Esri has informed me that you can only create custom offline maps for collector units if you have an ArcSDE set up with your GIS server. They said ArcSDE is the only way to publish maps up to the ArcGIS Online cloud with "sync" and "offline" modes (which is required to pull the maps from the cloud to the collector unit). I am trying find any workarounds so I do not have to purchase ArcSDE.

  • You reffer to wrong/incomplete documentation. With organization account you can shzre map as service and define offline capabilities using AGOL
    – FelixIP
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 9:28
  • It hasn't been possible to license ArcSDE since ArcGIS 9.2 was released. Enterprise ArcGIS Server includes access to an enterprise geodatabase in a RDBMS, which provides the versioning support necessary for check-out/check-in replication. Are you looking for replication solution without an enterprise geodatabase?
    – Vince
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 11:42
  • @FelixIP This link shows that editable services require the "feature access" capability, which is necessary during data entry. This Link lists the requirements for this capability, first item SDE. From my understanding, I need SDE to enable this capability, and need this capability to allow editing for on/offline maps. Could point me to the correct documentation or clarification?
    – Lotalota
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 23:19
  • @Vince This Link lists SDE as the first requirement for the feature access capability (which from my ESRI training is a requirement for Editing attributes during data entry for either on/offline mapping). I am not familiar with enterprise systems or what you mean by replication but do you have a source for a work through that can help me better understand?
    – Lotalota
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 23:26
  • In the 1st link that you provided skip step 3 and go to step 4.Optionally... I have no clue about servers and SDE, nevertheless I successfully completed 3 projects using combination on/offline Collector maps. When publishing service You can define access or you can do it later from my content in AGOL - add service to new map with full editing control
    – FelixIP
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


There maybe a way with ArcGIS Server 10.3 to publish sync capable maps without SDE as they're including a "lite" geodatabase built within server 10.3. I haven't yet installed it though so cna't say for sure.

If you have an ArcGIS.com license you could always host the feature services in the AGOL and enable sync there. I did that for testing before setting up real services in our SDE.

  • We haven't upgraded to 10.3 yet. But I think I still need SDE to enable the "feature access" capability during the publishing process to allow for syncing from AGOL. My understanding, no SDE = no feature access = no syncing . Any other help would be greatly appreciated.
    – Lotalota
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 23:32

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