Introduction to Portal for ArcGIS—Portal for ArcGIS | Documentation for ArcGIS Enterprise
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Introduction to Portal for ArcGIS

Portal for ArcGIS is an ArcGIS Enterprise software component that has a central role in organizing and sharing information in your organization. After installing Portal for ArcGIS, you configure a portal—the central hub of ArcGIS Enterprise where members access their organization to create maps, apps, and spatial data and share them with collaborators.

The Portal for ArcGIS software component supports ArcGIS Enterprise administration from the portal, the portal REST API directories, or command line utilities. You can also install ArcGIS API for Python to automate certain administrative tasks.

For more information on how to access your organization's administrative resources, see the following:

What's included

Members of your organization can perform foundational mapping and analysis workflows from the portal. As an administrator, you can enhance the experience of your members by enabling access to additional apps, tools, content, and services. You will also need to secure and monitor your organization to keep ArcGIS Enterprise up and running. When you install Portal for ArcGIS, you gain access to a variety of tools and settings that help you create a customized user experience and maintain your organization.

Customized user experience

As an administrator, you can customize the portal to fit the look and feel of your organization by configuring the theme, home page, gallery, and more. You can also configure and extend your ArcGIS Enterprise deployment based on your organization's requirements and desired workflows. The following details some of what is included with ArcGIS Enterprise by default, and some of what can be configured through the portal to extend its capabilities.

  • ArcGIS apps—ArcGIS Enterprise supports user-friendly applications that allow people to interact with your organization's web maps and scenes. Organizations include essential apps such as Map Viewer, ArcGIS Dashboards, and ArcGIS Enterprise Sites for core user types. You can purchase additional apps for your organization as part of user types or separately as add-on apps. To learn more about available applications, see ArcGIS Enterprise Apps.
  • Analysis tools—ArcGIS Enterprise supports several types of analysis through toolsets available in Map Viewer Classic. Standard feature analysis tools are included in a base deployment, while GeoAnalytics and raster analytics tools can only become available when GeoAnalytics Server and ArcGIS Image Server are federated with your portal, respectively. You can also create custom tools to run analysis workflows you define. To learn more, see Analysis in ArcGIS Enterprise.
  • ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World content—ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World content is a collection of authoritative, ready-to-use, global geographic content from ArcGIS Online. The content you access from your ArcGIS Enterprise organization is a subset of the full content available on ArcGIS Online. You can provide your organization members with access to more content with an ArcGIS Online subscription. To learn more, see Configure Living Atlas content.
  • Utility services—Utility services enable specific functionality in your organization such as printing maps, locating addresses, calculating areas, and finding directions. Some utility services include default services, but you can also use your own services or configure your portal to use utility services from ArcGIS Online. To learn more, see Utility services.
  • Collaborations—Distributed collaborations allow ArcGIS organizations to share maps, apps, layers, and more with other ArcGIS organizations using groups. To learn more, see About distributed collaboration.

In addition to customizing your organization, you will need to manage the experience of your organization's members. By assigning user types and roles to each member, you can manage how they access and work with content in your organization. Members assigned a Viewer user type will only be able to view items that are shared with them, while GIS Professionals can create advanced web maps and apps, perform in-depth spatial analysis using analysis tools, and use the advanced tools of ArcGIS Pro.

You can additionally manage user access to content by creating groups. Members, groups, and content can be managed from your portal, from the Portal Directory, or by using ArcGIS API for Python.

Organization maintenance

ArcGIS Enterprise includes a variety of tools and settings that support maintaining your organization. You can perform administrative tasks from the portal or by using APIs or command line tools.

The portal

Administrative tools and settings are available through the portal to help you monitor and secure your ArcGIS Enterprise organization, including the following:

  • Usage reports—ArcGIS Enterprise records various usage statistics for items, users, and groups and reports this information in the portal through the Activity Dashboard for ArcGIS app. Default administrators or members with the appropriate privileges can use the dashboard to monitor their organization. Default administrators can also create or schedule usage reports that can be exported as CSV files or saved as administrative report items in their organization. To learn more, see Usage reports.
  • Security settings—ArcGIS Enterprise supports configuring security settings through the portal such as access and permissions, multifactor authentication, and email notifications. To learn more, see Configure security settings.

Portal Administrator Directory

The Portal Administrator Directory provides an interactive view of the ArcGIS REST API's resources for administering your organization. Use Portal Administrator Directory resources to monitor and secure your organization, including the following:

For a complete list of the available endpoints in the Portal Administrator Directory, see Endpoint Summaries.

Portal Directory

The Portal Directory provides an interactive view of the ArcGIS REST API's resources for working with users, groups, and content in an organization.

Webhooks in ArcGIS Enterprise automatically provide webhook receivers or other applications with event-driven information. With organization webhooks, administrators can subscribe to event triggers pertaining to an organization's users, groups, and items. With service webhooks, administrators can subscribe to webhooks for geoprocessing or feature services. To learn more, see Webhooks in ArcGIS Enterprise.

For more information on the resources available through the Portal Directory, see Resource hierarchy.

Command line utilities

Portal for ArcGIS includes scriptable utilities that allow you to administer the portal from batch files or the operating system command line. Available command line utilities can be used to perform common administrative tasks such as adding members to your organization and recovering the portal when no administrator accounts are available. They are ready to use and do not require programming knowledge.

The python script tool portalScan.py scans for common security issues based on some of the best practices for configuring a secure environment for your portal. To learn more, see Scan your portal for security best practices.

ArcGIS API for Python

ArcGIS API for Python allows ArcGIS administrators, publishers, and users to use the Python environment to automate their workflows and perform repetitive tasks using scripts. For example, ArcGIS API for Python can be used to automate the following tasks:

  • Clone portal users, groups, and content—Use ArcGIS API for Python to clone portal users, groups, and content. For example, you can clone a portal from a staging to a production environment. To learn more, see Clone Portal users, groups, and content.
  • Move existing content to a new user—Move a user's content to a new user's account using ArcGIS API for Python. To learn more, see Move existing user content to a new user.