Types of users and groups

There are different types of users and groups in a portal with different levels of access, collaboration, and management.

Users are:

  • Are individuals or entities with accounts that allow them to access and use the portal's features for creating, analyzing, and sharing geographic content
  • Can be part of an organization or have public accounts, each with different levels of access and capabilities based on their roles and permissions.


  • Are collections of users that serve as containers for organizing, sharing, and managing spatial data and resources
  • Provide users a way to share and collaborate on projects, share data, and participate in discussions.
  • Can be either public, allowing anyone to join, or private, requiring invitation or approval for membership.
  • Help increase collaboration, help with data sharing, and promote teamwork.


In organizations in a portal, users have different levels of access and capabilities when working with content such as maps, scenes, apps, and layers. The user access level and what a user can do in a portal is determined by the following:

User typeassigned by a portal administrator based on licensing, and dictates the scope of privileges available through roles.
RolesRoles represent specific job functions within an organization and come with predefined sets of privileges. Portal administrators can create custom roles for more finer control.
PrivilegesRights granted to roles. Privileges determine the actions members can perform within the organization. Organization default roles having fixed privileges. Portal administrators can create custom roles for more flexibility when assigning to members.

User types

The user type decides what a user can do in an organization and what apps they can access. The following are users types that can be created in a portal:

User typesDescription
ViewerUsers with Viewer access can view and interact with maps, apps, and data shared within the organization but cannot create or edit content.
EditorEditors have the ability to create, edit, and delete content such as maps, apps, and data within the organization.
Mobile workerMobile workers have access to a range of field apps and can view/edit shared data but lack the ability to analyze, create, or share items within the platform.
CreatorCreator have access to create and edit maps and apps, conduct spatial analysis, collect data, collaborate, share content, view others' creations, and administer users and content within the organization. This user type is suitable for GIS specialists, asset managers, data journalists, and other content creators and collaborators.
GIS professionalGIS Professional has three levels - Basic, Standard, or Advanced - enabling this user type to build advanced 2D and 3D maps, perform analyses, collaborate, administer users and content, and is suitable for GIS analysts, GIS developers, and cartographers.


A role determines what a user can do in a portal through permissions. Permissions are set by a default role or a custom role, and are assigned to users when they are added to the portal. The following are default roles available in a portal:

ViewerViewer role allows users to access shared maps, apps, and other data, join groups, and use basic geographic tools, without the ability to create or share content or perform advanced analysis.
Data editorIn addition to Viewer privileges, Data Editor role allows users to edit features shared by other users. It is compatible with all user types except Viewer.
UserIn addition to Data Editor privileges, the User role allows users to create groups and content. This role also allows users to:
- Use organization's maps, apps, layers, and tools.
- Participate in groups with update privileges.
- Perform tasks such as creating maps and apps, editing features, adding items, sharing content, and creating groups.

This role is compatible with the Creator and GIS Professional user types.
PublisherPublisher role allow users to publish features and map tiles as hosted web layers and perform analysis on layers within maps, compatible with the Creator and GIS Professional user types.
FacilitatorIn addition to Publisher privileges, the Facilitator role allow users to invite partnered collaboration members to groups, create and manage partnered collaboration groups, invite members from other organizations, and create shared update groups.
AdministratorIn addition to Publisher privileges, the Administrator role allows users the ability to manage the organization and other users. It is recommended for organizations to have at least two administrators. This role is compatible with Creator and GIS Professional user types.


Roles grant privileges to users enabling them to perform tasks and workflows. The default roles have fixed privileges, and custom roles allow administrators to specify privileges. Privileges are divided into General and Administrative levels, determining members' abilities to create, publish, and view content within the organization.

General privileges

These are some of the common general privileges available the provide users capabilities for working with content.

General PrivilegeDescription
Create contentAbility to create new maps, apps, layers, and other content.
Share contentPermission to share created content with other users or groups.
Edit contentAbility to modify existing maps, apps, or layers.
Delete contentPermission to remove content from ArcGIS Online.
Join groupsCapability to join public groups or request membership in private groups.
View contentAbility to view maps, apps, and other content shared within the organization.
Perform analysisPrivilege to conduct spatial analysis on data layers within maps.

Administrative privileges

These administrative privileges empower organization administrators to effectively manage and oversee various aspects of ArcGIS Online usage and configuration.

Administrative PrivilegeDescription
Manage MembersAbility to invite, remove, and manage members within the organization, including assigning roles and privileges.
Manage LicensesCapability to assign, reassign, or revoke licenses for ArcGIS Online products and extensions to organization members.
Configure OrganizationPermission to configure organization settings, including security settings, branding, and general organization information.
Create and Manage GroupsAbility to create, delete, and manage groups within the organization, including setting group properties and permissions.
Manage ContentCapability to manage organization content, including viewing, editing, and deleting items, as well as managing item sharing and access settings.


Users can use groups to organize, share, and manage geospatial content. The following are types of groups:

PublicPublic groups are open to anyone and allow individuals to join without needing an invitation. They are commonly used for open collaboration and sharing of resources with a wider audience.
PrivatePrivate groups require an invitation or approval for membership and are used for more restricted collaboration, often within specific project teams or departments.
OrganizationOrganization groups are automatically created for each organization in a portal. These groups are used to organize content and users within the organization. They can be public or private and serve various purposes.

Common operations

The following are common operations a group owner can perform to manage group activities, membership, and content sharing.

Create GroupGroup owners can create new groups to organize and share content related to specific topics or projects.
Manage MembershipOwners can control who can find the group, who can join, and who can contribute content by managing group membership settings.
Control Content SharingOwners have control over items shared with the group, including the ability to share, edit, or delete content, and manage item sharing and access settings within the group.
Invite MembersGroup owners can invite other users to join the group, either directly or through a membership request process, based on membership settings.
Promote Group ManagersOwners can promote other group members to group managers, granting them additional privileges to manage group content, membership, and settings.
Feature ContentOwners can feature specific content within the group on the ArcGIS Online website or gallery, highlighting important resources for group members or the public.
Configure WebsiteOwners can configure the group's appearance and behavior on the ArcGIS Online website, including customizing the homepage, gallery, and other settings.
Share with Partnered OrgsIn partnered collaborations, group owners can share content seamlessly with other organizations and promote members of partnered organizations to group managers.


API support

ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript1111
ArcGIS Maps SDK for .NET1111
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Kotlin1111
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Swift1111
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Java1111
ArcGIS Maps SDK for Qt1111
ArcGIS API for Python
Esri Leaflet222222
MapLibre GL JS222222
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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