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How to fix “Packaging succeeded, but publishing failed” error in ArcGIS

When working in ArcGIS Desktop and trying to publish a service, have you encountered a pop-up window with the error message: “Packaging succeeded, but publishing failed”? If this has happened to you, don’t panic! Follow the steps in this blog, and you can fix it.

When working in ArcGIS Desktop and trying to publish a service, have you encountered a pop-up window with the error message: “Packaging succeeded, but publishing failed”? If this has happened to you, don’t panic! Follow the steps in this blog, and you can fix it.

"Packaging succeeded, but publishing failed" error

  1. Review logs

Right away, you or your server administrator may want to check the logs of ArcGIS Server and potentially Portal for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Data Store logs if you’re publishing a hosted service. Sometimes, it’s necessary to increase the level of logging, publish again and then check the log entries.

Check Esri documentation about working with server logs, working with portal logs, and accessing and managing ArcGIS Data Store logs.

If you couldn’t make much sense out of the logs, search the warning/severe messages over the Internet. Others may have encountered a similar issue and posted a solution already.

  1. Update GIS Server connection

A quick thing to try is updating your GIS Server connection in the Catalog window, as it could be outdated.

You could try to re-create a GIS Server connection in the Catalog window and update the Server URL and login credentials.

For the Server URL, it may be either an ArcGIS Server URL (e.g.  http://<ArcGIS Server name>:6080/arcgis) or an ArcGIS Web Adaptor URL (e.g. http://<web server name>/<web adaptor name>). If the publishing failed with one type of Server URL, consider trying the other.

  1. Check the Publishing Tools

If you’re publishing to ArcGIS Server or Portal for ArcGIS with a hosting server, check the Publishing Tools geoprocessing service.

Log into ArcGIS Server Manager, and find the Publishing Tools service under Services/System. If it’s not started, start it; if it’s secured, for testing purposes, unlock or share this service with everyone, and try to publish again.

If the Publishing Tools service won’t start properly, check your other ArcGIS Server services. It could be a global issue with ArcGIS Server. In the most extreme scenario, the ArcGIS Server service itself may not be started properly.

  1. Monitor ArcGIS Server machine resources

Publishing jobs could fail because of insufficient resources such as:

  • Not enough disk space left on ArcGIS Server machine(s), a network file share hosting ArcGIS Server directories or configuration store
  • Over-the-roof CPU and memory usage on ArcGIS Server machine(s)

Monitor the CPU and memory usage on ArcGIS Server while running the publishing job.

  1. Grant ArcGIS Server account permissions

When it comes to permissions, first of all, the ArcGIS Server account needs proper permissions to its directories, configuration store and installation folders. This account is the operating system account used to start and stop processes, read and write data to locations on the file system and communicate between machines.

Sometimes, an IT policy change or password expiration could affect this account. A quick fix is to run “Configure ArcGIS Server Account” utility from the ArcGIS Server machine, which will allow you to update permissions and optionally its password.

Secondly, if you’re working with registered file geodatabases, folders or databases, confirm that the ArcGIS Server account has proper read and/or write permissions to the registered data sources.

Be especially cautious if you have registered SDE Geodatabase with ArcGIS Server using operating system authentication. The publishing job would leverage the publisher’s authentication (e.g. whoever is working in ArcMap), while the service itself will log into the DBMS as the ArcGIS Server account. Please refer to this documentation for more information.

  1. Build up the publishing task

There could be many components involved in a publishing job, such as ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Data Store, ArcGIS Desktop, geodatabases and so on. If a publishing job with many moving parts fails, try to publish something less complex.

A simple test could be as below:

  • In ArcMap, drag in one simple feature class from a file geodatabase, without labeling or symbolizing the layer.
  • Create a service definition with the options “No available connection” and “Include data in service definition when publishing”.
  • In Service Editor, select “Mapping” capability only.
  • Log into the ArcGIS Server machine, and publish the service definition in Server Manager.

If this simple test fails, you’ll likely need to troubleshoot ArcGIS Server.

If the above test succeeds, you could then approach your end goal one step at a time. For example, you may:

  • In ArcMap, publish the same sample feature class as a map service without creating a service definition (consider using ArcMap installed on a different local machine).
  • Copy the feature class to your SDE geodatabase registered with ArcGIS Server, and publish a map service.
  • Enable Feature Access capability for the above test, if you’d like to publish a feature service.
  • Publish with the intended dataset(s) copied to a different location (e.g. copying from an SDE geodatabase and pasting into a file geodatabase on an ArcGIS Server machine).
  • Publish a hosted service to Portal for ArcGIS and so on.

For all the building-up tests, the best practice is to rename each service by the nature of each test. Sometimes, a failed publishing job may hang up to the old service name.

  1. Contact Technical Support

This blog cannot cover all scenarios, only the most common ones. Once you’ve done your best to troubleshoot the error, and the issue persists, it’s time to contact Technical Support.

There are deeper problems that could cause publishing failures such as opportunistic locking, jobs stuck in the ArcGIS Server system folder, corrupted Publishing Tools service, registered folders/databases not updated correctly and more.

When you do contact Technical Support, make sure you provide all the logs, error messages and troubleshooting steps you have taken. They would serve as important clues for Technical Support to solve your publishing errors.

Lastly, a piece of warning: DO NOT modify ArcGIS Server configuration store and directories without consulting the vendor, as this could cause severe problems to your entire GIS Server.

Other than that, best of luck troubleshooting!

About the Author

Jing Yan is a Senior Enterprise Support Consultant for Esri Canada, providing technical support to ArcGIS Enterprise users. She holds a master’s degree in planning from Dalhousie University and a GIS Advanced Diploma from the Centre of Geographic Sciences. Besides her passion for GIS, she also likes to write novels, enjoy the arts, play competitive sports, travel and collect mugs.

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