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