Geoprocessing services settings

The settings you choose when publishing a tool as a geoprocessing service define how they are consumed by client applications. The most common and frequently changed parameters of a service can be set while publishing. Less common settings can be changed in ArcGIS Server Manager after the tool has been published. A few advanced settings can only be set on the ArcGIS Server Administrator web page. Few geoprocessing services will ever need these advanced settings to be changed.


Use the three panels of Publish Geoprocessing Service publishing wizard, General, Configuration, and Content to administer and modify the settings of a geoprocessing service during publishing.


After publishing, use ArcGIS Server Manager to administer and modify the settings of the published service.




The name of the geoprocessing service to be published to your server. This name must be unique on your server and cannot contain spaces or special characters. This inherits from the tool metadata.


The summary and tags that help document and make your geoprocessing service searchable. This inherits from the tool metadata.



Controls whether the data will be copied to the server (becoming static) or remain referenced by the geoprocessing service. A matching entry in the data store must be set up for your data to use the Reference registered data setting.


  • Folder—Select or create a server folder in which the geoprocessing service item will be created. The default is the root of the server.




Controls whether a client can upload a file to your server for the geoprocessing service to use as input. The upload operation is mainly used by web clients that need a way to send a file to the server for processing. The upload operation returns a unique ID for the file after the upload completes, which the web application can pass to the geoprocessing service.

This option is turned off by default. Allowing uploads to your service can possibly pose a security risk. Turn this on only if needed.

Execution Mode: Synchronous or Asynchronous

Asynchronous and synchronous define how the client (the application using the geoprocessing service) interacts with the geoprocessing service and gets the output. When a geoprocessing service is set to synchronous, the client waits for the task to finish. Typically, a synchronous service executes quickly (within a few seconds). An asynchronous service usually takes longer to execute, and the client must periodically ask the server if the service has finished and, if it has finished, get the result. A web application using an asynchronous service must have logic implemented to check the status and handle the result once execution is finished. ArcGIS Desktop clients handle both execution types natively.

View output in map image layer

When publishing a geoprocessing service, you can choose to view the output as a map image. The map image is created on the server and transported back to the client as an image (a .tiff file with style information). Symbology, labeling, transparency, and all other properties of the map image to be returned are the same as the output layer from the ArcGIS Pro session when you originally publish. The following are reasons you would use View output in map image layer:

  • If your tool outputs a large number of features that the client has to symbolize and draw, it will be faster and easier for the client to receive a map image.
  • For data distribution reasons, you don't want to send the client any features, just a map image.
  • The result of your tool is a nontransportable dataset such as a network or topology. The only way to send output to the client is with a map image.

An output map image can only be used when the geoprocessing service is set to Asynchronous.

Message Level

You can return messages of varying levels to the client that executed your geoprocessing service as follows:

  • None—No geoprocessing messages are returned to the client, only whether the execution was successful or failed. This is the default.
  • Error—Only tool messages that produce an error are returned to the client.
  • Warning—All tool error and warning messages are returned to the client.
  • Info—All tool messages from execution are returned to the client.

All messages, regardless of level, may contain dataset paths and names, and this may pose a security risk. The Info level is verbose and typically contains references to dataset paths and names. In general, you will want to return messages during development, but turn them off in production.

Maximum number of records returned

The maximum number of results the service can return to a client. Setting this value to a large number means your GIS server can handle sending many individual records or features to the client. If you don't want to return any features, set this value to 0 (zero). Typically, you set this value to zero only when you enable View output in map image layer.

The previously mentioned settings can be modified in ArcGIS Server Manager after the geoprocessing service has been published.


The following settings can only be modified at the time of publishing a geoprocessing service.

Add Tool

You can add additional tools from the geoprocessing history to the existing geoprocessing service by clicking the Add Tool button Add Tool on the Content tab. You can remove tools by clicking the tool name and choosing Remove.

Configure Tool Properties

You can change the tool properties by clicking the edit button to the right of the tool name.



The name of the tool. The name inherits from the tool metadata label.


The description of the tool. The description does not inherit from tool metadata. If blank, provide a description and it will remain each time you share from history.

The following properties can be changed for each parameter.



The name and description of the parameter. Both inherit from the parameter name and description of tool metadata. You can modify them here and not affect the original tool metadata.



The parameter type defines whether the client must supply a value for the tool to execute successfully. On the Content tab, you can only change optional parameters to required. To change a required parameter to an optional parameter, you'll need to exit the sharing pane, edit the properties of your tool, and run the tool again to create a new result.

Input Mode

The input mode determines how clients will input features to your task:

  • User defined value—The client provides a value for the parameter.
  • Choice list—The client is given a list of strings (the choice list) and must choose one or more of the strings from the choice list. Depending on the data type of the input, the strings in the choice list can be the names of layers or simple keyword options.
  • Constant—The tool will use the value you supplied for the parameter when you created the result. Since the value is constant, the client cannot change it, so it will not become a task parameter when the service is published.

Geometry Type (applies to feature set and feature layer only)

The geometry type comes from the input and output features used to create the result. It cannot be modified in the Content tab. You need to rerun the tool using features of the desired geometry type, and then share the result created by the run.

Schema (applies to feature set, feature layer, record set, and table view)

The schema is a list of fields (attributes) that need to be supplied by the client when they construct the features for input to the tool. This list of fields is the same as the layer or dataset you used as input or output to the tool that created the result.

Default Value

The default value of the tool is determined by the parameter value specified when the tool is running. To add or change the default value of a parameter, you need to execute the tool again with corresponding parameter.

Web Manager settings

The following settings can only be modified in ArcGIS Server Web Manager. The previously mentioned configuration settings can also be modified in Web Manager after the service has been published.


Modifying any of the following settings causes the service to be restarted.




The cluster the service will run under. This setting can only be modified if ArcGIS Server participates in a cluster.


The directories used by the server to write files when executing a tool.




Enables WPS capabilities on geoprocessing services, allowing other clients to connect to and consume tools through OGC standard protocols.

Learn more about WPS



Number of instances

The minimum and maximum number of instances of the service. The default values are 1 (minimum) and 2 (maximum). Setting a minimum value of 0 instances will reduce system resources; an instance will start on a client request.

The maximum time a client can use a service

The maximum time, in seconds, that a service can be used. You may need to increase the default of 600 seconds (10 minutes) for long-running geoprocessing tasks. Alternatively, you may need to reduce this time to ensure a client will not abuse your services.

The maximum time a client will wait to get a service

The maximum time, in seconds, that a client will wait to connect with an instance before timing out. When all instances are busy processing requests, subsequent requests are queued. If this time-out elapses before an instance becomes available, the task will fail. The default is 60 seconds (1 minute).

The maximum time an idle instance can be kept running

The maximum time, in seconds, that an instance will continue to be active before pool shrinking occurs. Any instances above the minimum number of instances that have not been used will be shut down once the idle maximum time value has elapsed.




Controls how often and when to recycle a service. The default is once every 24 hours, starting at midnight.

Geoprocessing services only run in high isolation, unlike some other service types that can run in either low or high isolation.

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