geoportal Web sites that match their organization's Web identity. Releasing the Geoportal Server as a free open source product follows its natural evolution.

The benefits of the open source Geoportal Server includes.

  • Improved Integration—The Geoportal Server is highly configurable and customizable for integration with authentication systems, metadata profile support, discovery indexing, localization, skin development, and more. Access to the source code makes it easier to integrate the geoportal with other systems, such as content management systems, map viewers, desktop programs, and more.
  • Improved Collaboration—Geoportals make it easier to share and discover geoportal resources. By releasing the source code, it is easier to develop geoportals that connect and share with other geoportals, such as ones across political boundaries.
  • Meet Government or Organization Requirements—There is a strong and growing trend toward using open source technologies. Governments and organizations are issuing regulations where open source is either preferred or required. By releasing the Geoportal Server under the Apache 2.0 license, it is easier to meet these requirements.

Yes! Esri Geoportal Server is released under the Apache 2.0 license. You can freely use, modify, and redistribute the Esri Geoportal Server under the Apache license or any other license of your choosing (except for GPL and some other licenses).

Please visit for full details about using, customizing, and distributing software released under the Apache 2.0 license.

Yes! Esri is using GitHub as the center of the Esri Geoportal Server community. Here is where you will find the Geoportal Server application, the source code, and documentation. You can communicate with other Geoportal Server users and developers in the forums, where you can find other users' enhancements to the source code and work together to solve problems. We welcome you to join the project and contribute your improvements and additions to the Esri Geoportal Server source code and documentation.

CSW Clients for ArcGIS

You can search for resources of any type. What you can do with a found resource depends on its type. For example, a WMS service can be added to ArcMap, but a ZIP file containing spatial data will have to be downloaded and extracted before it can be used in ArcMap.

Using the CSW Client for ArcGIS for Desktop or the CSW Client for ArcGIS Explorer, you can connect to catalog services that support the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), CORE and ebRIM Application Profiles of the OGC CSW 2.0.1 and 2.0.2 specifications.

The CSW clients for ArcGIS are designed to support other versions or different application profiles of the OGC CSW specification. For instructions on how to add another application profile, please see How to Author and Add a New Profile section in CSW Clients for ArcGIS in the Geoportal Server Web help. If you have a catalog service that is not yet supported in the CSW clients, please let us know by sending an e-mail with the service's GetCapabilities URL to

Updates to the CSW clients for ArcGIS will be made available.

No. If you have both components of the CSW clients installed, they will share the catalog services you have configured with each.


Publish Client

The Publish Client traverses the folder you have selected in the ArcCatalog window and attempts to publish any metadata documents with the file extension .xml to the geoportal you specified. The geoportal uses its validation rules to determine whether the metadata should be published or not. The metadata is validated against the rules defined by the metadata standards supported in the geoportal.

You can find the results of your publish sessions in two ways:

  • Look in the publishMetadata.log log file.
  • Look in the geoportal by logging in and clicking the Administration tab.

You can also search the available metadata records by publication method. If you are using the ArcGIS 9.3.x version of the Publish Client, then search for records where the publication method is set to Batch. If you are using the ArcGIS 10.x version of the Publish Client, then search for records where the publication method is set to upload. The records that passed validation and were published are shown in the table, with a status of Posted and a method of Batch or Upload.

Yes, the Publish Client is forward and backward compatible. However, your version of the Publish Client must match your version of ArcGIS for Desktop.

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