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We have an on-prem (traditionally) versioned db - what happens when Workgroup goes away?

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08-14-2023 07:28 AM
SaraSiskavich
New Contributor II

What is the best option for a shop like mine anticipating the retirement of Workgroup?  We have 3 editors doing edits and publishing out to AGOL from an Standard workgroup-licensed on-prem db.   Full-on enterprise/sql server licensing is overkill for us, cost-wise and administratively.  The ability to do versioned editing will remain crucial.   Who else is in the boat and what are you going to do?  Am I really looking at something like postgres to offset costs?  Feels very Y2K... 

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5 Replies
MarceloMarques
Esri Regular Contributor

Some options.

Types of geodatabases—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation

1. You can continue to use SQL Server Express (free) but you will need to acquire an ArcGIS Server Standard License to have access to the ArcSDE License, that is right ArcSDE License is not sold separate and you need to buy ArcGIS Server Standard, then you can create any number of ArcSDE Geodatabases in SQL Express that you want, you will need to learn more about SQL Server Express and SQL Server Management Studio and the ArcGIS Geoprocessing Tools to create ArcSDE Geodatabases.

2. Move to PostgreSQL (free), also you need to acquire the ArcGIS Server Standard License to get access to the ArcSDE License, then you will be able to create any number of ArcSDE Geodatabases in PostgreSQL that you need, you will have to learn PostgreSQL, psql, pgAdmin, and you can choose esri st_geometry for the spatial geometry type or you can use the PostGIS spatial geometry type to store your data. Therefore, your learning curve might take time, you will need to attend PostgreSQL training and also Esri Enterprise Geodatabase training to better manage ArcSDE Geodatabases, especially when Geodatabase Versioning is involved.

3. You can use Mobile Geodatabases in SQL Lite (free), but be aware that there are Geodatabase functionality limitations, read more in the documentation link below.

Mobile geodatabases—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation

I would say the move to PostgreSQL is your best option, more scalable, and PostgreSQL Geodatabases support all the Geodatabase features and capabilities.

I hope this helps.

| Marcelo Marques | Principal Product Engineer | Esri |
| Cloud & Database Administrator | OCP - Oracle Certified Professional |
I work with Enterprise Geodatabases since 1997.
“ I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them." Isaac Isimov
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SaraSiskavich
New Contributor II

I appreciate your response.  Can you provide some  additional clarity regarding the following statement,  considering context of my question is a 3+ year planning horizon: 

1. You can continue to use SQL Server Express (free)

ESRI says that Enterprise 11.1 is the last version to support workgroup licensing (which allows you stage data in SQL Express using direct connect). Reference https://support.esri.com/en-us/knowledge-base/how-to-apply-a-full-arcgis-enterprise-license-to-arcgi...

This, coupled with anecdotes around the community of folks using Pro who are unable to create new geodatabases in sql express, only administer existing ones, lead me to speculate that SQLExpress will go away once Workgroup and Desktop go away. 

I like mobile geos and have started using them in my projects, but since they don't support versioning, their mention here is somewhat irrelevant to my question.   Unless I'm missing something? Is versioning in mobile geos on the development path, or will versioning ONLY be accessible with Enterprise?  

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MarceloMarques
Esri Regular Contributor

Hello @SaraSiskavich ,

ArcGIS Pro Mobile SQL Lite geodatabases do not support versioning.

ArcGIS Desktop 10.8.2 is the last release of ArcMap & ArcCatalog as you know.

ArcGIS Desktop has the ability to create Geodatabases in SQL Server Express also known as "Workgroup".

The Workgroup geodatabases do not require any extra licenses, you just need the ArcGIS Desktop License.

ArcGIS Pro works with "Workgroup" Geodatabases created in ArcGIS Desktop.

But in ArcGIS Pro you cannot create "Workgroup" Geodatabases.

Hence, you need the ArcSDE License to created ArcSDE Geodatabases in SQL Server using ArcGIS Pro.

The ArcSDE License is not sold separate, it comes with ArcGIS Server, therefore you need to buy at minimum the ArcGIS Server Standard License.

ArcGIS Pro supports ArcSDE Geodatabases in SQL Server Express, Standard and Enterprise Editions.

See the system requirements page below for more details.

ArcGIS 11.1 and ArcGIS Pro 3.1 requirements for Microsoft SQL Server—ArcGIS Enterprise | Documentati...

I hope this clarifies.

| Marcelo Marques | Principal Product Engineer | Esri |
| Cloud & Database Administrator | OCP - Oracle Certified Professional |
I work with Enterprise Geodatabases since 1997.
“ I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them." Isaac Isimov
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SaraSiskavich
New Contributor II

Marcelo,

Regarding the level of ArcGIS Enterprise licensing going forward, on page 4 of this document, ArcGIS Enterprise Functionality Matrix for 11.1 there is a brief discussion of ArcGIS Server Basic.  How does that relate to this discussion?  Is that going away too?  Again, I don't want to set up a web host, I just want to do continue to do versioned edits in a small team environment, like I was doing with ArcGIS Server Workgroup Standard.   

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MarceloMarques
Esri Regular Contributor

@SaraSiskavich - ArcSDE Geodatabase license is not sold separate, you need to acquire at least ArcGIS Server Basic, then you will have the ArcSDE License as well, even if you are not planning of using ArcGIS Server, then with the license file you will be able to create Enterprise Geodatabases in SQL Server. You do not need to deploy ArcGIS Server. You just need the license file with the ArcSDE licence. I hope this clarifies.

| Marcelo Marques | Principal Product Engineer | Esri |
| Cloud & Database Administrator | OCP - Oracle Certified Professional |
I work with Enterprise Geodatabases since 1997.
“ I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them." Isaac Isimov
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