I have a feature dataset which holds data published through ArcGIS Server 10.3.1 and I need to import new datasets into the feature dataset but cannot due to locks.

Do I really need to stop all services which read data from this feature dataset to import a new feature class or is there another way?

  • You can try server.arcgis.com/en/server/10.3/administer/windows/…, but there may be other processes alive that will still possess a lock, but worth trying. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 12:08
  • 2
    This is one of the many reasons not to use feature datasets for anything other than feature classes that will be edited together. Best practice is to stop the services before making drastic changes like adding an FD to an FDS.
    – Vince
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 12:22
  • Try exporting into the GDB. I have had success in the past by choosing to export it into the GDB rather than import it.
    – MDHald
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


In the 'Parameters' tab, disable the 'Lock Database Schema' setting (for each of the services that access the feature class(es) in the feature dataset). This is on by default, and of course you will need to consider if this may adversely affect anything that consumes the service(s) (some applications could get confused by schema changes).

Of course, you do have to save and restart the service when you change this setting. But that's a one-off restart for each service and enables ongoing multiple schema changes without having to stop the service again.

Documentation for this setting is at: http://enterprise.arcgis.com/en/server/latest/administer/windows/disabling-schema-locking-on-a-map-service.htm

I always disable this setting on all of my map services. It's just too much of a headache to manage even a trivially dynamic GIS schema otherwise. The first thing I did when I started my current job was to disable this setting on all services.

The only other way to avoid this problem is to avoid using feature datasets. Sometimes you need to use them (eg, for geometric networks, etc). But don't get tempted to use them just to organise feature classes into groups.


Where do you store the data? SQLServer, Oracle or FGD? I have a 10.1 server deployed and never had a problem with importing new items into the geodatabase (SQLServer 2008 R2).

I could not remove or edit (in terms of changing names etc.) the feature classes when they were in use by the MapService/Feature Service, but never had problems with importing new data.

Actually both ways Export To and Import worked fine for me...

  • The question isn't about creating feature classes, it's about adding feature classes to a feature dataset (the FDS itself is locked).
    – Vince
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 2:03
  • That's the situation I am talking about. I can add new feature classes into existing dataset using Import (even if another feature classes from that dataset are used by the service) - however the lock is not allowing me to remove or edit existing data...
    – osedok
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 2:28

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