A feature service published in ArcGIS Online offers an easy method of sharing data if a GIS server cannot be made public or you do not wish to maintain one. Viewers can access these services in desktop clients and web applications via the Internet with the data owners' permission.
Over time, data in a published ArcGIS Online feature service may have to be changed, and during this activity, there are some best practices to ensure that ArcGIS Online content is not lost.
These best practices for ArcGIS Online feature service data management include:
Maintaining a map document copy in ArcMap containing the source data
Save the map document (.mxd) file to ensure a feature service can be republished from the source data in the case where a published feature service is lost.
Checking the 'Prevent this item from being accidentally deleted' check box
Once the features are uploaded to ArcGIS Online, users can select the data to be deleted. Since recovery of deleted items is not possible, it is recommended that users protect their data from being accidentally deleted. To do this, check the 'Prevent this item from being accidentally deleted' check box to protect the items published on ArcGIS Online. For more information on securing hosted items, refer to the following document, ArcGIS Blog: How to Prevent Accidental Deletion.
Backing up data from ArcGIS Online
Creating a copy of the published ArcGIS Online feature service prevents unnecessary worry if the data is accidentally deleted. The steps to create backup data are available in the following knowledge base article, How To: Back up content in ArcGIS Online.
Note: Deleted items in ArcGIS Online cannot be restored. For more information on why a deleted feature service cannot be retrieved in ArcGIS Online, refer to the following document, FAQ: Is it possible to retrieve a deleted feature service from ArcGIS Online?