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All Places > Enterprise Architect > Blog > 2015 > June

I had the opportunity to model a geodatabase using Enterprise Architect with the Extension for ArcGIS.   Base on this experience, I wish to share my thoughts on the product:



  • Provides capability to abstract object, which is great to define common attributes but comes with some limitation (see Cons)
  • Drag-and-drop fields from one object/feature class to the other
  • Copy-Paste package/dataset/object/feature class within, or between, EA project



  • No schema validation tool.  Some error or not event detectable by ArcGIS Diagrammer or X-Ray for ArcCatalog) (Recommendation: Use Save project copy, and test importing schema in a geodatabase... often)
  • Although the abstraction is convenient, it as the following limitation:
    • The attribute in the feature class are grouped by the abstraction
    • Field with domain on the feature class must be added to each subtype
  • Can’t define a custom spatial domain in the spatial reference
  • Can’t create attribute indexes (i.e. import fail)
  • Can’t store field’s description in the ArcGIS tag

   Only for EA 9 and below...

  • Although the HazM and HasZ are set to false in EA, the XML export has them set to true (Solution: Perform a find-and-replace in Notepad).
  • Field data type definition are not converted automatically (e.g. string with length of 0, doesn’t become 255).  This seem to be problematic when loading into ArcSDE geodatabase (Solution: Import XML in file geodatabase first, then export new XML file).


I didn’t have a need to design topology or network classes in EA, so I won’t comment on those.


Overall I had to follow the following steps for designing a geodatabase:

  1. Design in EA, with the extension for ArcGIS
    1. Save project copy, repetitively
    2. Export to XML
    3. Import to geodatabase using ArcCatalog (to ensure the schema is valid)
  2. Export final XML
  3. Find-and-Replace HazM and HasZ from true to false, in text editor [Only for EA 9 and below]
  4. Import to file geodatabase using ArcCatalog
  5. Add attribute indexes with geoprocessing tool
  6. If using abstarct objects on an ArcGIS 10.2 geodatabase:
    1. Export to XML from file geodatabase
    2. Order fields in ArcGIS Diagrammer


Please share your finding in the comments below.