I'm quite new to this kind of software, so my question could be found trivial to expert users. I just want to automatically calculate the length of the sides of each polygon in my shape file. In particular i'd like to calculate the shortest side for each polygon and then add it to the attribute table.
Thanks so much to anyone who reads this
It isn't going to happen automatically for shapefiles at all. If you use a geodatabase featureclass you will get area and perimeter/length. As for the shortest side, that will require you to script in some form to perform the calculations. Python would be the language, so you may wish to examine the arcpy interface for more information
There are some additional things to keep in mind, like:
As Dan_Patterson mentioned, everything is scriptable, but you will have to define some details first.