Automation with ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online offers several similar options for automation to ArcGIS Enterprise, including both Python notebooks running in ArcGIS Online and Python-based automation of ArcGIS Online processes, endpoints and workflows. ArcGIS Workflow Manager can also be used as an automation engine within ArcGIS Online, as described in the product documentation and in the Workflow automation section of this pillar.

Python notebooks in ArcGIS Online can be run interactively, where a user initiates each code cell and can interact wit the results or scheduled to run as an entire set of code on a recurring basis, similar to the functionality of ArcGIS Notebook Server. These notebooks run with the identity of the owning user and are able to assume that user’s session to access secured content, add features or change settings as needed. ArcGIS Online notebooks will run on the specified schedule, and if a notebook fails five times in a row, the task will be paused until the owner can investigate the issue.

Notebooks can also be used to connect to other user sessions within the ArcGIS Online organization (such as managing content for another user), to another ArcGIS Online organization, or to an ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Server deployment, as long as that system is internet-facing and can be queried from the Python runtime. Connecting to other organizations or Enterprise deployments usually requires authenticating to those systems, which can introduce complexities related to which forms of authentication can be supported. See the ArcGIS Python API documentation on authentication to understand the implications and potential options.

Similar to ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS API for Python automation can also be used with ArcGIS Online. Whether running functions from the ArcGIS API for Python in a notebook or in a separate Python environment, these scripts can be used to accomplish a wide variety of automation tasks within the ArcGIS Online organization, such as:

  • Automate data updates from another source (ETL-like processes)
  • Automate user profile information changes based on an external source
  • Manage group membership based on another group management system
  • Create items automatically and promoting items that have certain attributes or characteristics
  • Automatically deprecate items with low usage
  • Track usage of items over time to establish a graph or summary of behaviors