Grich's World of GIS

Comments on ArcGIS and the industry

Location: Portland, Oregon

I have been in the Geographic Information Systems industry since graduating with a BS in Geography from Portland State Univ in 1994. Geography is COOL!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

ArcCatalog Hell

Ok, if you are getting this kind of behavior, you are not alone.
If you make changes to feature classes in ArcCatalog or ArcMap, they may not register with the other product until you exit the program and re-enter it.
Mostly this was happening when I made a schema change using SQL Enterprise tools on SDE Feature Classes. Yes, this is not an ESRI product I use to change the schema, but you cannot easily change the attribute structure of a feature class with ArcCatalog. Catalog only allows you to add and subtract fields, but not where you want them to go. If you add a field it automatically goes to the bottom of the field list.
So in 8.3, I would turn versioning off (trying to make a schema change on a versioned class: forget it) and use Enterprise manager (SQL Server) to make the attribute column changes.
But in 9.0 you can't even do that anymore, unless you remember to make the change in the sde_column_registry table (new in 9.0).
ESRI states that you can make schema changes by exporting to XML and editing the XML file, then re-importing. Have you ever done this? Yes it works, and isn't that incredibly hard to figure out, but having to export your data and then re-import it seems a might barbaric just for adjusting an attribute.
Will ESRI please address this!

Anyway, today I made a change IN ARC CATALOG, deleting a column out of a feature class in SDE. ArcMap didn't recognize the change (actually what I got was an error when I tried to identify a polygon in that layer). I removed the layer from ArcMap and re-added from Catalog. Same problem. I shut down catalog, started it again; same problem.
I had to shut ArcMap down in order for ArcMap to recognize that I had deleted a field with ArcCatalog.
This is an increasingly anoying problem.


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