Do This, Not That! – Alternatives to using SDE command line tools

10-04-2013 02:30 AM
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With the release of 10.2 and plans to deprecate the ArcSDE command line tools, you may be wondering how current tasks that use these tools can be completed elsewhere. I wanted to share some workflows that have alternate user interface tools in ArcCatalog/ArcMap that will make transitioning as seamless as possible.

If you are a frequent visitor of the ArcSDE Administration Command reference you may have noticed within the latest versions of the command line reference, there are numerous areas that include a little globe to indicate alternate or recommended workflows:globe.jpg

NOTE: There are no web-based versions of the ArcSDE command line reference for 10.1 and 10.2, but it can still be accessed on the server on which the application server/command line tools are installed.

In order to put a nice spin on delivery I will use a ‘Do This, Not That’ theme with a list of tasks within the Enterprise geodatabase that have alternate solutions or tools. I have also thrown in a few tasks that may not be directly related to the command line, but which have new recommended workflows.

Create an Enterprise geodatabase:

Use the Create/Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool instead of using the ArcSDE Post Installation Wizard

This may seem like a no-brainer since the ArcSDE Post Installation Wizard was deprecated at the 10.1 release, but I thought this would point you in the right direction (or at least humor you).

Recalculate the layer extent:

Use the Feature extent tab within the layer properties of ArcCatalog instead of the sdelayer -o alter -E calc command line tool.

Recalculating the XY extent can now be done within ArcCatalog using the Feature Extent tab of the Layer Properties. This tab was added at release 10.1 for the ability to administer the XY extent of layers.

Create a multi-versioned/versioned view:

Register as versioned instead of using the sdetable -o create_mv_view command line tool.

Note that the terminology for multi-versioned views has transitioned to versioned views at the 10.1 release and how they are created has changed. Registering data as versioned starting at version 10.1 will automatically create a versioned view.

What if your data is already versioned and doesn’t have a versioned view created?
    • At version 10.1, the Create Versioned View tool can be used if the data was already versioned prior to upgrading and doesn’t currently have a versioned view created.
    • At version 10.2, the Create Versioned View tool is removed. Use the ‘Enable SQL Access’ context menu for these instances where the object does not have a versioned view.

For more details on using the Enable SQL Access context menu, review the Help topic, Enabling SQL access on geodatabase data from ArcGIS for Desktop – 10.2

Place a layer in load only or normal IO mode to bulk load data or rebuild the spatial index:

Use the Layer Properties Index tab, or the Remove/Add Spatial Index geoprocessing tool instead of the sdelayer –o load_only_io/ normal_io commands.

Starting at version 10.0 the Add / Remove Spatial Index (Data Management) geoprocessing tools are available.

View the spatial column of a table that is not registered with SDE or the geodatabase:

View in Database Connections in ArcCatalog or drag/drop into ArcMap as a query layer (feature discovery) instead of using sdelayer -o register

In previous releases, database tables that contained spatial types needed to be registered with ArcSDE for their spatial column to be accessible. This resulted in the table displaying as a feature class after registration. At version 10.1, tables that contain geometry types such as Oracle Spatial and SQL Server Geometry are accessible through ‘Database Connections’. These tables will be displayed with a table icon with a square. Double-clicking will connect and determine/discover the geometry type and the icon will change to a feature class representing the geometry type.db-connections-icons.jpg

If needing to take advantage of geodatabase functionality, you can register the feature classes/tables with the geodatabase, which will also registers them with the ArcSDE system tables during the process.

Managing connections:

The Geodatabase Administration tool is new at 10.1 and can be accessed by right clicking on the geodatabase > Administration > Administer Geodatabase context menu item. One of the many uses for this tool is that it provides a user interface to view and interact with user connections. Keep in mind that certain permissions must be granted to view/disconnect users. Consult the Help topics for more details on this.Viewing connected users in ArcGIS for Desktop – 10.2Removing connections from a geodatabase in SQL Server – 10.2Removing connections from a geodatabase in Oracle – 10.2Removing connections from a geodatabase in DB2 – 10.2Removing connections from a geodatabase in PostgreSQL – 10.2A quick tour of administering ArcSDE geodatabases with ArcGIS for Desktop – 10.2

  • View currently connected users for geodatabase / view locks:

Use the Connections and Locks tab within the Geodatabase Administration tool instead of using sdemon –o info –I users/locks
  • Prevent new connections to the geodatabase:

Prevent new connections to the geodatabase in geodatabase Properties > Connections tab instead of using sdemon -o pause/resume
  • Disconnect users from the geodatabase:

Use Geodatabase Administration tool > Connections tab > Disconnect instead of sdemon -o kill

Importing datasets to the Enterprise geodatabase – shapefiles and coverages:

Use the Feature Class to Feature Class (conversion) geoprocessing tool instead of shp2sde –o create command line tool.

This geoprocessing conversion tool can be run in batch mode or scripted in ArcPy to import shapefiles into the geodatabase. If there is a further need to adjust the field mapping within the tool, use the arcpy.FieldMappings class.

We are continually working on alternative user interface solutions to the command line tools. Please contact Esri Support Services if you have workflows that use the command line tools and are unaware of alternative workflows you can utilize from the user interface.

For on-going discussion related to this topic, please visit the ArcGIS Forums: Alternatives to using SDE command line tools - Blog DiscussionMelissa J. - Geodata Support Analyst