ArcGIS Pro 2.0 + SDE Connections in Favorites

07-18-2017 06:44 AM
Status: Under Consideration
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor III

In ArcGIS Pro 2.0, I am able to add a connection to an enterprise geodatabase (GDB) and tag it as a Favorite.  The GDB connection file is saved to this location as a *.sde file.


If I add (copy/paste) new *.sde connection files that were created by myself or a different ArcGIS Pro user to my C:\Users\...\ArcGISPro\Favorites, they do not dynamically appear in my Pro Favorites pane.  I need to add them manually, one at a time.


If I remove a *.sde file from my C:\Users\...\ArcGISPro\Favorites folder, Pro does not dynamically remove the GDB from my Favorites pane, but instead shows a red exclamation point (!) next to the connection.


What I would like to see is my Favorites pane in Pro dynamically reflect the connection files that are located in my C:\Users\...\ArcGISPro\Favorites folder – like what we see in ArcCatalog. 


This would be helpful, because we have a database administrator who creates the GDB connection files and shares them as *.sde files with the other GIS staff.  This works great with ArcCatalog, but falls short with ArcGIS Pro.


The user is able to connect to a folder with existing connections.Connect to a GIS server—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop 

Copy/Paste your connections into the Favorites folder [C:\Users\<name>\AppData\Roaming\esri\ArcGISPro\Favorites]

Open ArcGIS Pro, and Add Item (Folder) to your Favorites in the Catalog pane

Browse to your 'Favorites' folder [C:\Users\<name>\AppData\Roaming\esri\ArcGISPro\]

Select the 'Favorites' folder

Add To Project

Changes to connections in Favorites and/or the Favorites folder are reflected in Pro once the folder is refreshed in the Project pane. Vice versa, changes to resources in Pro are reflected in the source folders


Yes.  The dynamic refreshing of the database connections in ArcCatalog is very useful and responsive.  The new method in Pro is unresponsive and the workarounds are needlessly convoluted.

This is another case where Pro is a step backward in terms of ease of use, flexibility and usefulness.

Please, let's get ArcGIS Pro up to speed with ArcMap

#arcmap equivalent

#arcmap equivalency


A dynamic refreshing of favorites if you copy them into the appropriate folder in Windows Explorer instead of having to add them individually to the project is a much more intuitive and quick process.  I know ESRI wants ArcPro to be different from ArcMap, but this functionality that is available in ArcMap would definitely make working with SDE data in ArcPro easier and more intuitive.


As the sys and geodatabases admin, it is important that I be able to silently load the geodatabase connections for users based on their role in the multi-user editing processes and in business units. As it is, I'm going to need to run Pro on each user's machine and add every single geodatabase connection manually?! That's 60 users with at least 6 geodatabase and arcgis server data sources. Yes, ridiculous.

I guess the expectation is that users of desktop GIS should know how to add these themselves, and that other users should be using web maps? However, in our case, it's not a user expertise issue, it's that we're using SQL Logins for our user roles, instead of domain logins, so every database connection is pre-configured with passwords that the users cannot know themselves.


In case anyone has a problem removing a broken database connection that has been added to New Projects and keeps showing up when you create a new project (even though it is broken), this is how you permanently remove it. Open Windows Explorer to this location C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Esri\ArcGISPro\Favorites.  Remove the *.json file.  This will remove an orphan SDE connection that refuses to go away.  You will have to add back any SDE connections that you want to keep in Favorites.


I now push updates directly to the user JSON files which at least circumvents the need to login under each profile.


I noticed that I was not able to manually add an sde connection to the favorites list by editing the Favorites.json file here, as it causes an error that causes the favorited sde files to not display in the Pro GUI:



I noticed the same phenomenon at Pro 2.4.2.  What was the workflow that you were using to try to accomplish this task?


I literally followed the same json syntax to populate the properties in the same manner as the ArcGIS Pro GUI writes to this file:


I am at version 2.5.0


I followed the same procedure.  I really don't understand why this workflow would not work.