How to work with the portal service

What is a portal service?

A portal service is a geospatial content management system hosted in the cloud (ArcGIS Platform and ArcGIS Online) or on-premise (ArcGIS Enterprise). They are used by Esri and many other users, organizations, and developers around the world to securely store, manage, and search for different types of geographic content. You can create and store your own content using tools such as the developer dashboard, ArcGIS Online, Portal for ArcGIS or you can create and access content with ArcGIS Maps SDKs, open source libraries and scripting APIs. All content is managed with an item, allowing applications to easily read, write, and access it.

As a developer, you can use a portal service to:

  • Create and manage geospatial content for your applications, such as maps, scenes, layers, and services.
  • Build content management applications that create, manage, and access content.
  • Build content-driven applications that access existing content in the portal.
  • Share content privately, publicly, or with groups.
  • Search for private or public content.
  • Store and host web mapping apps created with app templates and builders.
  • Store map and layer packages used by ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Desktop, and ArcGIS native apps.
  • Store and manage non-spatial content such as Microsoft Word or PDF files.

How the portal service works

The base URL

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To access a portal, you need an ArcGIS account. Your account is associated with an organization and it gives you access to a private space in a portal where you can store and manage your own content. It also allows you to sign in with tools, such as ArcGIS Online and the developer dashboard to create, manage, share, and search content. With an account you can also create API keys and OAuth 2.0 tokens that can be used to access restricted operations.

When you add content to the portal, an item is created. Items are used to manage content properties such as the title, description, tags, and sharing settings. Items have a unique ID that you can use to easily find the item and access the content they reference.

After items are created, you can build content management applications or content-driven applications to access and display content such as web maps, web scenes, and layers.

content management
The workflow for creating, managing, and accessing different types of content in the portal service.


Portal service

Store, manage, and access private and public content.

API support

ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript11
ArcGIS Maps SDK for .NET11
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Kotlin11
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Swift11
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Java11
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Qt11
ArcGIS API for Python
Esri Leaflet2222
MapLibre GL JS2222
Full supportPartial supportNo support
  • 1. Limited operations, use HTTP requests.
  • 2. Access via ArcGIS REST JS.


Use tools to access the portal and create and manage content for applications.

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