Wait for AddField to finish until running CalculatField

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04-14-2017 06:05 AM
MVP Regular Contributor

Hey everybody,

I am creating python toolbox and one of the tools adds a bunch of fields to a feature class that the user chooses and after wards calculates those fields with values from the original feature class. I run into the issue that the field calculations can't run because the fields haven't been added yet.

This is the code I use:

import arcpy  
class Toolbox(object):  
    def __init__(self):  
        """Define the toolbox (the name of the toolbox is the name of the .pyt file)."""  
        self.label = "My first python toolbox"  
        self.alias = "Examples"  
        # List of tool classes associated with this toolbox  
        self.tools = [Tool1]  
class Tool1(object):  
    def __init__(self):  
        """Define the tool (tool name is the name of the class)."""  
        self.label = "Nena Street Tool"  
        self.description = "Example showing how to create a value table tool with drop downs"  
        self.canRunInBackground = False  
    def getParameterInfo(self):  
        """Define parameter definitions"""  
        # Define Parameter 0  
        # Param0 will be a FeatureLayer 
        param0 = arcpy.Parameter(displayName = "Your Street Layer",name="Site_layer",datatype="GPFeatureLayer",parameterType="Required",direction="Input")          

        # Define Parameter 1  
        param1 = arcpy.Parameter(displayName = "",name="Activity_layers",datatype="GPValueTable",parameterType="Optional", direction="Input")  
        param1.columns=[["String","NENA Field"],["String","Your Field"]]  
        # This says the filter on the second column will be a value List  
        param1.value = "Source; Updatedate; Effective; Expire; RCL_NGUID; AdNumPre_L; AdNumPre_R; FromAddr_L; ToAddr_L; FromAddr_R; ToAddr_R; Parity_L; Parity_R"          
        # This adds a dummy value to the list, this will get overwritten by the updateParameters function  
        param1.filters[1].list=["Please Select a street layer"]  
        # Create a list of parameters and return  
        params = [param0,param1]  
        return params  
    def isLicensed(self):  
        """Set whether tool is licensed to execute."""  
        return True  
    def updateParameters(self, parameters):  

        if parameters[0].altered:
          fields = arcpy.ListFields(parameters[0].value)
          mylist = []
          for field in fields:
          parameters[1].filters[1].list = mylist
    def updateMessages(self, parameters):  
        """Modify the messages created by internal validation for each tool 
        parameter.  This method is called after internal validation."""  
    def execute(self, parameters, messages):  
        """The source code of the tool."""  
            # Some code to show that I had managed to get what I wanted intot the ValueTable               
            data = parameters[1].values
            arcpy.AddField_management(parameters[0].value, "Source", "TEXT", "", "", "75", "", "NULLABLE", "NON_REQUIRED", "")
            arcpy.AddField_management(parameters[0].value, "DateUpdate", "DATE", "", "", "", "", "NULLABLE", "NON_REQUIRED", "")
            arcpy.AddField_management(parameters[0].value, "Effective", "DATE", "", "", "", "", "NULLABLE", "NON_REQUIRED", "")
            search = 'Source'
            for sublist in data:
              if sublist[0] == search:
                final = sublist
                mysource = final[1]
                sourceData = "[" + mysource + "]"
                arcpy.CalculateField_management(parameters[0].value, "Source", sourceData, "VB", "")

        except arcpy.ExecuteError:  

In line 75 I add the "Source" field and in line 84 I try to calculate it, but I get the error that the "Source" field does not exist.

Any help would be appreciated.


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MVP Regular Contributor

In line 84 I replaced parameters[0].value with parameters[0].valueAsText and now it is working. I assume parameters[0].value is the original feature layer without the extra fields and parameters[0].valueAsText grabs the feature layer with the new field.

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10 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

And you have verified it gets created, eventually?  If you comment out Line 84 and run the script, does the table look the way you expect?

If everything is working as expected and this is simply a matter or timing, a simplistic way to deal with it would be to put a time.sleep() line after the final field addition.  You would have to balance sleeping long enough to have the field created and waiting too long so the user gets frustrated.

I would start with the simple approach of inserting time.sleep(10).  If the code still errors out than I think that points to something not working quite right with creating the fields.

MVP Regular Contributor


thanks for the quick reply. Yes the field is created and when I run the tool again it gets populated. I will have to add a total of 40 fields. That might be enough time for the first field to be available? But I will try the time.sleep approach first.



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MVP Regular Contributor

Sadly it didn't work. I have a feeling that I need to somehow update the parameters[0].value before I run the CalculateField.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

vaguely remember something about using featurelayer vs featureclass and schema being modified which takes time blah blah.  It made more sense that this, but I seem to recollect that pairing the creation then the calculation for one field before proceeding on to the next pairing provided the necessary break.  Worth a shot

MVP Regular Contributor

In line 84 I replaced parameters[0].value with parameters[0].valueAsText and now it is working. I assume parameters[0].value is the original feature layer without the extra fields and parameters[0].valueAsText grabs the feature layer with the new field.

MVP Esteemed Contributor

Thanks for sharing your fix Tim. I think in the case of your layer you are passing, .valueAsText gives you the string label of the layer, which is more likely to play well with the tools and their interactions with the layer in memory.

.valueAsText [GetParameterAsText() for script tools] is (IMHO) the safe way to pass parameters to "go with the flow" how GP is implemented. I only use .value [GetParameter()] to access certain kinds of complex object parameters that are easier to work with directly as objects (value tables come to mind).

Layers are such an odd duck - I wish Esri could have designed this to give us an session-unique integer handle instead of depending on strings that may or not match the layer we want to access. I'm sure there are many historical reasons things are they way the are in arcpy. So you have to be careful with layers.

For code like yours, I make a local layer from the input. If in_fc is a feature class, not a layer, the multiple tools you run on it will run faster because the layer schema (unlike a dataset) are pre-validated, the tool has less to do before it runs, as the data a layer points to is assumed to exist without an additional check. Also the tool parameter validation can ask the (fast) layer in memory whether the field is there without going back to disk (slow) to verify the field there.

in_fc = parameters[0].valueAsText
lyrFC = arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(in_fc, "_infc")
arcpy.AddField_management(lyrFC, "FOO", "LONG")
arcpy.CalculateField_management(lyrFC, "FOO", -1)
arcpy.Delete_management(lyrFC) # clean up
MVP Regular Contributor

Thanks for the hint Curtis, since I will have to do that for 40 fields I am looking for any way to speed up my code.

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Esri Regular Contributor


arcpy.da.ExtendTable is a way to quickly add fields, below some lines from a tool of mine:

narray = numpy.array([], numpy.dtype([('_ID', numpy.int),

MVP Regular Contributor

Bruce thanks for the code! How would I create a date field?

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