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Layer/table definition files (readable in a text editor)

870
5
12-05-2022 11:28 AM
Status: Implemented
Labels (1)
Bud
by
Honored Contributor

I wonder if it would be useful to have an ArcGIS file type that’s kind of like a .LYR file, except you can view and edit the definition in a text editor. Or edit the definition text directly with Python.

For example, it might be a full blown SELECT query, with SELECT, FROM, and WHERE clauses. It could be thought of as an .SQL file for ArcGIS.

Maybe it would be similar to a query layer, except it’s a file, and works for all supported ArcGIS layer & table types. Not just enterprise geodatabase feature classes/tables.

5 Comments
TomKirkpatrick

Something like this would be really useful to me right now! 

I am trying to reconcile layer styles between an old version and new version of a project, the problem being that in the new version a lot of the layer names and features have been changed. There are many hundreds of layers, so I want to find a way to open the old .lyr files, search and replace the old layer names with the new ones, and then save as a new .lyr file I can use to update styling in the new project version. 

Bud
by

@TomKirkpatrick On further investigation, it seems like .lyrx files might already do what we want.

  1. If I open a .lyrx file in a text editor, the source code is in JSON format and is human-readable.
    • The definition query SQL expression is human-readable in the file too.
  2. An EGDB query layer can be saved as a .lyrx file. The full query (SELECT/FROM/WHERE/ETC.) is human-readable in a text editor.
  3. In Pro 3.1 (not 2.6.8), .lyrx files seem to support standalone tables too, not just layers, which is good.

Bud_0-1678459987698.png

Do you agree that .LYRX files do everything we need (at least in Pro 3.1)?

Or is there other functionality that is needed? Are you able to batch-update .LYRX files using Python? Or does ArcPy not let you do that?

Bud
by

@KoryKramer 

If I understand correctly, somewhere between ArcGIS Pro 2.6.8 and 3.1, functionality was added so that .LYRX files can be created for standalone tables, not just layers.

If that's the case, then I think this idea can be closed. Thanks.

 

ArcGIS Pro 2.6.8:

Bud_1-1678461055944.png

ArcGIS Pro 3.1:

Bud_0-1678460935894.png

KoryKramer