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I have created a Python Script Tool that returns a FeatureLayer using the following two lines of code:

arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(scratch_fc, "GeocodedZIPsLayer")
arcpy.SetParameterAsText(1, "GeocodedZIPsLayer")

This works as expected in ArcMap, and resulting POINT features are added to the map without an issues. When I publish this as a Geoprocessing Service, the service fails, and I see the following error in the server logs:

Invalid return value: GeocodedZIPsLayer

What is the best practice for returning a FeatureLayer through a REST service?

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    Have you tried just using arcpy.SetParameter() rather than returning it as text? – crmackey Dec 15 '15 at 2:34
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    Try using copyfeatures instead of makefeaturelayer and just set the output to in_memory if that's your requirement – KHibma Dec 15 '15 at 4:13
  • If I use CopyFeatures_management(), how do I return those features as an output parameter? What would I put in as the argument to arcpy.SetParameter(1,????)? – George Wright Dec 15 '15 at 16:17
  • Also, the same error is returned when I use arcpy.SetParameter(1, "GeocodedZIPsLayer") – George Wright Dec 15 '15 at 16:29
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Expanding on my comment - use CopyFeatures instead of MakeFeatureLayer

import arcpy
import os

# processing and analysis here...
myOutput = os.path.join(arcpy.env.scratchGDB, "output")
# ..or myOutput = "in_memory/output"
arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(myInput, myOutput)

# use the output variable...
arcpy.SetParameterAsText(1, myOutput)
# ...or use the actual output
#  arcpy.SetParameterAsText(1,  os.path.join(arcpy.env.scratchGDB, "output"))
  • This solved the initial error, so I'll mark it as the solution. Now debugging why my layer is empty... – George Wright Dec 16 '15 at 19:08

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