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Get more done! Use Python to automate admin tasks in your Web GIS portal

Whether you are administrating one or multiple ArcGIS Online portals, or a portal hosted on-premises using Portal for ArcGIS with ArcGIS Enterprise, Python scripts can really make your life easier. With the latest release of ArcGIS API for Python, you now have the tools to automate many tasks, which can free you up and help move your Web GIS forward. This blog post will review use case scenarios and highlight the training resources that are available to help you get started.

The ArcGIS API for Python can do more than you probably think. Many administrators are leveraging its capabilities and would not want to go back to manual processes. Here are a few examples that might inspire you to learn this useful language.

Use case scenarios for content management

  • Automate feature layer updates

Instead of manually going into the source table, detecting changes, making the edits in the feature layer and publishing the new version to your portal, this process can be automated. You can set it to run at regular intervals to make sure that you have the most recent updates available in your web maps and apps.

  • Automate syncing of metadata in web layers and corporate data warehouse

It’s important to keep your metadata up to date. When working with web layers, you will need to manage the metadata and keep things aligned with the layers stored outside the Web GIS. It can be daunting to manage this manually, so this API can really take that off your plate.

  • Identify how content is linked together inside your portal

The API can efficiently pull up information about which web maps and apps are using each web layer, making it easier to test whether things are still working as expected after any updates.

Use case scenarios for user management

  • Automate the creation of usernames for all desktop users in your organization

Let’s say you are just getting started with Web GIS and you want to enable all desktop users with a username based on their profile in your database. This process will create them as users in your portal and provide the associated privileges. When you have more than a handful of users, this automation can make a big difference.

  • Automate creation of temporary users and closure of those accounts after a certain time has lapsed

For managing short-term users like summer students or sub-contractors, this process can allow you to set a creation date in the future and then change the passwords for those accounts and delete their content, or transfer it to another user, once their time is up. This will help avoid leaving these short-term users with access to your portal after they’ve finished working with your organization, reducing the administrative effort required to manually transition each user.

If you want to explore possibilities a bit further for this API, you can review this link.

I hope the above use case scenarios got you excited about using the ArcGIS API for Python. Need help getting started? Here are the training courses we suggest:

Getting Started with Python (one-day instructor-led course)

NEW! Introduction to the ArcGIS API for Python (two-day instructor-led course)

If you have any questions, let us know at

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Carole Arseneau is a Market Research Specialist at Esri Canada. Over the years, she has advised customers from all industries on how to leverage GIS in their organizations. More recently, she’s been conducting market research to uncover details about the various jobs our customers do each day in various industries. This will help inform Esri Canada’s corporate strategy and better support our customers. Carole holds a Market Research certificate from the University of California, Davis, a GIS certificate from Florida State College in Jacksonville and a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Laval University in Québec City. Being by the water has always made her feel at home and has given her inspiration to keep a positive outlook in life.

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