Provide native attribute data entry forms and form design tools

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6
06-11-2010 08:06 AM
Status: Open
Occasional Contributor III

Currently, there is excellent support for editing the "G" in GIS in ArcMap.  Unfortunately, editing the "I" in GIS (information (attributes)) has very limited options

To the best of my knowledge, there are only two ways to enter or edit data in ArcMap:

1) in the attribute table
2) the attributes window launched from the editor toolbar


I would love to see the ability to easily design data entry forms similar to form design tools in Microsoft Access.   This should include the ability to drag and drop fields onto the forms, set up combo boxes, and add frames to organize the form.  Functionality should include:

1) make certain fields read-only and not editable.
2) support for 1 to many relationships via relationship classes (sub forms)
3) change the color of field backgrounds
4) data validation
5) an API that can trap events on the form
6) automatic generation of combo boxes on fields with subtypes or coded value domains
7) hide or exclude fields
😎 support versions
9) auto layout of controls on the form.
10) option to add additional combo boxes even if field isn't subtyped or part of a domain
11) user option to always keep the data entry form 'on top' of the map display, or for it to hide when interacting with the map

I believe that OpenOffice has many of these tools.  Perhaps the open source code could be mined to jumpstart this project in the ESRI environment. 
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6 Comments
It seems to me that you could leverage all of the features in MS-Access by writing a driver (ODBC?) that bridges the gap between Access and file geodatabases.

There are ODBC drivers for Access that allow us to connect to many different data sources, why not file geodatabases?

I think that's a valid option that would improve some data entry options, but it still requires Access, may not work well with versioned SDE data and wouldn't allow any interaction with maps (view/edit attribute data for selected features)

This should be part of a Feature Template, so that when I create a new feature I am prompted for its attributes too.
Tags / keywords: attribute prompt data entry digitising digitizing
 This would alleviate the need for a lot of people to learn ArcObjects if it were done well. Most of us just want easier, more user-friendly data entry forms.
I am not sure if you are aware but this is all out of the box functionality for ArcPad, those guys have been integrating forms with the data for years. They allow the user to customize them just using vbscript, jscript or even Python now. This is all available on the desktop too, not just mobile devices.

Maybe Esri could learn from that product or just integrate the forms from ArcPad, as they are really easy to create.