Domains within domains...

07-31-2014 11:35 AM
Occasional Contributor

Is it possible to create domains within domains?

We have a feature class with oodles of fields (MS4). One of the fields really needs a drop down that leads to other drop downs. Is this there a way to do this?

If you have to use subtypes, if subtypes is the answer to this problem, then someone please help do a walk through because I haven't been able to get that to work following all the directions and videos I could find online.

Hairless in Virginia

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10 Replies
New Contributor II

Did you ever figure it out? I am running into the same problem and am not having any luck.  I'm about to switch to subgroups and give that a shot.

MVP Regular Contributor

I think Subtypes are the best way to go here. I have used them once in the past and it is a little tricky to wrap your head around at first. Could you describe your data and the rules the domains must follow?

Occasional Contributor

Hello Blake,

i have read what arcgis resource has to say about subtypes and i'm still lost...

i am currently trying to enhance a model for water utilities, i considered the creation of subtypes for some attributes (such as valve type or junction type) that are just fields with domains, in order to use the connectivity rules, but i don't have the Data Reviewer extension so now i don't know if it's worth the effort... what benefits can i get by creating the subtypes?...can you shine a light on me?

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MVP Regular Contributor

Can you briefly describe your data and the rules between valve type and junction type? What would be the two domains you want and how are they related?

Occasional Contributor

Blake, thank you very much for answering

right now i have a domain for the junctions FC that include bend, cap, cross, tee, etc. also another FC for the pipes that have fields for material, diameter etc but no distinction between mains and laterals. i was thinking i could create a subtype for such distinction and set rules that wouldn't allow bends to connect with laterals, only to mains. similarly i have a hydrants FC that should only connect to laterals. some kind of valves should connect to mains and some to laterals and the subtypes would also allow me to set default values for some attributes that aren't common for all valves...

i thought that the connectivity rules of the geometric network would prevent any undesired connections or would show them as an error but it seems like the data reviewer extension is necessary to do so. or to check the valency and guarantee that a tee would connect to 3 pipes and a bend only to 2.

i'm trying to understand if the subtypes would bring any other benefits apart from the mentioned above because it would mean a lot of time (that i don't really have) or if i just should keep the domains and create a series of queries in model builder to validate the integrity of the data before i export to the hydraulic modelling software.

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MVP Regular Contributor

Subtypes would only be used to validate attributes, not geometry. I believe you would have to develop connectivity rules in your geometric network to accomplish what you mentioned. Using subtypes would only support the connectivity rules in the attribute table.

ArcGIS Help 10.2 - About geometric network connectivity rules

Occasional Contributor

to configure the connectivity rules in the geometric network, i must create the subtypes. this is what i actually wanted to do, but i don't have the extension

so i was wondering in what other way could the subtypes bennefit me.  that's when i came across this post and thought maybe i could use subtypes to control what options or a domain i could display for each subtype... but now i think i would have to split the domains.

for example, if i were to create a subtype for the material of the pipe, the resistance specification would vary for each one

pvc: RDE 21, RDE 26, RDE 41.....

PEAD: PN 6, PN 8, PN 10....

HD: C 25, C30, C40....

right now i have all of those in one domain, but i don't know if there's a way for it to display the corresponding options without splitting the domain into 3.

also, can i have more than one subtype for each feature class? for example, one to set apart mains from laterals and one for the material?

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MVP Regular Contributor

The pipe material and resistance would be a good candidate for subtypes. You can add multiple subtypes to a single feature class, but I think you can only specify one field from which to assign the subtypes. I think You would have two fields in your feature class (like PipeMaterial and PipeResistance) and four domains in your geodatabase like:


  1. PVC
  2. PEAD
  3. HD


  1. RDE 21
  2. RDE 26
  3. RDE 41


  1. PN 6
  2. PN 8
  3. PN 10


  1. C25
  2. C30
  3. C40

Then you would assign the domPipeMaterial domain to the PipeMaterial field and specify it as the Subtype field. Then create your subtypes for each material's resistance and assign the appropriate subtype domain to the PipeResistance field for each one. If you wanted other subtypes, I think they still have to be based off the same subtype field (PipeMaterial, in your case).

ArcGIS Help 10.2 - Creating subtypes

Occasional Contributor

Blake, thank you very mucho for taking the time....

tha's just in the line of what i was thinking but i think it may be too much work and i don't have the time right now.  i might leave it with the domains since there won't be many people editing the model anyway... i really need to learn how to code so i can come up with more efficient solutions...

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