Expand Summary operations to include Min or Max Dates and fgdb Subqueries

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08-08-2013 10:40 AM
Status: Open
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RichardFairhurst
MVP Honored Contributor

Currently all summary tools in ArcMap, like Summarize from a tableview, Summary Statistics, Frequency, Dissolve, Spatial Join, etc., do not work to summarize dates for Min or Max values.  Dates can only provide a first and last in the Summarize output from tableviews, but they can't even do that from Summary Statistics or Frequency.  Many operations are based on finding the oldest or most recent or next date within a set of records in a table and having no way to effectively find this in ArcMap is very frustrating.

Dates can't be the unique value field for the Summarize operation in a tableview, but they can be for the Summary Statistics, Frequency and Dissolve operations.  Why does Summarize support the exact opposite options relative to Summary Statistics, Frequency and Dissolve for dates/  Why don't they all support using dates as unique values, and at least first and last summaries (although Min and Max is far more useful)?

Personal geodatabases and SDE databases support such date summaries in their subqueries, but fgdb's do not not.  Those other databases can also perform subqueries within the table where selections are being made based on the subquery result, but not fgdb's.  I nearly always want to select the set of recrods for the max date of the set of unique IDs within the same table, not an external table.

The closest work around for an fgdb I have come up with is listed in this post:  
http://forums.arcgis.com/threads/89570-Select-By-Attributes-latest-date-from-Data-Table?highlight=ma...
However, the number of steps is far too many to use for on the fly analysis.

Please devote more effort to making summarizing and uniquely grouping data on date fields more accessible and easy.