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I have been experimenting with creating apps from templates in an ArcGIS Online Public Account. While I can create apps that let me view my web map, I have yet to find a way to create a map that works with the edit tools in the app templates.

My web map has one shapefile that was loaded into the map as a zip file. When I try to configure the Find, Edit, Filter or GeoForm templates from this web map, it tells me there isn't an editable layer to work with even though I have editing enabled.

I suspect the problem lies with the way my shapefile has been uploaded. Is there a way to upload a shapefile that will let me edit it in the app? Loading it as a zipped shapefile or geodatabase doesn't work. Should I try to publish it from ArcGIS for Desktop? Is there a way to do this with a public account? Or is it just not possible unless I upgrade to an organizational account?

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Unfortunately, uploading a shapefiles inside a web map will not provide an editable layer, since no feature service gets created in the process. Instead, you get a static layer stored with the web map. From the ArcGIS Online Help (emphasis mine):

If you have a small amount of data in a shapefile—generally fewer than 1,000 features—you can make it available for others to view through a web browser by adding it as a .zip file containing the .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files to a map you create with the map viewer.

When you add a shapefile, the map viewer converts it to a format that web clients can quickly read and display.

To create a feature service within ArcGIS Online, you need a organizational account (i.e. paid subscription). Again from ArcGIS Online Help (emphasis mine):

You must have the following to publish layers to ArcGIS Online:

  • An account that is part of an ArcGIS Online organization
  • Privileges to create content and publish hosted web layers
  • ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop or a later release (if you want to publish hosted web layers from ArcMap)
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To add to eric's answer, the shapefile needs to be served up as a hosted feature service on ArcGIS Online.

Depending on your use-case, perhaps get a Developer Account (still free, 50 credits a month) where you can achieve your goals. Just check the small print on what you can do with it before doing anything commercially. If your doing this at your organisation, get a ArcGIS for Organisation free trial - does not take much to prove the business value with ArcGIS Online.

  • Good point Simon! I forgot about Developer Account as an option. – ericchiasson Jul 30 '15 at 16:10

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