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Can the data source of related or joined tables be changed

11-15-2017 08:44 AM
New Contributor II


Has anyone found a work around for changing the data source of a feature class, layer or table involved in one or more joins or relates such that the data source of the joins and relates are also updated automatically.  From what I have encountered, there is a bug (bug number NIM058535) in which a repair to the data sources in a MXD is not reflected in any joins or relates with the affected tables, or feature classes.  In my case, I have MXD workspaces that contain many joins and relates and the source data files involved have changed names, so by setting the data source to the data source with the changed name, I loose all my relates and joins.  Other than manually re-creating any joins or relates lost after a data source has been changed, has anyone found a work around to update joins and relates automatically with the new data sources. 

Note, I am running ArcGIS 10.3.1 (desktop) and the source files in the relates and joins are shapefiles and DBF tables.   Supposedly the bug NIM058535 I referred to was fixed at version 10.1 according to George Thompson who is with ESRI.  I must stress, that the names of the source files have been renamed and that I have reset the data sources in my MXD to the re-named source files. By re-setting the data source to the renamed files, the source links in the MXD are repaired but the joins and relates that existed before hand do not follow through to the new source files. As a matter of fact, if the source files with the original names are still in their original directories, the joins or relates will still refer back to the old data source even though the old data source is no longer loaded into my table of contents in the updated MXD with "repaired" data source links.

Thanks for any ideas


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4 Replies
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Chris - You asked this question in the GeoNet Help section. You may want to move it to another group like:

Can you also add the following related information:

-What version of ArcGIS products are you using?

-Where is the source data located? (i.e. file Geodatabase, Enterprise GDB, etc)

-What file type is the joined data?

That defect that you list, NIM058535, was fixed at 10.1.

--- George T.
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New Contributor II

Hi George,

The question has been reposted to the Esri Technical Support section

Added that I am using ArcGIS 10.3.1 for desktop and the source files involved in the relates and joins are shapefiles and DBF tables. Also stressed that in my case, I re-set the data source because the source data file was re-named (not sure if this makes a difference compared to just a change in the location of the data source – without a name change - from one directory or geodatabase to another).

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MVP Emeritus

Chris, no need to re-post.  Look at‌  to move to a new location and use the @ and the space name to tag additional locations.  You tend to get the same people looking and answering questions, so multiple posts just gets confusing.

Since the one in the support doesn't have any responses yet, I would delete that and move this one over.

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MVP Regular Contributor
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