add join failure and attribute table column limit

376
2
07-10-2013 10:26 PM
ElaineKuo
Occasional Contributor
System: ArcGIS 9.3 and Vista

Hello

I am using the function add join to combine three shape files into one shape file. (by python script)
Each of them has about 650 columns in the attribute table.

However, the add join always failed.
The error message is
Could not load data from the data source
If you can correct the problem, click the refresh button to refresh data.
Possible problems can include bad network connection, invalid field, etc.
An invalid SDE statement was used.
(I am sure nothing to do with invalid field,
because all the shape files were produced by the add join method. )

I am wondering if the cause was the over-limit column number.
If so, please kindly advise alternative methods to complete the combination.
Thank you.

Elaine
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2 Replies
DerekGilby
New Contributor
Hey How are ya?

I am not sure where you are scripting in Python or have used Model Builder. You probably already have, but I would try using Model Builder to troubleshoot the add join. Maybe try one join at a time and see.




System: ArcGIS 9.3 and Vista

Hello

I am using the function add join to combine three shape files into one shape file. (by python script)
Each of them has about 650 columns in the attribute table.

However, the add join always failed.
The error message is
Could not load data from the data source
If you can correct the problem, click the refresh button to refresh data.
Possible problems can include bad network connection, invalid field, etc.
An invalid SDE statement was used.
(I am sure nothing to do with invalid field,
because all the shape files were produced by the add join method. )

I am wondering if the cause was the over-limit column number.
If so, please kindly advise alternative methods to complete the combination.
Thank you.

Elaine
0 Kudos
curtvprice
MVP Esteemed Contributor
I am using the function add join to combine three shape files into one shape file. (by python script)
Each of them has about 650 columns in the attribute table. j


Hi Elaine.

This is a limitation of the .dbf table format used for shapefile fields. The max number of fields is 255 and the maximum sum of field widths (scale) is 4000. The only way around this is to move your dataset to file geodatabase (or SDE geodatabase) format.

See the Arc 9.3 help article: Geoprocessing considerations for shapefile output
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