Considerations Regarding Cloning (Historical)

UPDATE: As of May 2022, Admin Tools 2.0 no longer supports the cloning operation. Backup My Org is now the recommended product to handle the migration of items, users, and groups from one organization to another. Please see the previous link for more information on the capabilities of this product.

NOTE: We strongly encourage any user planning to perform a clone operation to contact GEO Jobe Support (, or refer to the Best Practices for Cloning (Historical) article for assistance with your first cloning operation.

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. The Admin Tools clone operation was not originally intended for comprehensive large-scale migrations and the user is proceeding at their own risk. The original intent of our cloning workflow is to perform much smaller transfers of items that do not require item ownership or sharing to be preserved.

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.

Some considerations

  • Both origin and target accounts need to be "Out-of-the-box" ArcGIS Administrators (custom roles are NOT supported for this operation). Additionally both the origin and the target platforms (ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online) needs to have Admin Tools Licensed.

  • The size of your data in regards to credit consumption and overall time the operation will take. Larger hosted data sets will consume credits in the target organization once they are cloned and may cause the clone to appear to “hang” or stop working while it is processing the large datasets.  
  • Tiled data is only supported if the service has the corresponding Service Definition that was used to publish it. Moving tiled services without a Service Definition is currently not supported. Instructions on the best way to handle tiled data without a Service Definition can be provided, but it is not supported as part of a “one click” clone and will take a little preparation to accomplish the clone. Please note that in addition to traditional raster / tiled data types, this limitation also applies to hosted feature layers that are subsequently published as tiled layers.  

  • The relationship between your items can sometimes cause more data to move than initially realized. It is recommended to use the “View Item Dependencies” tool on any items that will be cloned so a full picture can be had of every item that will will be moved as part of a clone.    

  • Registered vs. Hosted Feature Layers are handled differently. Please note that any registered services will still point back to the original source or ArcServer and hosted services will be recreated if they are part of your organization, but not if they come from an external or 3rd party source such as Esri basemaps or premium data. For more information on cloning items with registered services, please refer to the "If You Are Cloning Services That Are Registered To A Different Data Source (Historical)" article.  

  • Any item with a dependency on custom templates or widgets in the developer version of the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS will still point to the original web server that is hosting the custom code or template. Please ensure that the target organization has access to the custom templates or code required by any web applications being cloned.    

  • Any items that are cloned are owned by the account that performed the clone in the target. If your clone is for the purpose of mirroring an organization, or moving users between organizations, then please contact GEO Jobe for assistance on best practices to accomplish your goal.  

  • Vector Tiles, Survey 123 Content, Insights, Database Views, Features with built-in filtering (hosted feature layer views), Sites, Operation Dashboards, and Scene Services are not currently supported at this time.