Managing Custom Roles with Admin Tools

Managing people is hard work, and there is no exception in the geospatial world. For years, Admin Tools for ArcGIS has provided tools to help admins manage their ArcGIS Online and Portal content. With version 1.4, we have new tools to help you manage the people using and contributing to your content. You can now export your user roles to CSV, as well as compare and manage different roles in your organization

Roles Basics

ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS for Portal implement user roles to manage what actions and credit-based content the user has access to within the organization. There are three basic roles built into the system that cannot be altered, Viewer, Publisher, and Administrator. Viewers can view content in the organization, based on item permissions, but are not permitted to publish. Publishers can view and create content in your organization, but cannot modify other people’s content. Administrators can view, publish, and alter existing content in the organization.

ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS for Portal also support custom roles. Perhaps you want to limit a viewer’s access to certain credit-consuming processes. Or maybe you want to give a lead publisher some permissions to alter content produced by their team, but you don’t want to make that publisher a full administrator. All these abilities and more are possible through assigning custom roles.

Managing Custom Roles

In Admin Tools v1.4.0, we have developed two tools for reviewing and managing user role privileges. Under the User Tools list, you can either Browse Roles and Privileges in a table or Export Role Privileges to CSV. Export Role Privileges to CSV allows the user to view the various privileges in a spreadsheet format. The Browse Roles and Privileges tool allows that user to see the custom roles and privileges in a table format. Both tools are available in the free basic version of Admin Tools for ArcGIS. Admin Tools Pro and Portal also lets the administrator directly change roll privileges using the Browse Roles and Privileges tool.

Custom role privileges are split by general roles (Administrative, Publisher, and Viewer). These Privileges are then split into subcategories, such as Members, Groups, and Content. The Browse Roles and Privileges tool groups the privileges by these subcategories, and lets you control visibility by basic roles and individual columns. 

Some custom privileges are specific to either ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS For Portal. For example, privileges regarding Open Data sites and the ESRI Marketplace are specific to ArcGIS Online accounts. Admin Tools adjusts the privileges available based on whether you’re administering your ArcGIS Online or Portal Organization. For more details on the individual privileges, check out this page documenting roles and privileges for ArcGIS Online.


Managing groups within your organization does not have to be an exercise in herding cats. Admin Tools for ArcGIS has the tools you need to manage the content, and the users contributing that content, in your organization. Come check out what we can do for you.

Want More from GEO Jobe?

Avatar photo

From our GEOPowered Cloud to custom solutions, GEO Jobe is committed to showing clients how geospatial thinking can guide them to save time, money, and make better business decisions. The power of GIS, Simplified!