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Add a feature service for editing

On the Insert tab, in the Project group, Connections Add Connection adds connections to GIS servers to your project. GIS server connections appear as items in the Catalog pane, in the Servers folder.

The following sections outline a basic workflow for adding a new connection to ArcGIS Server using a URL. After you add the connection, you can add any of its shared feature services to a map for editing.

To learn more about connecting to other GIS servers, see Connect to a GIS server.

Add a connection to ArcGIS Server

When you add a connection, as with any service hosted on a website, the server URL for ArcGIS Server can vary, and depends on how the server is configured. Your server site administrator should have this information.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click the Connections drop-down menu Add Connection.
    Connections drop-down menu
  2. Click New ArcGIS Server New ArcGIS Server.

    The Add ArcGIS Server User Connection dialog box appears.

    Add ArcGIS Server User Connection
  3. In the Server URL text box, type the full URL for the server to which you want to connect.

    For demonstration purposes, you can type the following URL for a sample server:
  4. Type your user name and password if appropriate.

    If you want to save your user name and password information to avoid entering it each time you connect, check the Save Username/Password check box.

  5. Click OK.

    A connection for ArcGIS Server is created and saved to your project. An item referencing this connection appears in the Catalog pane on the Project tab, in the Servers folder Open Drafts folder.

Add a feature service to a map

When you add a feature service that is shared with ArcGIS Server, feature templates published with the service appear in the Create Features pane. You can create and modify features and nonspatial data using the same editing tools you normally use to edit geodatabase feature layers.

You can undo and redo your edits only with feature services that are registered as branch versioned. Services registered with traditional versioning or no versioning in an enterprise geodatabase can only undo and redo operations that do not edit data, such as a changed layer property.


When a feature layer is shared and published as a web service on ArcGIS Server, the author determines if you can add, update, and delete features.

To learn more about how web layers are configured for editing, see Web feature layer.

  1. In the Catalog pane, expand Servers Open Drafts folder and expand the ArcGIS Server connection containing the feature service.
    Feature services
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Drag the map service onto the map.
    • Right-click the map service and click Add To Current Map Add Data.

    The service layers are added to the map, and feature templates published with the service appear in the Create Features pane.

Edit features offline

In some situations you may need to download web feature layers to a geodatabase in your project home folder and edit features offline. When you work offline, you can synchronize your edits. When you no longer need to work offline, you can remove your local copy.

To learn more, see Take a map offline.