In model builder, allow the 'make feature layer' and 'make table view' tools to be OPTIONAL wherever possible

Idea created by azendel on Sep 15, 2011
    • rnoorzad
    • montz
    • Leejon
    • mping
    • azendel
    I understand that the "make feature layer" tool can be handy in that it allows you to specify a 'definition query' to reduce the number of features while also allowing you to reduce the number of fields in output from downstream tools.  Same for the"make table view" tool.   When you don't want do either of those actions, requiring the inclusion of these tools is irritating.  For example, if I want to do a spatial query of all of the points in feature class A using polygons in feature class B, I first have to use the 'make feature layer' tool on the input layer.  If I don't need a subset of the feature class or don't want to reduce the number of fields in the output, then why can't I just drop the feature class into model building and then connect the 'select by location" tool directly too it?  Same for the 'spatial join' tool or any other tool that currently requires a "feature layer".  

    I wonder if they would speed up geoprocessing execuation as well?  It would certainly make exported python scripts far easier to read and manage because all of the field mapping parameters wouldn't be taking up space so much space.  Geoprocessing models themselvses would be easier to read/decipher too.  If the code base that requires these two tools can't be easily eliminated from the geoprocessing framework, then perhaps the feature layers and table views could be programatically constructed "behind the scenes" during execution.   But again, only if the user chooses not to include one of these tools in the model  for the reasons stated above.