About registering your data with the server

As a server administrator, you have the option to register your data folders, databases, and geodatabases with ArcGIS Server. Data registration gives the server a list of locations that the server administrator has verified that the GIS server can access. Data registration also helps the GIS server understand how to adjust data paths when publishing across machines.

Suppose you're a server administrator and you have a department of GIS analysts that will be publishing services to your server from different machines. Using the system tools in ArcGIS for Desktop, you could register a set of approved folders and databases with the server and communicate these directories to your analysts. By using this method, you can decrease the number of incidents where your analysts encounter permissions problems and be unable to publish to the server.

Data sources you can register with the server

You can register any of the following with ArcGIS:

You can register any enterprise database compatible with ArcGIS by referencing the database connection file (the .sde file). Databases can contain enterprise geodatabases, and both are accessed through database connection files, so the terms enterprise geodatabase and database are used interchangeably in this topic, unless otherwise specified.

You can also register local and shared operating system folders with the server. These might contain shapefiles, file geodatabases, and other GIS resources. When you register a folder, its subfolders are also registered.

NoteNote:

If your data locations change, you should update your registered data locations using ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS Server Manager.

Before registering data with the server

Registering your databases and data folders does not grant the ArcGIS Server account permissions to access your data. Before registering your data, you'll need to ensure that the ArcGIS Server account has at least read permissions to the data. To learn more about this process, see Making your data accessible to ArcGIS Server.

Installing client software for your database

Before registering a database with ArcGIS Server, you need to ensure that the 64-bit version of the database's client software is installed on each GIS server in your site. For example, if you plan to register a SQL Server database, you must install SQL Server Native Client on each GIS server in your site.

Once you have installed the client software, restart the ArcGIS Server service.

The following links describe the client software needed for each database:

Scenarios for registering your data with ArcGIS Server

Before registering your data, examine the following scenarios and consider how your workflows relate:

If the publisher's machine and the server are working with the same database

If the publisher's machine and the server are working with the same database, import the publisher's database connection and set the server's database connection to Same as publisher's connection when registering your data.

Publisher's machine and ArcGIS Server viewing and accessing data residing in the same geodatabase

When to use this scenario

Use this scenario if you want to avoid having a copy of the data placed on the server. For example, suppose you want to publish a map service to ArcGIS Server using data from an on-premises enterprise geodatabase. To avoid having a copy of the data referenced by your map document placed on the server, import the publisher's database connection and set the server's database connection to Same as publisher's connection. After you publish, the map document continues to reference the data stored in your enterprise geodatabase.

When not to use this scenario

  • If your data resides in a file geodatabase or file directory. Instead, use the next scenario.
  • If you want to maintain a separate copy of the data in your enterprise geodatabase for web use.

If the publisher's machine and the server are working out of the same folder

If the publisher's machine and the server are working out of the same folder, specify the publisher's folder path and set the server's folder path to Same as publisher's path when registering your data. This scenario is just like the previous one, except it uses folders, not geodatabases.

Publisher's machine and ArcGIS Server viewing and accessing data contained within the same folder

When to use this scenario

Use this scenario if you want to avoid having a copy of the data placed on the server. For example, suppose you want to publish a geoprocessing service to ArcGIS Server using data from a network directory. To avoid having a copy of the geoprocessing service's data placed on the server, specify the publisher's folder path and set the server's folder path to Same as publisher's path. After you publish, the geoprocessing service continues to reference the geoprocessing model, inputs, outputs, scripts, and project data stored in your network directory.

This scenario is also beneficial if you have a Linux-based ArcGIS Server site that manages all of your data and you've set up Samba to allow file sharing between Windows and Linux. For example, if you want to publish a map document that references the data on your Linux machine, register the Samba directory (\\net\data) as the publisher's folder and register the Linux directory (/net/data) as the server's folder. When you publish, the map document is automatically modified to reference the directory on the Linux machine.

When not to use this scenario

  • If your data resides in an database. Instead, use the preceding scenario.
  • If you want to publish feature or WFS-T services.

If the publisher's machine and the server are working with different databases

Because of firewalls, differences between computing platforms, or the desire to keep a separate copy of the data for web use, the publisher and the server may each be working with different databases. To register your data using this scenario, you'll need to import both the connection to the publisher's database and the connection to the server's database.

Publisher's machine and ArcGIS Server using their own distinct geodatabases

When to use this scenario

Use this scenario if you want to maintain a separate copy of the data in your on-premises enterprise geodatabase for web use. In this case, you're responsible for making sure a copy of the data in your publisher's geodatabase exists in the server's geodatabase. This scenario can only be used with enterprise geodatabases; not databases.

One way to get your data into the server's enterprise geodatabase is to check Create geodata service for server database when registering your enterprise geodatabases. Selecting this option automatically creates a geodata service that you can use to manually send a replica of the data in the publisher's geodatabase to the server's geodatabase.

You can also use the geodata service to synchronize the enterprise geodatabases, thereby ensuring that any subsequent changes made to the publisher's database are reflected in the server's database. This is particularly advantageous in cloud deployments, such as ArcGIS Server on Amazon Web Services, as it does not require someone to log in to the cloud machine and arrange for the data transfer.

This scenario is also well suited for publishing feature services to on-premises or cloud servers. For example, if you publish a feature service using this scenario, edits made on-premises could be pushed to the server's geodatabase, thereby becoming available to end users of your feature service. Conversely, if web editors change any features in the server's geodatabase, the edits can be synchronized with the publisher's geodatabase.

When not to use this scenario

  • If your data resides in a file geodatabase or file directory. Instead, use the next scenario.
  • If your data resides in a database. Instead use the first scenario.
  • If you do not want to maintain a separate copy of your geodatabase on the server.

If the publisher's machine and the server are working out of different folders

Because of firewalls, differences between computing platforms, or the desire to keep a separate copy of the data for web use, the publisher and the server may each be working with their own data folder. To register your data using this scenario, you'll need to enter the path to both the publisher's folder and the server's folder.

Publisher's machine and ArcGIS Server using their own distinct data directories

When to use this scenario

This scenario is useful for Linux deployments, cloud deployments, or any deployment where you want publishers and web users to work with separate copies of the data.

For example, if you want to publish a map service from ArcGIS for Desktop to a Linux-based ArcGIS Server site, you could create an identical copy of your map document's data and place the data on the Linux-based server. After you register both directories with the server and publish, the map document is automatically modified to reference the folder on the Linux-based server.

This scenario is beneficial if you are publishing to a cloud-based server such as ArcGIS Server on Amazon Web Services. For example, you can copy your on-premises data and place it in any directory you want to in the cloud. When you publish, the data paths are automatically modified to reference the directory on the cloud server. The disadvantage of this approach is that it requires someone to log in to the cloud machine and arrange for the data transfer to the cloud (which could be performed through FTP, remote desktop copy and paste, and so on).

When not to use this scenario

  • If your data resides in an enterprise geodatabase. Instead, use the preceding scenario.
  • If your data resides in a database. Instead, use the first scenario.
  • If you do not want to maintain a separate copy of your data on the server.

How to register your data with the server

You can register your data folders and enterprise databases with the server using ArcGIS Server Manager or ArcGIS for Desktop. For full instructions, see the following:

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9/15/2014