Skip To Content

Create a 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.

To share content between two or more organizations, you must create a collaboration and collaboration workspace, associate a group from your organization to the workspace, and invite participants to the collaboration. The organization where the collaboration is created is the host, and participants are guests. Creating the collaboration establishes trust between the participants so that you can share content between them.

Creating a collaboration involves multiple administrators: one administrator for each of the participants. As a collaboration administrator, you may take on multiple responsibilities during the collaboration setup. If you are not the administrator of all the participants, you must work with the administrators of each of the other participants to complete the collaboration setup. Additionally, as the host of the collaboration, you are responsible for managing the collaboration and its workspaces.

Considerations for creating a collaboration

  • The ArcGIS Online organization must be the collaboration host.
  • Only one ArcGIS Online organization can participate in the collaboration.
  • Any ArcGIS Enterprise portals participating in the collaboration must be version 10.51 deployments.
  • When inviting a guest organization to be part of a collaboration, its URL must be specified as HTTPS.
  • To ensure secure communication among collaboration participants, each participant must trust the SSL certificate used by the other participants. This means the collaboration host must trust the SSL certificates used on each of the guest participants and each guest participant must trust the SSL certificate used on the collaboration host. If the certificates are not trusted, creating a collaboration will fail.
  • You can create a collaboration that includes ArcGIS Enterprise participants using both built-in and web-tier authentication.
  • You must enable pop-ups in your browser to allow invitation requests and responses to be downloaded.

Create a collaboration and workspace

  1. Log in to the host organization as a member with administrative privileges. Browse to My Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. Click Create Collaboration.
  3. On the Create Collaboration dialog box, fill in the Collaboration Name and Collaboration Description text boxes for the collaboration, and click Next.
  4. Fill in the Workspace Name and Workspace Description text boxes for the first workspace associated with the collaboration, and click Next.

    You can create more collaboration workspaces after the collaboration has been created if necessary. See Manage collaborations for details.

  5. Choose the group that will be associated with the collaboration workspace. This can be an existing group, or you can create a new group for this purpose. Click Next.

    A group can only be associated with one collaboration workspace. Host access to this workspace will be Send and receive.

    • If you create a new group for the collaboration, it will be a private group where all group members can contribute content to the group. You can change the status and contribution settings after the group has been created if necessary. See Create groups for more information about these settings. When you create a new group for a collaboration, you must specify tags for the group to proceed.
    • If you choose to link an existing group, the drop-down menu will show a list of all the groups in the organization, including private groups.

    The ArcGIS Enterprise participant in the collaboration controls the schedule at which group item content and feature layer edits are synchronized; the host does not control the sync schedule.

  6. Choose one of the following to specify how hosted feature layers will be sent to the collaboration workspace:
    • As references—Collaboration participants will receive live access to feature layers in the designated workspace. Collaboration participants must have access to view feature layers from its origin.
    • As copies—Collaboration participants will receive feature layer updates at a scheduled interval.

      If you choose this option, a sync interval must be set in the collaboration workspace by the ArcGIS Enterprise guest, and sync must be enabled on each item in the collaboration. A copy of participating feature layers will be initially extracted and published as items to each participating portal. Once these items have been created, features are updated based on the established sync interval.

  7. Click Save or Save and Invite to create the collaboration.
    • Clicking Save creates the collaboration. The new collaboration can be viewed in the table on the Collaborations page.
    • Clicking Save and Invite creates the collaboration and opens the Invite Guest Organization dialog box.

Invite a guest to the collaboration

Once you have created the collaboration and workspace, you can invite an ArcGIS Enterprise portal to the collaboration as a guest.

  1. Log in to the host organization as a member with administrative privileges. Browse to My Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. On the Collaborations page, click the name of the collaboration in the table to which you want to invite a guest participant.
  3. Click View Guests.

    The Guests page contains a list of guest participants in the collaboration.

  4. Click Invite Guest.

    The Invite Guest Organization dialog box appears.

  5. Enter the Guest Organization URL to the organization. Ensure that the URL is specified as HTTPS in the format<webadaptorname>. Choose the Access to Workspaces option that the guest participant will have: Send Content, Receive Content, or Send and Receive Content.

    For more information on these types of access, see Access modes for workspaces.

  6. Click Save Invitation to save the invitation file.
  7. Share the invitation file with the administrator of the guest participant.
  8. The administrator of the guest participant will now need to accept the invitation to collaborate. For more information about this process, see the Portal for ArcGIS documentation.

Import invitation response

Once the collaboration guest accepts the invitation to collaborate, you must import the invitation response file to complete the collaboration setup.

  1. Log in to the host organization as a member with administrative privileges. Browse to My Organization > Edit Settings > Collaborations.
  2. On the Collaborations page, find the table entry for the collaboration whose invitation response you will import. Click the name of the collaboration. Click View Guests. You will see a list of participants in the collaboration. Click the Action button for the guest participant and click Accept Guest Organization.
  3. On the Accept Guest Organization dialog box, browse to the invitation response file. Information about the guest participant, including the contact person and organization URL, will appear once you've chosen the file.
    1. If the guest organization requires web-tier authentication, select the Yes option, enter the credentials for the guest's web authentication, and click Accept Guest Organization.
    2. If the guest organization is secured using PKI client certificate based web-tier authentication, click Choose File and browse to a PKI user certificate in a .pfx file format. Click Accept Guest Organization.

      The user credentials contained in the client certificate should be able to successfully authenticate against the PKI client certificate challenge from the guest. The user does not need to be a named user on the guest organization.

  4. Note:
    If the collaboration host does not trust the SSL certificate on the guest organization, an error message will appear. The SSL certificate must be trusted before the invitation response can be accepted.

The guest participant's Status now shows as Active. The guest organization's administrator will receive a notification that they have joined the collaboration.

The collaboration workspace is ready to be used. New items shared with groups participating in the collaboration, as well as updates to existing items, will be sent to participating organizations at a scheduled sync interval specified by collaboration guests.