explore GIS Connections with arcpy

12-12-2016 06:36 AM
New Contributor II

Dear all,

Has anyone tried to list the different GIS connections in the catalog side window using python?

I want to run a little script that lists all my ArcGIS, WMS, etc connections, so I can share it with colleagues.

I did some research and found nothing.

Can you point me in the right direction?

Kind regards,



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7 Replies
MVP Regular Contributor

The examples below are for SQL Server and Oracle, but others will be similar:

Manage connections in SQL Server—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop 

Manage connections in Oracle—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop 

You can also directly query the Process_information table in the database, which will also provide the list of active connections.


Esri Notable Contributor

Those connections are physically stored under C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop<version>\ArcCatalog, so you can loop through the contents of that folder to find what you need.

MVP Regular Contributor

Well, after reading Jonathan's reply, I re-read the question and looks like you were not asking for a way to list the active connections to an Enterprise geodatabase. Rather the GIS connections on a particular machine. That was a hurried response on my part.

If I understand correctly, looping through the contents of the folder will just give the name. Or it can list the properties as well through some functions?

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Esri Notable Contributor

Only the names, unfortunately.  The arcpy.Describe function can return workspace properties for an SDE connection, but nothing currently exists for GIS connections.

Esri Esteemed Contributor

Probably not the way to do it, ... but you could do this:

def main():
    import os
    import glob

    fldr_user = os.path.join(os.path.expanduser('~'), 'AppData\Roaming\ESRI')
    lst_desktop = glob.glob(os.path.join(fldr_user,'Desktop*'))
    fldr_desktop = sorted(lst_desktop)[len(lst_desktop)-1]
    fldr_catalog = os.path.join(fldr_desktop, "ArcCatalog")

    print fldr_user
    print fldr_desktop
    print fldr_catalog

    wildcards = ['*.sde', '*.ags', '*.wms']
    for wildcard in wildcards:
        print wildcard
        lst_conn = glob.glob(os.path.join(fldr_catalog, wildcard))
        for conn in lst_conn:
            print conn

if __name__ == '__main__':

 In my case with 10.3 installed at home it returns this:

C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\arcgis on epm-app25 (user) (2).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\arcgis on epm-app25 (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\arcgis on geo.molg.pna.ps_6080 (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\arcgis on imagery.arcgisonline.com (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\arcgis on mapas.catastrobogota.gov.co (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\ArcGIS on sampleserver1.arcgisonline.com (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\ArcGIS on sampleserver3.arcgisonline.com (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\ArcGIS on server.arcgisonline.com (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\arcgis on www.medellin.gov.co (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\saint on sagisservices.thempc.org (user).ags
C:\Users\Xander\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcCatalog\Specialty_ESRI_StatesCitiesRivers_USA on sampleserver1.arcgisonline.wms

There are probably more searches (wildcards) you could include.

MVP Emeritus

As Jonathan mentioned, they are all physically in  C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop<version>\ArcCatalog unless you have connections in non-default folders. 

Why not just copy and paste?  Is there a reason you need it in a script? You can copy them to a shared network location and write a simple script to copy and paste to their Roaming file, or just have them share them from that location.  Just giving an alternative.

New Contributor II

Dear all, 

I thank you kindly for the answers. 

I didnt know the links were in a folder stored. This would have made my life easier. 

Now I will test it (when I'm back on this project). 

Kind regards, 



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