I'm currently working with an infrastructure built with ArcGIS 10.0 (Desktop and Server) [SP2 build 3200] and because for some functionalities (ArcGIS for Desktop extensions) I need to use a newer version I'm testing how the ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2.1 copes with the current infrastructure built with 10.0. And so far it copes quite poorly...
I guess my biggest problem is following: there's an ArcSDE geodb set-up in PostgreSQL 8.0.1 which works perfectly with the 10.0 desktop version with appropriate client files installed according to the manual. Unfortunately the newer version happen to be more troublesome. I installed client files for my version of ArcGIS for Desktop and PostgreSQL 9.0.5 (which is the oldest version of postgres for which the client files are available). If I want to connect to the ArcSDE inside the db in ArcCatalog the connection window, as in here, hangs on listing postgres databases under requested instance. So I tried another approach. I copied the connection file from the older version. The db is recognized and listed as "Application Server" and the connection is successful up to a certain point. If I want to access (through a direct connection from ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2.1) any raster stored in the geodb, both ArcCatalog and ArcMap crash without any warning or error. Vector layers and tables work OK. What's interesting is that the connection is successful and behaving as described whether or not the client files are installed.
The operating systems are: Windows 7 SP1 x86 for the 10.0 version and Windows XP SP3 for the 10.2.1 version. I've also tried client files from the 10.0 version, but the result has been the same. Has anyone encounter such behaviour? Is what I'm trying to do possible?
I do not have RDBMS files installes as I'm not sure what are they for.
There are two types of connections possible to connect with an sde gdb from ArcCatalog:
Direct Connection needs the Client files to connect.
The SDE Service connection doesn't need the Client files, and that is the reason you are able to connect using the connection file from the Desktop 10.0 machine, w/o any issues
If you look at the System Requirements for PostgreSQL at 10.2.x, you will notice that PostgreSQL 8.0.1 is not a supported DBMS version and thus maybe causing the issues for you while trying to connect using Direct Connect. I'll suggest contacting the ESRI tech-Support to see if they can help you with this.
Now to the second issue of not being able to use/preview the raster data using the SDE service connection:
It seems you are hitting a Known Bug. NIM098462 - When trying to preview an SDE raster in ArcCatalog..
Have a look at this similar thread for more details: Desktop 10.2.x can't use Rasterdata in SDE 10.1
I doubt it's possible to support any pre-8.3.8 PostgreSQL database from any modern ArcGIS. It's certainly not in the compatibility list for enterprise geodatabase (ArcSDE) solutions.