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In ArcGIS Online For Organizations, how does one publish a hosted feature service that is shared with Everyone for viewing, while restricting editing to specific users or groups, and different kinds of editing for different groups?

In the help at the end of Editor permissions for feature services under Configuring multiple tiers of access it says

If you need to support multiple tiers of users, each requiring different operations, the recommended approach is to create one service for each level of user. For example, you could create a Professors service that might have all operations allowed. Along with that, you could create a less-privileged Students service with only Create, Query, and Upload operations allowed.

Which is great, that's what I need to do. However what is left out is how to reconcile the multiple Feature Services so that when the Professors create new features the Students see the new records, and vice versa.

The web browser management Create Service wizard allows you to use one feature service as a source for a new one, but only the data model is used (symbol definitions, field names & types, etc.) while the actual features are left behind, the new service is blank. This is the intended behaviour.

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are you wanting it in the same web map? If you don't care about having more than one map. Each feature service also contains a map service one map with the feature service and one with the map service = editing control. –  Brad Nesom Apr 12 '13 at 17:43
@brad, no they don't need to be in the same map. However a Feature Service needs to be shared to be included in a web map, and once that happens people can bypass the map and go straight to the Feature Service irregardless of what share settings are set in the Web Map Service. –  matt wilkie Apr 12 '13 at 17:51

3 Answers 3

I have set up groups.
One group is an edit group. In that group the editable map (with feature service) is shared.
The group is private and I invite only the editors to it.
Another group is for non-editors and I invite other members to it.
In that group my map service (non-editable) webmap is shared.
It works a bit like assigning permissions and roles.

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Something like what Brad suggested worked for me

  1. Sign into account with publisher permissions
  2. My Content > Add Item > From my computer > (check) Publish this file as a feature layer
  3. My Content > [Feature Layer] > Edit > (check) Enable editing and allow editors to ...
  4. My Content > [Feature Layer] > Share > Everyone
  5. My Content > [Feature Layer] > Add layer to [new] map
  6. On the map > share with everyone, disable editing on layer if it is enabled for some reason, save, publish through web application with share if desired
  7. Groups > Create group, add users to have edit permissions to group
  8. My Content > [Feature Layer] > Add layer to [new] map with editing enabled
  9. Share this map with the group just created for editors
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A person moderately knowledgeable about how Arcgis Online services work, or even just willing to spend a lot of time pushing buttons and following links, can still go direct to the globally shared editable feature service (exposed in step 4) from their own map, which they have full control over. The procedure outlined here makes it inconvenient to get to an editable place but it doesn't forbid it. It provides a measure of protection, but it is not secure. –  matt wilkie Apr 2 at 19:10
Matt, check out my feature service at udel.maps.arcgis.com/home/… . On an account that isn't in the group with an editable layer, I'm not able to view or edit this. When I add that account back to the group I am able to view/edit again. The web application built from this feature service is at: udel.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/… ... this may be a case where functionality has changed via subsequent updates? –  Ben Mearns Apr 3 at 12:45
up vote 0 down vote accepted

We had an extended conversation with some Esri Canada folks about this a couple of months ago. There is no secure method to govern simultaneous edit and read-only privilege roles in ArcGIS Online (at present). The best one can do is obscure the location of the editable service, as per Brad and Bmearns answers here, and then enable Track Editor. This would be followed with periodic scheduled reviews of the records and removal of those not made by someone authorized to do so.

If a secured and editable feature service is needed, you need to run your own ArcGIS Server somewhere else with sharing and editing locked down as needed, and then a read-only service exposed to ArcGIS Online.

This does allow utilizing the massive uptime, content distribution network caching, cpu/memory scaling, and so on of the ArcGIS Online infrastructure for widespread public read only consumption with edit access on a more meagrely apportioned and less costly machine. You are not going to get both in one place, with ArcGIS Online.

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