Read/Edit Feature Table Attribute Fields

Idea created by walt on Jul 7, 2011
    Many users continue to use .shp files and delay  converting .shp files to file database feature class files, because once the .shp files are converted into file databases the user attribute fields can only be viewed and edited with ArcMap. Continuing to use .shp files allows any user to view and edit attribute files using MS Access, which most users have installed on their office computers.  If the .shp file is converted to a ArcGIS file database, any user wanting to view or edit the attribute fields must use ArcGIS software which typically is not installed on most office computers and the cost of purchasing ArcGIS licenses to just view/edit attribute tables can not be justified, when leaving the files in .shp format and using Access meets this need. The need for many staff to view attribute tables produced by GIS processing is a common need in most offices.  The ability to do this with Access was one of the main reasons the attribute tables of .shp files were originally  formated as dBase files.  I suggest if a free stand-alone application was provided to allow users to view and edit file geodatabade feature tables (analogous to Adobe Reader) users would quickly convert .shp files to file geodatabases, and use them only for exporting data to other applications when need.  This would greatly aid GIS analyst in their attempt to use ArcGIS file databases for geoprocessing and allow non GIS users in their office to review the attribute tables resulting from their analysis or data automation.