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Improve Arc Catalog Functionality

06-20-2010 11:45 PM
Status: Open
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Occasional Contributor

The more I work with ArcCatalog to build a Spatial Data Catalogue the more I find out what a difficult and limited tool it is to work with.
Here are some ideas to improve it's functionality and ease of use.

  • Auto refresh - having to manually refresh EACH individual folder in each view when ever changes are made is absurd.
  • Schema Locks - if the file has been removed from Arcmap, ArcCatalog needs to know this. Having to shut down Arcmap every time you need to use the files in Catalog is a serious concern.
  • Geoprocessing tools do not recognise the .vbs or .apl files associated with ArcPad Studio files. Create a new file through a geo-processing tool or try to import/export to a geodatabase and loose all associated ArcPad functionality.
  • A "back" button would be nice.
  • Delete files to recycle bin!!
  • Toggle automatically between Contents and Preview tabs depending on whether you select a folder or a file in the tree-view.
  • Improved drag and drop functionality - so often it just doesn't work.
  • Keyboard shortcuts like "ctrl c" don't work
I stronly recommend ESRI to adopt the idea of Recycle Bin in ArcCatalog
All the above are items I'd like to see implemented as well. This has been missing for a long time.
Not sure that ArcCatalog itself should be enhanced now that it appears to be in the process of being fully superseded by the Catalog Window of ArcMap.  Perhaps a new idea could be submitted that addresses just what's needed in Catalog Window - I think the Schema Locks issue is one from the above that is already addressed there. 
yes, schema locks. lack of auto refresh, lack of standard keyboard cut, copy, paste commands are a real drawback.
ArcCatalog should provide additional needed functionality and better cooperation with ArcMap.
  • Editing of attributes (field calculator at least)
  • New intelligent, automated and comfortable lost sources management of map documents with minimum user involvement
  • Separate Contents/Preview/Description tabs into individual windows
  • Preview of multiple layers at once in one or more windows:
    • Show joint preview of selected layers 
    • Show joint preview of all layers contained in the selected folder
  • Interactive comparison of selected layer’s geography or attributes with intelligent identification and evaluation of differences (even within GDB)
  • Direct link for geography and table preview (toolbar icon, context menu choice and direct keyboard shortcut - not a drop-down list)
  • Drag&drop a whole folder to ArcMap as a group
  • Additional columns in details view: coordinate system, alias, type of geometry (for sorting), created date, version of file GDB, various Raster Dataset Properties (like pyramids, statistics), author and other
  • Thumbnails automatically and instantly generated for all files (image, vector and MXD)
  • Extended functionality used in standard file management applications: Open with… (e.g. ArcMap, Excel), Open destination in… (e.g. Windows Explorer), installed compression software usage
  • Besides back also a forward button
  • Measure tools
  • Size and modified columns in detailed view by default
  • Improve slow folder listing (mainly geodatabases)
  • Possibility to select more files then one in Catalog Tree
  • Missing field properties choice in table preview field context menu
  • Possibility to change destination of connected folder
  • Import field structure to a new SHP
  • Synchronize context menus in details and thumbnails view
  • Ctrl+C/X/V is not applicable when renaming file
  • Drag&drop doesn’t work when thumbnails view is on
The lack of multiple select for files in the ArcCatalog window is very annoying
These changes are needed both in ArcCatalog and the catalog windows.
Why is there no trash can in catalog? Seriously, how hard can this be to implement?
I support all the previous comments.  It is amazing to me that such simple tasks as selecting multiple files or auto-refreshing cannot be done in ArcMap. 

In addition, it would be nice if ArcCatalog remembered my last layout... I have to re-open the tools and search windows every single time I open the catalog.
Recycle Bin please.  The excessive freezing up in 10 lead to an accidental deletion.