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ArcMap allows you to edit data from feature services by creating a local copy of data from a feature service. You can then make edits to the local copy in ArcMap and synchronize the edits back to the service. Edits can be made to the local copy without having to be connected to the server. Access to the server is only required when creating the local copy or applying changes from the local copy to the server. This workflow can be useful when your organization has disconnected employees and provides a common method for editing the same data using multiple clients, such as through the web or using desktop applications. The functionality is built into ArcMap and does not require any customizations.
By default, the data is copied to a new file geodatabase that is created for you automatically. For ArcGIS Server-based feature services, you can optionally choose to store the data in an existing enterprise geodatabase. If you plan on making many updates to the data, consider using enterprise since it allows you to make edits and synchronize multiple times.
Making a local copy of a service
To create a local copy, first add a feature service to your map. This will create a group layer containing feature layers that reference the layers of your service. Layer properties, including the symbology and feature templates from the service layers, are preserved in the new layers. Then, pan and zoom to the area you want to edit. The extent of the map defines the data that will be in the local copy. To create the local copy, ensure the table of contents is in List By Drawing Order mode, right-click the group layer, point to Edit Features, then click Create Local Copy for Editing. If the service is not editable, the command will be disabled.
Once the local copy is made, the data source of each layer in the group layer is changed to point to the local copy. You can now make edits to the data in the new layers. If you plan to make edits over several ArcMap sessions, save the map document to make it easier to work with the local layers again.
Keep in mind that once a local copy is created, you cannot later expand the area that it covers. If you find that you need to edit a different area or a larger area, pan and zoom to the area in the service and create another local copy. You can have multiple local copies on the same machine.
Synchronizing the local edits with the server
When you are finished editing the local layers, you can synchronize the edits with the server. To do this, right-click the group layer containing the local layers, point to Edit Features, and click Synchronize Local Edits with Server. You can only synchronize edits one time if a file geodatabase is being used to store the local data. If you want to apply more edits in the future, you need to create a new local copy. Once edits from a file geodatabase are synchronized with the service, the data sources for the layers will be changed to reference the service. However, if you use an enterprise geodatabase to store the local copy of the data, you can perform multiple synchronizations. In addition, when an enterprise geodatabase is used, the synchronization process applies the latest changes from the service back to the local copy and the layers still reference the local copy. Note that if the data in the service is from a nonversioned enterprise geodatabase, you will not be able to store the local copy in ArcGIS Enterprise. If you attempt this, an error stating that you cannot replicate nonversioned data will be displayed when you run Create Local Copy for Editing. To run the command successfully, do not set ArcGIS Enterprise as the target geodatabase. See Setting options for editing server layers locally for steps on how to do this.
When you no longer need to synchronize edits, you should disconnect the local copy from the server to clean up metadata on the client and server. The metadata cleanup process is important in that it aids server maintenance. If a file geodatabase is used to store the data locally, synchronizing also cleans up the metadata.