Update Field Aliases

12-10-2010 08:06 AM
Status: Open
Occasional Contributor II
I think there should be a tool to update field aliases.  This generally is not a problem but, when I publish a service to ArcGIS Server and use the query/find/identify tasks and attempt to display the aliases, it is only displaying them from my MXD, not the stored aliases.  And my users are getting frustrated.  I think this would be a pretty easy thing to build.  For now, I am going to have to waste my time building a tool to do this.

There could also be an option when publishing the service, to either use the mxd aliases or use the Geodatabase Aliases.
In ArcGIS Server Manager > Applications > Layers, select the layer and click the field tab.  You can set the field alias in this environment and in will carry over to the web app.  You will not be able to see the field aliases for the task set up, but the resulting web app will show the aliases.  I agree that field aliases should hold over from ArcMap .mxd to ArcGIS Server web apps, but at least there is a work-around.  
Workarounds are OK... but there sould be at least GPTool (something like Alter Field Alias), that could be used through Python.
FeatureClasses are not so critical, because it could be created through UML Tools (in which You could create Field Aliases), or You could use FeatureClass To FeatureClass Tool... but the real problem are Spatial/Attribute Views (that are Registered With Geodatabase).
There is no way to update Field Aliases of those Views, but clicking through Fields Tab in ArcCatalog, one after the other, and Copy-Paste Field Aliases from external storage. Try to imagine how frustrating it could be, if You have deployment of 30 Views each having 20-30 attributes... it's a nightmare.

Also missing GPTool: Update Field Domains !!!
AlterAliasName (attribute) via Geoprocessing tool is badly needed.  With so many databases going to services, managing aliased fields is becoming more frequent.  Managing dozens of fields across dozens (hundreds) of datasets is becoming unmanageable, in particular when consistency is desired.

I use python and ctypes to do the update for now (calling the alteralias in ArcObjects).  But this is a seriously heavy workaround for something that should be less than 10 lines long.
Captain, I wrote a gp function tool that calls the same ArcObjects Interfaces to rename a field alias (in addition to a field name) for 10.1. This makes it very easy to call the gp tool from python:

I have run into the same problem. I dont see how the tool below solves the OP's problem. The field aliases need to be updated in the service or MXD to match those in the database.

It is a time consuming process to go through the MXD and check every field alias to make sure it is the same as the one stored in the database.

As the OP stated, it would be nice if there was a tool to update all the field aliases in an MXD to the values stored in the database. Even better if there was an option in ArcGIS Server to use field aliases from the database instead of from the MXD.

Otherwise in large operations it becomes a full time task just keeping the ArcGIS Server services up to date as other groups in the organization decide that a field alias needs to be changed and therefore make the change in the central database.

caseybentz8, did you every write the tool you were talking about, since this was posted almost 3 years ago.
A geoprocessing tool has been implemented at 10.2.