A mobile data service allows a mobile application to gain access to the contents of a map document through a Web service. To create a mobile data service, you first need to create a map document containing the data you wish to be accessible. Then, publish the map document with the Mobile Data Access capability enabled.
ArcMap provides a full range of tools for you to author a map document with desirable layers rendered appropriately to serve your specific purpose. However, mobile web services are designed to be consumed by mobile applications running in hand-held devices such as Pocket PC, tablet PC, Smartphone, etc., which have hardware limitations in display, memory, and processing power. As a result, there are guidelines that you may want to follow in order to make the map document suitable for mobile applications. A general principle for creating map document is to "make it simple". For example, you should consider data generalization, such as polygon smoothing and reduced raster resolution, for background or reference layers. This will allow your maps to draw faster. Also, it's recommended to simplify the map symbology since the display sizes of the devices are normally limited.
Although a wide variety of data formats are supported for display purpose in your mobile applications, only ArcSDE data will give your mobile applications the ability to post updates back to the server.
For more information about preparing the map document for mobile data access, see the Developer Help topic "Preparing Data and Maps" in the section "Developing Mobile Applications using the Mobile ADF".
Creating a map service for mobile applications is no different from creating any other map services in ArcGIS except you need to enable the Mobile Data Access capability.
To publish the map document as a mobile data service, follow the steps in Publishing a GIS resource to the server, keeping in mind the following:
For more information on configuring advanced properties for the service see Tuning and Configuring Services.
Mobile data services are consumed from applications created with the Mobile Application Developer Framework (Mobile ADF). Specifically, the URL of the service needs to be assigned to the URL property of the ServerConnection object in your application.
The URL of a mobile data service takes the following format:
http://<servername>/<instancename>/services/<foldername (if applicable)>/<servicename>/<servicetype>/<capabilitytype>
For example, if you publish a mobile web service "LandUse" under a folder named "CityFolder" (which is optional) in your ArcGIS server "myServer" running an instance called "arcgis", the URL for mobile applications would be:
You can connect to and preview this mobile web service in ArcCatalog, or preview the XML file returned from this server by typing the following URL in the web browser:
In a typical scenario, you create a map document and publish it in ArcGIS server as a mobile data service. The service URL is then used by your mobile application to connect to and retrieve data from ArcGIS Server. You can then use the hand-held device running this mobile application in field work, either in connected mode or disconnected mode. Both modes allow you to retrieve and update spatial and attribute information in your local cache. These updates will be posted back to server inventory when the field work is completed.
For more information about consuming mobile data services and building mobile applications, see the "Developing Mobile Applications using the Mobile ADF" section of the Developer Help.