Sometimes in life, you take things you know for granted. You (wrongly) assume that everyone else knows the same things. Maybe your dad was mechanically inclined and taught you how to change your oil. You might think that everyone knows how to change their oil. It’s pretty basic, right? But to some people, the thought of changing their oil is unfamiliar, maybe even daunting. Where do I start? What could break if I don’t do it correctly? Some people might not even know they need to change their oil.
We are all a result of our experiences. In the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) profession, there are so many job roles and so much software functionality it’s impossible to know all of the features of ArcGIS and how to use them.
So here’s a little How-To blog on something I’ve been doing for a long time, but realize not everyone knows how to do.
Saving credentialed web services to the My Content Section of ArcGIS Online (often from a third party like Weather Decision Technologies)
Why would you need/want to do this?
Simple answer: no one likes re-entering credentials on web forms all the time. When you create a web map that gets shared across your GIS department or the whole enterprise, you want it just to work. You don’t want people prompted for a username and password. You don’t need one more set of credentials that has to change if one person leaves the company. Nor do you want everyone to have to remember that password (because that ultimately means YOU get stuck answering the “what’s the password?” question all the time).
How to do this:
Let’s start from the My Content section of your ArcGIS Online account:
Click the Add Item button, and select From the Web
This is the dialog box that will appear (note: no fields to enter username/password):
Let’s use the REST endpoint for North American Radar, WDT’s most popular Map Service, in this exercise. Once you enter the URL for the REST endpoint, ArcGIS Online realizes that this ArcGIS web service requires credentials and a Username and Password field appear. If you’d like credentials to WDT’s ArcGIS web services, fill out the SkyWise GIS form, ask, and we will send you what you need. To continue, fill in the Username and Password and make sure to change the radio button to Store Credentials (if you don’t do this, it defeats the purpose). Note the tags, that automatically pop up when connected to our map service (valid username/password entered):
Next, pull up a new or existing map in ArcGIS Online in which you’d like to add the credentialed web service. Make sure to add the credentialed web service from My Content rather than hitting the Add Data -> Add Layer from the Web option. To do this, click the Add Data button and select Search for Layers. There’s a Find field where you can enter a keyword/tag, and an In field that provides a drop-down box. Make sure to select My Content or My Organization. In this instance, type “radar” in the Find field to locate the North American Radar Service (and any other service tagged with “radar”) you saved in My Content earlier based on the associated tags.
Click the Add button, and you’ve got a credentialed data service from a third party in your ArcGIS Online or Portal map. Now you can:
- Open the map without entering a username/password to the third party service
- Share that map without requiring other users to know the username/password to the third party web service
- Use the map in a web application without requiring the end-user to know or enter the credentials to the third party ArcGIS web service
- Enable the rest of your ArcGIS Online Organization or ArcGIS Portal users to use the credentialed third party ArcGIS web service within their maps and applications (as long as you correctly configure your Share settings)
If you just want a credentialed data service to walk through this step-by-step process, or if you’d like to evaluate WDT’s SkyWise GIS web services for your company’s ArcGIS maps and apps, drop us a line.