Error: The server is not ready for publishing. Please check if the Publishing Tools on the server are started

Error Message

When publishing a service from ArcMap to ArcGIS for Server, the following error is returned:

"The server is not ready for publishing. Please check if the Publishing Tools on the server are started".


There are several potential causes for this error.

• The Publishing Tools service on ArcGIS for Server is not started or is in a stopped state.

• The connection between the local machine and ArcGIS for Server is not stable and becomes intermittent. The disabled connection does not allow ArcGIS for Server to communicate with other machines and returns the error.

• Processing and memory limitations of the server may return the error. The server crashes or becomes unresponsive when it is overloaded with requests and is unable to process the large amount of data.

Solution or Workaround

  • Ensure the Publishing tool service is started. For more information, refer to the following web help document, ArcGIS for Server Help: Starting and stopping services.
  • Save a service definition (.sd) file using ArcMap, and publish the .sd file directly from ArcGIS Server Manager.

    1. In ArcMap, navigate to File > Share As > Service, and select 'Save a service definition file'. Click Next.
    2. Select 'No available connection', check 'Include data in service definition when publishing', and provide a name for the service.
    3. Select a location to save the service definition file. Click Continue.
    4. In the Service Editor dialog box, make the appropriate changes to the properties where needed.

    When publishing from ArcGIS for Desktop, select Feature Access > Service Editor > Capabilities > Feature Access. This creates a URL to access the feature service over the web.

    5. Click Analyze.
    6. To complete the process, click Stage.

    The Analyze function checks if there are any potential performance issues before publishing a GIS resource as a service. The Stage function compiles a service definition file with all the relevant information needed to publish a GIS service, including data that must be copied to the server because it does not appear in the server's data store.

    7. Publish the .sd file created from the above steps.

    a. Open ArcGIS Server Manager > Services > Publish Service.
    b. Click Browse, and select the .sd file created. Click Next.
    c. Select the folder and destination to publish the service, and click Next.
    d. Click Publish.

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