Synchronization with feature services in ArcPad 10.2.1

How to use your ArcGIS Online hosted feature services in ArcPad

The latest version of the popular field data collection tool ArcPad (v.10.2.1) was released by Esri Inc. on the 6th of February. This release includes a few important updates and among the most important ones – a major improvement to the editing and synchronization capabilities. The users of ArcPad 10.2.1 can use feature services published on ArcGIS for Server 10.0 – 10.2 and they can also take advantage of using feature services hosted on the ArcGIS Online for organisations.

One of my clients has recently asked me to demonstrate these new capabilities and test the workflow which would involve editing vector data from a feature service hosted on ArcGIS Online for Organisations in ArcPad. Synchronization was supposed to be the final step if this workflow – the data edited in ArcPad has had to be synchronized with a feature service (i.e. posted back to ArcGIS Online).

The test was successful and the workflow that we’ve implemented can potentially help some of the users who are utilizing ArcPad on Windows Mobile devices connected to GNSS/GPS and who can’t really use the Collector for ArcGIS to connect to the feature services running on ArcGIS online. Now the ArcPad users can also take advantage of using hosted services and use ArcGIS Online for Organisations in their field data collection routines on Windows Mobile operated computers.

I thought it would be worthwhile sharing this workflow with our ArcPad user community….

Before you start using the below steps you need to do two important things:

1. Publish you feature service to ArcGIS Online for organisation correctly:

– enable the Feature Access

– enable the editing and synchronization capabilities (as below)


2. Make sure you’ve upgraded to ArcPad 10.2.1. The latest version can be downloaded for free at Esri website:

Synchronization with feature services

Firstly, you need to connect your ArcPad to ArcGIS Online

1. Navigate to ArcPad options:


2. Navigate to Server and type in your ArcGIS Online Login and password:



Hit ok and re-start the application.

3. Click on the Add Data button and Add Data from the Server.



4. From the dropdown list on the top of the following dialog choose Then select a feature service to add.



5. The software will obtain a token and then it will begin downloading the data.


6. Once the synchronization is finished hit OK again.



7. You can now start editing. Capture a new feature, update the attributes and hit ok.



8.  Now you can synchronize the data with the Feature Service hosted on ArcGIS Online

Navigate back to the main menu and hit the Add Layer Button and choose Synchronize Data with the Server



9. The software will begin the synchronization of your edits.



10. If the synchronization finishes correctly the following message will be displayed:


If the synchronization was successful  the new features will be posted to the feature service running on ArcGIS Online and you’ll be able to view them on a web map.

If you experience any errors – navigate to the Debug tab and see what went wrong.

The above workflow uses the following software:

– ArcPad 10.2.1 (running on a Windows 7×64 Laptop)

– ArcGIS Online for Organisations subscription.

Esri Inc. has also released a detailed blog post which will guide you through the process of using feature services published on your local ArcGIS for Server in ArcPad 10.2.1. You can access it here:


This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , on by .

About Ivan E.

Russia-born geographer with a degree in Cartography and GIS with a 18-year Esri-related experience. Had been working for Esri Russia (CIS) then moved to Australia to join Esri Australia as support trainer in the Professional services dept. Area of expertise: ArcGIS Desktop software, 3D modelling (CityEngine), cartography, remote sensing

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