ArcSDE updates not supported by ArcCatalog “Set Data Source” tool

Up to and including v10.0, the ArcCatalog “Set Data Source” tool is only designed for updating MXD file based data sources such as Personal and File geodatabases.

ArcSDE data connections updated via the ArcCatalog “Set Data Source” tool are not supported. The tool may allow you to update or repair MXD data references from ArcSDE geodatabases but is not the recommended method. 


The recommended methods are:

# v10.0 #
Use ArcGIS v10.0 map scripting with Python via the new arcpy.mapping module.

Online ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 Help > Updating and fixing data sources with arcpy.mapping

# PRE v10.0 #
If the workflow exists where new server and database are both setup, organisation that have multitudes of dedicated MXD’s pointing to an old server can re-direct the connections. Testing has shown a valid dummy database connection set up for the broken links will cause the MXD to time-out and open with the option to repair data sources nearly as quickly as default behavior.
via the following unsupported ArcScripts:
Change ArcSDE Datasources
Automate datasource change in MXD’s and MXT’s
ArcMAP MXD Redirect Data Sources
Generic Set Data Source for any MxDocument

NOTE: I have not personally tested the ArcScripts. Esri does not support ArcScripts.
ArcScripts are intended for the free exchange of scripts and tools related to Esri software products. For any related queries on these scripts please contact the script author.

Further details in Esri Inc’s knowledge base technical article below:
27425 HowTo: Use the ‘Set Data Source’ tool for map documents in ArcCatalog

Stefanie L

2 thoughts on “ArcSDE updates not supported by ArcCatalog “Set Data Source” tool

  1. Andrew Biggins

    What is the recommended method for SDE data sources?
    Neither this article nor the ESRI knowledgebase article give a method or workaround for SDE data sources.

    I have been able to update SDE data sources using the Set Data Source tool without issue. Perhaps this is because the SDE connections use Windows authentication, so the username is not saved in the connection? Are there other reasons why it shouldn’t be used for SDE connections?


    1. StefanieL Post author

      Thanks for the comment Andrew, I have updated the article in response to your query.

      Kind regards,
      Stefanie L


Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s