Map authoring considerations for ArcGIS Server

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To make a map available on the server, you need to author the map in ArcMap, publish it to ArcGIS Server, then use the resulting map service. Many of the things you can do with ArcGIS Server require some preparation in the initial authoring phase. This topic includes questions you can consider when making a map that you plan on publishing to ArcGIS Server.

General tips

The following tips are important for all map documents that will be published to ArcGIS Server.

Can you cache the map for performance?

If your map contains data that is unlikely to change you should consider caching your map for performance. When you cache your map, you create a set of prerendered map images at certain scale levels. The actual caching happens after you've published your map as a service. However, if you know that you're going to cache the map, this influences the map authoring process. You want to author the map so that it looks good at all the scales you are going to cache. You can use any cartographic tools without an effect on performance, because the cached tiles are just pictures of the data; the actual rendering and labeling engines are not used after you create the cache.

If you cannot cache your map, the rendering and labeling engines will affect the performance of the map service.

Learn more about map caching.

Performance tips for non-cached maps

You should create a map cache whenever it's appropriate. However, if you have large amounts of data that are frequently changing, it may not be feasible for you to create and maintain a map cache. If this is the case, you can use the tips below to improve the performance of your map. Analyzing your map with the Map Service Publishing toolbar can help you quickly identify some of these areas for improvement in your own map document.

Are you going to use this map with the Editor task?

If you're going to use this map inside a Web editing application, there are some things you can do during the map authoring process to influence how the task looks and performs.

Most important, the editable layers in the map must come from an ArcSDE geodatabase to be used with the Editor task. For small deployments, this can be ArcSDE that uses Microsoft SQL Server Express, or for larger deployments, it can be ArcSDE with an enterprise RDBMS, such as Oracle. Other layers in your map that will not be edited do not have to come from an ArcSDE geodatabase.

Use symbols based on unique values if you want the user of the Editor task to quickly choose the feature type to create. The symbols from the unique value renderer are reflected on the Editor task buttons.

The above image shows what the Editor task looks like when the Buildings layer of the map has a unique value renderer applied. The renderer was based on a building type field. The task exposes buttons for creating each type of building. For example, clicking the green button allows the user to create a residential building.

Another way to help users of your Editor task is to configure your datasets to use attribute domains. When you use a domain on a field, the user of the task can fill in the value using a drop-down list instead of typing the value. These drop-down lists are helpful for quickly filling in attributes and avoiding data entry errors. The image below shows a drop-down list that appears in the Editor task when a domain is used for the Street Class field.

Are you going to use this map with the Geoprocessing task?

If you're doing geoprocessing in a Web application, you have the choice to designate an associated map service that determines the symbology of the task inputs and outputs. This requires that you select your model in ArcToolbox and drag it to the ArcMap table of contents, where it becomes a tool layer. You can set the input and output symbols of the tool layer before you publish the service.

If you don't add a tool layer to your map and you use the map in a geoprocessing Web application, the results will be drawn on the client. You will not be able to use complex symbologies this way.

For detailed discussion of the Geoprocessing task and drawing the results on the server vs. the client, see Tutorial: Publishing a geoprocessing service.

Are you going to perform distributed geodatabase operations on the server with this map?

If you want to use the ArcMap Distributed Geodatabase toolbar with this map service, you must include a geodatabase layer when you author the map. When you publish the map as a service, you can enable the Geodata Access capability. This creates an associated geodata service with the same name. With both the map and the geodata services running, you can perform data extraction and replication on the server using the ArcMap interface.

Are you going to perform network analysis on the server with this map?

If you're going to use this map for network analysis on the server, you need to include a network analysis layer that references a network dataset. When you publish the map service, you'll then have the option to check the network analysis capability. This creates a Web service for executing network analysis tasks on your map.

Are you going to be viewing this map on a mobile device?

The Mobile Data capability allows you to extract the contents of a map service for viewing on a mobile device. If you know that your map will be viewed on a mobile device, make it simple. Consider data generalization, such as polygon smoothing and reduced raster resolution, for background or reference layers. This will help the map to draw faster.

Do you want copyright text to be visible in Web applications you create with this map?

When Manager creates a Web mapping application, it searches for copyright information in the map document. If copyright information is found, a link appears in the corner of the map, which the user can click to view the credits on a floating panel. If you want copyright text to be available in this way, you need to display the data frame or layer properties in ArcMap; click the General tab and type the copyright information in the Credits text box.

What do you want the layer names and map feature descriptions to look like in the Web application's table of contents?

The layer names and map feature descriptions in the Web application's table of contents reflect any layer names or map feature descriptions that you typed in the ArcMap table of contents. The heading is not available in the Web Mapping Application table of contents, but the service name is displayed. See the images below for a comparison.