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Join from standalone table to FC — Bring in FC's shape field

05-23-2023 08:33 AM
Status: Already Offered
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Honored Contributor

If I create a join from a standalone table to a feature class, then I want the FC's shape field to be included in the list of joined fields in the attribute table.

I'm aware that I can do something similar with an EGDB query layer or database view via SQL. But it would be best if I could do it in an OOTB join too -- for simplicity, ease of creation, and for parts of the ArcGIS platform that don't support SQL joins.

The resulting Contents item would be a spatial feature layer, not a standalone table view.

I'm aware that we can't bring in the joined shape when joining from an FC to an FC, since that would result in two shape fields in the same attribute table, which would destabilize ArcGIS Pro. See @DrewFlater's comment here.
However, the standalone table to FC scenario is different, because there would only be one shape field in the resulting attribute table.

Status changed to: Needs Clarification


It should work unless I misunderstood what you asked for 😞

If I have a FC and a table in my database and I want to join them, I'd do this:

  • add the FC in a map as a feature layer
  • (optionally) add the table to the map
  • select the feature layer
  • use the Join option from the ribbon tab (i believe inside the Data group tab) to bring up Add Join gp tool
  • select the standalone table (or browse to the db to pick the table)
  • set primary and foreign keys
  • click OK

It creates the join between the layer and standalone table --> basically brings all attributes from the table to the feature layer.

please let me know if I misunderstood.


@TanuHoque Right. I was thinking standalone table to FC, not FC to standalone table. In ArcMap, FC to standalone table wouldn't have done what I want, since the FC to table relationship is 1:M, and ArcMap doesn't support 1:M joins. But ArcGIS Pro does support 1:M joins, so Pro can do what I want, as you described.

I think you can close this idea.


thanks @Bud for clarification.

Status changed to: Already Offered

please see the last comment from Bud


Just a heads up to anyone reading this:

  1. In ArcGIS Pro 2.6.8, joining from a FC to a standalone table (1:M) and applying a definition query doesn't work as expected. It gets the wrong records from the standalone table -- which is a big problem. (Best guess is it gets the first n rows that have a matching join ID, but does not honour the definition query.)  However, that might be specific to ArcGIS Pro 2.6.8.
  2. Again, in ArcGIS Pro 2.6.8, there is an issue with doing it in a query layer or a database view too. It throws an error when I open the attribute table (query layer) or navigate to the last row in the attribute table (database view that is registered with the geodatabase). 
    Esri Case #03363503 - Query Layer: Join from standalone table to FC — Can't open attribute table.
    I don't have a way to test this in a newer version of Pro. The Esri case is currently open, so we'll see what Support can find out on their end.