How To Clone an Entire ArcGIS Organization

UPDATE: As of 2021, GEO Jobe has transitioned from recommending Admin Tools for ArcGIS to Backup My Org when it comes to migrating items, users, and groups from one organization to another.


Please Note: We HIGHLY discourage users of our tools from attempting this process without hands-on guidance from a member of GEO Jobe's staff including using our Cloning Support Package (contact GEO Jobe for details). Admin Tools cloning workflow was not originally intended for this type operation and a user is proceeding at their own risk at this point. The original intent of cloning is to perform much smaller transfers of items that do not require item ownership or sharing to be preserved. This is a very complex and powerful operation that requires some consideration before performing and should not be taken lightly. It is our intent to make absolutely clear, that the cloning workflow is not intended to be a "perfect" one-click solution to your content migration needs, and that there will be times that some items will simply not migrate over. We try to enhance the cloning workflow capability for each update to Admin Tools to handle more scenarios and specific items, but there will be situations where you will need to rebuild items and applications where necessary.

While the clone tools are absolutely invaluable for streamlining the transfer of content from one platform to another, please note that there are many moving parts to this workflow behind the scenes based on many variables related to assorted ArcGIS Content. The best policy for your migration project includes enough time to plan, troubleshoot any unforeseen issues, and accomplish the cloning.

Please See Considerations Regarding Cloning and Best Practices for Cloning articles for important details before cloning for the first time.

Recommended cloning steps:

  1. Tag all items in the origin the by owner
  2. Tag all items in the origin by their group
  3. Tag all groups in the origin by their owner
  4. Tag all users in the origin by their group membership
  5. Tag all users in the origin by their role
  6. Clone all Feature Services, Map Services, Image Services from the origin to the target
  7. Clone all WebMaps from the origin to the target
  8. Clone all Misc Content from the origin to the target (anything that is not a Feature Service, Map Service, Image Service, WebMap, or WebApp)
  9. Clone all Web Apps from the origin to the target
  10. Clone Custom Roles from the origin to the target
  11. Create users in the target (NOTE: This may be done earlier, but this is the absolute latest it may happen in the process)
  12. Update ownership of items in the target
  13. Update ownership of groups in the target
  14. Share items with groups in the target
  15. Invite users to groups in the target
  16. Update user roles in the target


Additional Notes:

  • It is not recommended to clone more than 5 items at a time. This will allow for easier isolation of problem items / users / groups.
  • The clone process will NOT be perfect (there will be edge cases and issues that pop up along the way).
  • Sometimes you will have to get Esri Techincal Support involved if already corrupted content is found in the origin that we cannot clone to the target. (i.e: a feature service that will not open).