Most service types need to read and access various GIS datasets. For example, a map service references vector and raster datasets contributing to the layers in the map. The server always needs to be able to access this data so your service will work correctly. You can determine how the server will access this data by choosing one of the following methods:
- Register your data with the server. Data registration is recommended and gives you the most control over how your server will access data. To learn how to register your data with ArcGIS Server, see About registering your data with the server.
- Have the server copy your data to the server automatically when publishing. This gives you the least control over how your services and the server will access data. However, this method ensures that the item you publish (for example, a geoprocessing service) will always be able to access its source datasets. To learn more about this method, see Copying data to the server automatically when publishing.