Enterprise geodatabases work with a variety of DBMS storage models and support native SQL spatial types for all supported database management systems. Third-party application or SQL can be used to create spatial or nonspatial tables in the database management system (DBMS) and you can view and query these datasets in ArcGIS Pro.
Attempting to edit these datasets in ArcGIS Pro does however result in the following error message: ‘No editable layers‘
So, you’ve got your new database set up by IT or your vendor, you create an Enterprise Geodatabase on top of it and you’re good to go! Not quite. There is a tendency for a gap to form between the maintenance tasks required for a RDBMS and a Geodatabase. Normally, the IT department will not be aware of the specific requirements of an Enterprise Geodatabase. Below are some key points to consider:
The term ArcSDE/SDE is being gradually replaced with the term “Multiuser Geodatabase” and this is probably creating some confusion among the users of the ArcGIS platform. In order to understand the difference between ArcSDE and multiuser geodatabase, let’s start clarifying what is and what is not ArcSDE.
What is not ArcSDE:
ArcSDE is not a product. It’s a technology. In the same way ArcGIS is not a product, is a platform. Only prior to ArcGIS 9.2, ArcSDE was a standalone software product. At the ArcGIS 9.2 release, ArcSDE was integrated into both ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS for Server.
ArcSDE is not only the application sever connection, a piece of software that packs the giomgr.exe and a gsrv.exe processes. This is a common mistake that I have mentioned in my previous post but from a more business perspective. I’ll try to do the same exercise now but from a technical perspective.
So, what is ArcSDE – also called “the database enhanced with the ArcSDE technology” or simply the “ArcSDE geodatabase” or the “Multiuser geodatabase”?
This is a recurrent question in my geodatabase seminars.
“ArcSDE” is a concept that has always created some confusion, and part of the reason is, I think, due to how ArcSDE has evolved overtime.
I have seen that some users tend to associate the concept ArcSDE with the “application service connections” which has been deprecated in 10.3. Sometimes, I see people mixing things up and ending up asking questions like, “Has Esri got rid of ArcSDE?”
It’s also common to see users asking in forums why they should use ArcSDE if there are many databases that support spatial data, multi-user editing, replication, and even spatial functions, as one of colleagues here in the Melbourne office found the other day. The confusion comes from the terminology used:
Do I get the same spatial capabilities using native database spatial data versus ArcSDE enhanced spatial databases – even when both use the same spatial data types – for example, do I get the same capabilities using a MS SQLServer database using the Geometry spatial data type and a MS SQLServer ArcSDE enhanced database using Geometry spatial data type?
Is it the same multiuser editing found in SQL Server or any other database and the multiuser editing available with ArcGIS?
Is it the same “replication” functionality the one found in a database and the one we have with the Esri technology?
A short answer to all these questions is: – No, it is not the same.
Geodatabases are the central store for maintaining all your vector data for ArcGIS. Traditionally data integrity in a geodatabase is maintained with the use of versioning. Edits are made in a version. The data is quality checked and then published to the control version.
We are seeing an increasing need to maintain more than one copy of data with the advent of ArcGIS Online. Data is moved to cloud servers and ArcGIS Online to allow field editors and remote offices access to the corporate datastore. The concept of one centralised database is being eroded because of these requirements for multiple sources. Enter the geodata service. Residing on top of a versioned geodatabase, the geodata service allows organisations to replicate data through the firewall to cloud servers and ArcGIS Online – allowing users in remote office and field users to have access to and update the most current data.
Another common scenario is to have the GIS data in one geodatabase and corporate data in another. The ability to directly connect to these enterprise databases in ArcGIS and join and manipulate data is also highlighted.