We have currently hit a bug at work which has now been logged by ESRI in America, NIM098090. It isn't searchable online at the moment and I don't know if it ever will be but at least it will be referred to here. I thought it might be worth mentioning it here, in case other people are or happen to experience the same problem.
We use SQL Server 2008 and create database views of data. We prefer to do this using the native SQL Server format rather than ESRI's own SDE binary format.
In ArcGIS 10.2 & 10.2.1 however there is a bug which stops metadata from being created on spatial views and general views when using ArcCatalog to create the view. It is possible to set up an SDE Service and use the SDE commands but ESRI are phasing out the SDE command functionality and the work around looks like it will only work with the SDE bindary format.
Hopefully ESRI will fix the problem soon as it is currently stopping us from creating INSPIRE Metadata, since we need to create views for spatial databases to filter out data than is not required under our INSPIRE obligations.
The reason the bug isn't viable is because it's been logged as enhancement. It's a bug not an enhancement request we submitted.
Apparently the fix is to correct the error message that is displayed and it is possible it will be fixed in the next service pack but they don't have date for that. In addition ESRI do not see why metadata would be required for database views when the original data would contain metadata.
Can someone with experience of databases and metadata tell me if it is not good logic to create metadata for database views? We were only doing this because we wanted to publish a subset of data for INSPIRE Directive. We don't wish to publish all the data and even if we did, some of the data covers multiple themes and we believe we need to publish each theme separately.
Are ESRI correct in what they say? Is there another way of doing this that would be more logical? We can create separate layers but that means a duplication of the data itself, which surely isn't good practice either? What is best practice in such cases as this?
Personally I would rather they fixed the problem than provide an error message.
Actually, this issue is not so much a bug, but an enhancement request.
By using spatial views, you are essentially working outside the scope of ESRI's geodatabase concept. Since RDBMSs still do not natively support storing ISO XML metadata for geographical data in some standardized way, it means no metadata can be stored "just like that"... The ArcSDE command line tools overcame this, by sort of a "hack", that is, registering your layer behind the scene in the appropriate ArcSDE system tables so that you could use ArcCatalog to create or access the associated metadata.
ESRI is already aware of the issue you raised and looking for solutions, I have seen a recent thread about this with remarks by an ESRI employee that stated something like "that this issue would be tackled before the command line tools were retired"... Unfortunately, I can't find the thread at the moment, so can't point you there now. (EDIT: it is here)
This issue is also bit similar to the reason why spatial views do not show geodatabase domain descriptions, but only show the coded value of the domain. See this discussion and a workaround I suggested for this specific issue:
Thanks for replying. That makes perfect sense now.
I don't think the documentation is as clear on this, unless I have missed something. Perhaps ESRI need to put a similar explanation in the documentation.
One of the help pages states the following: [h=2]"Stand-alone metadata XML filesSome ArcGIS items don't support creating metadata to describe them. Other GIS resources aren't handled by ArcGIS at all. Nevertheless, you can create detailed descriptions for these resources by adding information to stand-alone metadata XML files using the Description tab." (http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//016w0000005s000000)
However it doesn't state which ArcGIS items and nor does it expand upon the term other GIS resources. All it needs is a few examples or although in the case of ArcGIS items, I think it would be worth listing them all as that is directly related to ArcGIS itself, which ESRI make.