I have a layer in ArcGIS Pro that I want to separate technical name, and display name for the layer. Reason for this is that the web client I develop has some functionality that fails if the layer name contains certain characters. So I need to have a technical name, and a different display name.

I see in the javascript code when debugging that the featurelayer object contains name and description, where the description contains the value that is set as alias on the featureclass table in the geodatabase.

I want to set this differently in the service when publishing this from ArcGIS Pro. How can I do this?

1 Answer 1


If you want to have a "program friendly" name and a "human readable" layer name this can only be done for geodatabase feature classes. The concept of an alias name does not exist for Shapefiles. You don't actually state what your source data is...

So assuming your data is in a geodatabase then go to the geodatabase in the project panel, expand and then go to the properties of the featureclass. One of the properties is Alias which you can change into the human readable name. When you drag 'n' drop this into the map you will see the alias displayed.

The fact that your data is in a geodatabase will enforce certain naming conventions like no spaces, unique, does not start with a number and no odd characters.

Note this only works for Feature Classes and not rasters.

  • I am using geodatabase. I guess part of the problem is that I set up 2 layers in my ArcGIS Pro project that reference the same feature class, but with different "Definition Query" to be able to show two different categories of the data in separate layers that can be turned on/off independently in the client. I also have a different issue related to this. I am beginning to think that the Definition Query on the layer is useless because everything is based on the feature class anyway....
    – awe
    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:28

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