Skip To Content

Distributed collaboration


Distributed collaboration capabilities are offered as part of an early adopter program available to interested ArcGIS Online organizations. You must have an ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5.1 base deployment to participate in the early adopter program. For more information and to apply for the program, visit the Enterprise to Online Collaboration early adopter website.

With distributed collaboration, you can connect and integrate your GIS across a network of participants including those with membership in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise. The benefit of establishing distributed collaboration is to organize, network, and share content between individuals and across organizations and communities. Distributed collaboration (or simply, collaboration) is based on a foundation of trust and driven by common goals or initiatives. Once you've established a trusted collaboration among collaboration participants, you are able to share content as you would with a single GIS to distribute it across the network of participants. Shared content becomes discoverable for each organization participating in the collaboration.

ArcGIS Online organizations can participate in collaborations with ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5.1 portals to replicate items and data across the enterprise. Collaborations can be useful for many data workflows, including sharing content with the public, managing field data collections, and backing up data. For example, consider a scenario in which two city departments (for example, Public Works and Public Safety), each with an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, need to share their maps and layers with the city's central ArcGIS Online organization. The layers and maps will be used to create additional maps and apps to share with both the public and city staff who need a complete picture. To accomplish this, the ArcGIS Online organization sets up a collaboration with the two department portals as collaboration guests. The department portals use the collaboration to send their data to the ArcGIS Online organization, and the city then combines the layers into new focused maps and apps and shares them with the public and city staff. Distributed collaboration facilitates this workflow because it allows data to be shared and replicated automatically, without the need to manually create new layer items and update layers as the data changes.

Set up a collaboration

ArcGIS Online organizations can host collaborations with ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5.1 portal guests. The following are high-level steps for configuring a collaboration. For detailed steps and information about collaboration, see Create a collaboration and How collaboration works.

  1. The administrator of the host ArcGIS Online organization creates a collaboration and workspace.
  2. The administrator of the host ArcGIS Online organization invites an ArcGIS Enterprise portal guest to the collaboration.
  3. The administrator of the guest portal accepts the invitation to collaborate.
  4. The administrator of the host ArcGIS Online organization imports the guest portal's invitation response.
  5. The administrator of the guest portal joins a workspace.

After creating a collaboration, you can manage it through your organization. See Manage collaborations for details.

Use a collaboration

Once a collaboration is established, content is shared between collaboration participants using groups that are associated with a collaboration workspace.