ArcCatalog Folder Connections - be able to script it or use a tool

02-16-2012 09:13 PM
Status: Open
New Contributor II
Within the context of a corporate GIS working group, it would be great to be able to run a python script or have an ArcToolbox tool (that can be batched) to (re)connect to a standard set of network folders in ArcCatalog; as opposed to individually (re)connecting folders one by one through the button/right-clicking in TOC of ArcCatalog's GUI. It would save time and assist in standardising a set of corporate GIS folder connections within the working group, especially in circumstances of machine replacements/rebuilds/new OS systems, new employees, etc. Alternatively, it would also be handy to have the option to set these connections at time of software installation.

Hi mayad85,

Have you considered modifying your own \Application Data\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcCatalog\ArcCatalog.gx file to make these standard set of network folders and then placing a copy of it somewhere where other users can copy it to their own  \Application Data\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcCatalog folder?

Granted that is just a work around.

It would be nice if ESRI allowed a default "ArcCatalog.gx" file to be defined by a admin, same way they allow for creating a custom normal template for ArcMap.
Hi ChrisQuick,

Seems like a fairly straight-forward workaround!

The ESRI rep that I was assigned when I contacted them to ask about this issue seemed to indicate that there weren't any standard tools to access/modify the contents of the ArcCatalog.gx file. It did leave me wondering how easy or hard it actually was to alter that file... Though the use of the expression 'standard tools' in the response I received had me thinking that modification of the ArcCatalog.gx file is generally discouraged (perhaps to do with warranties or copyright?). In which case I can anticipate that IT/IS here at my workplace would generally not be willing to go down that avenue... But I'll explore the issue further with IT/IS in that respect.

Thanks for the tip! 🙂

I recently posted a C# sample to that shows how with a Console Application we can pass in a string representing folder connections to create multiple folder connections outside of ArcGIS. This application could be used to run from command line or via a batch file for a user to create these connections without the user having to manually set them.

Connect to Folder Console Application
+ 10

Also, it would be great to be able to add new file types (which it seems are also stored in the ArcCatalog.gx file).
This is a good idea.

However, I propose for local data, how about they just get rid of "connecting" to a folder.  Is there any other program that can't just use the OS' "Open" dialogue and find files anywhere?

This "connect" annoys me on a daily basis. It's a holdover from code from the 1980s.  It's long overdue to get rid of this and just be "connected" to every drive and every folder that Windows is.  Just browse to where you need.
This python functionality would work great for replacing a desktop computer and being able to migrate a user from one desktop to another desktop without having the user do any extra work to get their ArcGIS software setup the same between desktops.  In the Virtual Machine (VM) time we live in, there are more commonly practices where we are building a VM and loading GIS software and needing to recreate the ArcGIS settings.