Publish a service definition

You can use a service definition file to publish a web layer to an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal, or a service to a stand-alone ArcGIS Server.

You can create service definitions for web layers or map services. To learn more, see Introduction to saving service definitions.

Once you have a service definition, do one of the following to publish a web layer to a portal or service to a stand-alone server:

If you published a service definition to ArcGIS Online or an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, an item is created in your organization. If you published a service definition to a stand-alone ArcGIS Server, the service is now running.


Service definition files differ depending on whether you connect to an ArcGIS Server or an ArcGIS Enterprise portal when you create the service definition file. You cannot upload service definitions created for server-based services, such as a map service on a stand-alone server or a map image layer on a federated server, directly to your portal through a web browser. You must use ArcGIS Server Manager to publish server-based services. Similarly, service definitions created for hosted web layers cannot be published from ArcGIS Server Manager. Use your portal website instead. The Upload Service Definition tool can be used to publish all service definitions.

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