This is a bit of a vague topic I know. I have been working with shapefiles in Arcmap. I understand how they are referenced into the map and how each feature has it's own shapefile (lines, points, etc). I'm trying to make the move to Pro, and went to import some shapefiles and I see how the source is still listed as the shapefile on my network drive. I was thinking that working in Pro, all data would be "all included" in the database. That is....if I want to copy my database to someone else, all I had to do was copy my gdb folder and place it on another computer. I guess I'm just confused on where all the data is when using Pro. Any insight or direction to expain this willl be greatly appreciated.
I think you were asking why the data in the map wasn't imported into the project GDB right? Pro lets you do this work. You could choose to import the data or leave it where it is as @CarlMorrison indicated but you're wondering how to import an MXD as a map in the new Pro project without having to repoint every single layer. This isn't built in behavior. You'll even notice that if you copy a map from one project to another within Pro, it will retain the data connections to the old Project.
Two important things to note:
1. Not all data will automatically be stored in the gdb in your project. If you import an mxd into a project, the data will remain where it is. If you have data you want to use in various projects/aprxs, you can always store them elsewhere. There is just the option to save the data within the project gdb.
2. Shapefiles are not able to be stored within a gdb, so if you work with that format, it will always be saved outside your project gdb.
This is called "Importing" since it has to convert it to a different format. The GDB doesn't store files like a directory in windows. It stores Feature Classes, Tables, Datasets, etc. So, importing a shapefile into a GDB creates a feature class. The link @CarlMorrison posted above explains how to import various formats.
Use the Feature Class to Feature Class geoprocessing tool https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/latest/tool-reference/conversion/feature-class-to-feature-class.ht... . The Input Feature would be your shapefile, the output location is your database and the output name will be the new feature class name. You have options on fields to include or exclude.
This tool can be run from the Geoprocessing tools or by importing the shapefile into your map and then right clicking on that layer and select "Data" then "Export Features".
A little trick, you can also export the shapefile to another shapefile by changing the output location to a folder location which will force the tool to export it as a shapefile.
@mkhenson This is a good question. I am a desktop user and I find myself going back and forth because of this very issue. I want to understand the process in pro. Sometimes I say shame on ESRI for changing this interface so much but through this site and trial and error, its coming alone.
Thanks, the comments helped me also!