ArcGIS Identity

An ArcGIS identity, also known as named user, grants a short-lived access token giving your application permission to access the content and services authorized to your application user's existing ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account. This temporary token is created using OAuth 2.0 protocol and authorizes your application to act on the user's behalf without revealing their secure password to your application. The authenticated user can access premium content and services through your application that are metered to their ArcGIS subscription; during the authenticated period, your app can access the user's content on their behalf.

If your application will access your users' secure content in ArcGIS or if you plan to distribute your application through ArcGIS Marketplace, you must use ArcGIS identity authentication.

How ArcGIS identity works

ArcGIS identity overview

  1. Register your application in the developer dashboard to receive client credentials.

  2. Implement an OAuth 2.0 authentication workflow.

  3. User authorizes your application.

  4. ArcGIS exchanges the authorization code from user authorization for a temporary access token.

  5. Use the access token to authenticate with ArcGIS according to your specific client API.

    ArcGIS identity authorization allows the user + app to perform specific tasks affiliated with the platform, such as:

    • Access private content owned by the user or by the user's organization
    • Access premium ArcGIS content, such as search, routing, and demographics
    • Create, update, and delete the user's content
    • Share content with other users within their organization
    • Access any content that has been shared with the user

Authentication with ArcGIS APIs

If you are using one of the ArcGIS Mobile or Native SDKs, refer to that SDK's Getting Started page to implement ArcGIS identity in your app:

After you complete the OAuth 2.0 authorization process, you receive a token credential to use when accessing any content or services to which the authorized user has access.

  • If you use an ArcGIS client API, the AuthenticationManager or IdentityManager classes automatically use a token credential to securely access resources, requiring no additional actions from you.

  • If you manually implement OAuth 2.0 authorization, you must either register the token credential with the ArcGIS API AuthenticationManager or IdentityManager class, or pass the token to the appropriate method or class as a parameter.

Authentication with non-ArcGIS APIs

It is possible to use ArcGIS identity with non-ArcGIS APIs, however you remain responsible to obtain, manage, and secure user credentials as a part of your application. For this method, you must implement the appropriate authentication workflow for your application.

Billing information

ArcGIS identity allows individual users with an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account to authorize your app to use the content and services to which they have access; it also uses their credits for any paid premium content and services.


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