Using the Catalog Connector to Federate and Connect External Assets

Socrata Catalog Connectors allows administrators to connect assets from a public ArcGIS Server or from another data catalog (e.g. ArcGIS Online, CKAN, etc) using a data.json connection to their Socrata catalog.

All assets federated to a Socrata catalog via the Catalog Connector are public by default. Through the daily syncing cycle, assets connected through the data.json connector will be made public, meaning data.json connected assets that are made private will reset to public after each sync.

Please note that ArcGIS servers are scheduled to sync once a day, but updates for some servers may take longer than 24 hours. Additionally, dependent on available resources, updates to a connector may not happen every day.

Setting up a New Connection

In order to set up Catalog Connector for ArcGIS, an Administrator or Publisher will navigate to the Connectors page within the Administration Panel on your Socrata site.


From the Connectors page, select the “Add New” button in the top right-hand corner. This will take you to the page where you will initially add the connection to your ArcGIS Server or external data catalog.

To add a connection, select the appropriate Connector source from the dropdown menu:


Then, simply input your ArcGIS Server Address or data.JSON endpoint into the field on the “Add Connector” page. Since “ https:// ” is already indicated for the field configuration, you should not include that part of the address in your entry. You’ll also be able to name your Connector if connecting a data.JSON endpoint. Select “Save” to start the federation process.

Important Notes: 

1. A data.JSON endpoint is typically available at Check with your external data catalog provider to confirm this.

2. We currently do not support the ability to federate Socrata to Socrata data.json endpoints. 

3. If setting up an ArcGIS connection, ensure that you are entering the root address of a public Arc Server.

After saving, you’ll be taken back to an updated Connectors page where you’ll see a success message and indication that the process for Socrata to sync with your ArcGIS Server or external catalog has begun.

If instead of a success message, you see an error, please make the required adjustments and re-save.

Once successful, the syncing process can take a few minutes or possibly up to a few hours (depending on the volume of external data/metadata to be federated). Note: Each data connected asset will take time proportional to the number and size of features on that asset.

If the process takes longer than expected or you are not able to configure the connection successfully, please contact our Support team by emailing,

Managing Connections

After the connection is configured, you’ll find the list of current connections on your "Manage Connectors" page. Each listing indicates the source domain, the number of assets that Socrata discovered, the number of assets that are currently federated to your catalog, the current status of the connection, and the last date and time when the connection synced.

The number of “Discovered assets” is the number of assets that Socrata found on your ArcGIS Server the last time a check for updates occurred.

The number of “Connected assets” is the number of assets that are federated to your public Socrata catalog.

The “Current Status” indicates whether a sync is in progress, a sync was successful or an error has occurred. When the Current Status indicates success, you’ll find the connected assets in your public Socrata catalog.

The “Last Synced” time indicates the most recent check for updates. Socrata checks your ArcGIS server for changes and updates the layers in your catalog as needed. These updates include overwriting of the metadata and/or any direct edits to metadata fields (though the metadata Category is excluded from this).

NOTE: For ArcGIS connections, a failed sync indicates that at least one layer in the connections has failed to sync.

The fields we pull from the data.json feed are: Name, Description, attributionLink, rowLabel, tags, permissions and all Common Core 1.1 required fields and required-if-applicable fields, which are listed here.

For each connection, you have the option to “edit” the connection and select layers to federate or to “terminate” the connection completely.

You can use the “Add new” button to add connections to more ArcGIS Servers or data.JSON endpoints.

More information about connecting to ArcGIS servers -- for metadata federation or data harvesting -- can be found here: ESRI Asset Federation and Data Connections.

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