Have Project Templates not create copies of data

07-05-2017 01:51 PM
Status: Open
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Occasional Contributor

I have been playing with project templates and noticed a behavior that seems dangerous to me. If I create a template that has a map with layers in it and I use that template to create a new project, instead of just referencing the original data ArcGIS Pro creates a copy of that data in a new geodatabase with the same name as the original. There is no warning it has created this copy. If you are paying close attention, you will not realize you are working on a copy of the data.


It would make more sense for the template to reference the new project and maps back to the original data source unless otherwise indicated via an option or something. I should point out I am working entirely with file geodatabases and have not tested this on an SDE database.  


I agree that this is dangerous.  I have been working the last three hours and had no idea I was working with data that was copied to the Pro Project folder.  When working with SDE geodatabase sources, although, it maintains the original source.


Tripp Corbin‌ Isn't this controlled by the 'Share outside of organization' setting in the Create Project Template tool?

Create a project template—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop  "Considerations for sharing project templates are the same as for sharing project packages."

"When sharing your content within your organization, it's likely that enterprise databases, UNC path data, styles, and connections will be accessible for those consuming the project package. In this case, unchecking the Share outside of organization option is a good choice. Enterprise database data, UNC path data, styles, and connections in your map will be referenced, not copied, to the project package. However, when sharing your content outside your organization, enterprise databases, UNC path data, styles, and connections to folders, servers, and databases will not be accessible, and checking the Share outside of organization option to include the data in your package is a better choice. If you check this option, data is extracted from enterprise databases and UNC path folders and copied into a file geodatabase, styles will be copied, and all connections will be removed."


I've been having the same issue.  Except when I try to package the template, it just errors out with the extremely helpful "Genereal function failure".  I have Orthos that I do not want copied, along with other data.  Do we have to use the UNC path (i.e. \\shared\data)?  Or can a named drive be used (i.e. G:\GIS\Data)? 


The doc says UNC and that is what makes sense as you might have that mapped to G: on your machine and another user could map the same UNC path to Y: on their machine.  So use the UNC path, not mapped drive letter.


I am currently ArcGIS Pro version 2.2.4.  The Create Project Template command with the "Save template to file" option should create a Project Template that just contains the references to ALL data sources that were found in the original source project.  This "Save template to file" option should NOT be copying ANY data to the project template.  

I had an ArcGIS Pro map that references a Lidar LAS dataset.  When I when to run the Create Project Template command, the command started copying all 42 Gigabytes of LAS data files from a shared network drive to the C drive of my local machine.  Sorry, but the copying of data referenced in an ArcGIS Pro project is just unhelpful and thoughtless operational behavior.  I could not cancel the Create Project Template command and could not find the background gp process in the Windows Task Manager to cancel or kill the background job.  To stop the copying of 42 Gigabytes of Lidar LAS files I had to reboot my machine.


I am having the same issue. I have chosen 'Save template to file' and unselected all the sharing and including options. But it still copies the data! I am using version 2.3.1. What is going on?


Same issue when a raster mosaic dataset (RMD) is included in the project template.  A new user was wondering why the creation of the project template was taking so long (hours) and then we discovered that 14 GB of raw imagery was being copied instead of just referenced like was done in a similar workflow in ArcMap (Only a fraction of the raw imagery was copied so this process would have probably run for over 8 hours in Pro).  ArcMap's process is more intuitive and much more efficient and should be used as the workflow for Pro.  If you do want to share the data outside of your organization, then you should have the option to copy the data (This should not be the default).


It seems from all the replies on this thread that it is not vector data (at least SDE data) that has the issue, but raster data that gets copied when using the template.  Is this an item that ESRI will look into fixing to make templates more useful in Pro?


It is not limited to raster data. It happens with vector data stored as a Shapefile or File Geodatabase as well if it is accessed using a mapped drive. This includes a local drive. Using a UNC path does seem to work in most cases. However, who uses a UNC path to access resources stored on a local drive?? Yes I know it can be done but it does require the user to have rights that allow them to create a share on their local machine, then know how to do that and then know how to access it once done. That is a lot of steps just to access a dataset stored on the users local C or D Drive.



Thank you for confirming those other scenarios.  I think the templates at my org thus far have just included SDE data and raster data and the raster data was causing the issue for users at my org.  Since shapefiles and file geodatabases have not been included in project templates we have not encountered that portion of the issue.