Optimize web feature layers

When working with web feature layers, you can optimize one of the workflows described below to help improve performance or minimize the amount of work necessary to complete a task.

Append data

When possible, it is recommended that you use workflows that run the append process on the back-end data store, server, or database. This ensures optimal performance when appending a large volume of data to a web feature layer.

For example, for feature services that reference a geodatabase, perform large data loading operations directly to the underlying database using the Append geoprocessing tool with a database connection. For hosted services on ArcGIS Enterprise, you can use the append operation from the feature layer item page or ArcGIS REST API. For hosted services on ArcGIS Online, administrators and service owners can use the Append geoprocessing tool with the ArcGIS REST API when the supportsAppends property is true. Feature service append capabilities must be enabled for nonadministrative users to use the Append geoprocessing tool with the ArcGIS REST API.

Edit attachments

When configuring attachments, use global IDs. Using global IDs with the web feature layer's supportsApplyEditsWithGlobalIds property set to true allows the use of the applyEdits operation when editing. If attachments are configured to use object IDs, editing will involve one of the attachment operations: Add, Update, or Delete.

Truncate data

The truncate operation allows you to delete all features or attachments in a feature service layer. For hosted services on ArcGIS Online, administrators and service owners can use the Truncate geoprocessing tool with the ArcGIS REST API when the supportTruncate property is true.

Calculate fields

To improve performance with field calculations, use the Calculate geoprocessing tool to calculate using an SQL expression when possible. The SQL option, when available, runs the calculation on the server, which improves performance.


Calculating field values on joined tables is not supported with the SQL option.

Enforce standardized SQL queries

When you write an SQL query for a web feature layer in ArcGIS Pro, the queries are often validated using standardized SQL. For this reason, the ArcGIS Server site on which the feature layer is running should enforce standardized SQL if possible. This can be important when performing certain time-based SQL queries, as many supported database implementations use slightly different SQL syntax for working with time.

Only an administrator can change the standardized SQL setting for an ArcGIS Server site. ArcGIS Online uses standardized SQL queries only.

Query only feature layers from map image layers

If you have published map image layers (map services) but want to enable feature access to the data for analysis or query, you can add individual sublayers from the map image layer to an ArcGIS Pro map. You can add these layers the same way you add a sublayer from a web feature layer (feature service); however, when you add map image sublayers, the data is not editable. This allows read-only feature access to the data without the need to publish a noneditable feature service.


To add individual sublayers, double-click to expand and browse the map image layer.