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In previous versions, you may have attempted to connect to your enterprise geodatabase, only to receive an invalid or missing ArcGIS Server license error, such as the following:


In ArcGIS 10.4, you can use the new geoprocessing tool that allows you to update your license file, and you can even incorporate the tool into a Python script to automate the process of updating your file, as long as you have a valid license file on hand. You can even schedule the Python script to run at certain intervals using your operating system's scheduling application.

Check out the help documentation on this new tool, and I'll throw in the link to obtain a valid Authorization File tool, just for fun:
Julia L. - Geodata Support Analyst -->
Starting in January 2016, Esri will no longer provide Standard Support for ArcGIS 10.0. Of course, we at Esri Support are more than happy to help with any upgrade questions you may have, and the experience will only be smoother if you don’t wait until the last minute to upgrade. We can walk you through the workflow from start to finish and are here if you run into any issues. The upcoming deprecation of support includes:
  • ArcGIS for Desktop 10.0
  • ArcGIS Server 10.0
  • ArcSDE 10.0 and enterprise geodatabases in version 10.0
  • ArcIMS
  • ArcInfo Workstation 
For more information, check out the following links:Esri Product Life Cycle Support Policy Deprecation Plan for ArcGIS 10.0 and ArcGIS 10.1ArcIMS Product Life Cycle Support StatusArcInfo Workstation Product Life Cycle Status
Julia L. - Geodata Support Analyst -->

Because GIS is a relatively new science, there tends to be a higher percentage of women in the field compared to other hard sciences. A 2013 study from Yale revealed strong evidence of a continued preference for men in scientific fields such as chemistry, physics, and biology. For example, of all the physics professors in the United States in 2013, only 14% were women. But in the realm of GIS and in Esri Support in particular, we're beating the odds.

Esri Support Services has two offices in the United States—one in Redlands, CA and the other in Charlotte, NC. Between the two, there are almost 150 Support Analysts segmented into different technological teams: Desktop, Geodata, Server Usage and Implementation, and SDK. Out of all the analysts, 33% are women.

There are 48 women in Esri Technical Support:
20 in Desktop, 13 in Geodata, 8 in SDK, and 7 in Server.

The distribution of women in Esri Support Services differs depending on technology. The biggest crew of women is (predictably) on the biggest support team, the Desktop team. Twenty ladies provide rocking support for ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcGIS Online, extensions, and much more, but other teams have some pretty admirable numbers, as well. The relative contribution to our teams (the percentage of women) tops out at an impressive 46% on the Geodata team (my team—I’m so proud). Desktop is the runner-up with 41% of the team being women, and the SDK and Server Usage teams are 36% and 23% women, respectively.

Geodata has the highest percentage of female analysts out of all the technological teams.

The fact that female analysts make up such a large percentage of the technical experts at Esri says a lot about our company and about GIS technology, in general. There are growing numbers of women in geographic sciences, and there are plenty of examples of fantastic women out in the field, in the classroom, and here in the software world. Esri's own chief scientist, Dawn Wright, is a prominent ocean scientist and geographer who contributes her extensive knowledge and experience to make a positive impact on the global environment using GIS. She is a powerful example of what women can offer the world through spatial sciences, and personally, I think it's really cool to support the technology that she and many others put to such good use.

As a woman on the Support Services team and especially as a female scientist, geographer, and analyst, I'm happy to represent women in sciences alongside the many other talented people here at Esri. These women are from all over the world, all walks of life; with PhDs, children, and serious rock climbing habits. Some of us run marathons, some write books, and some have degrees in geography, international development, archaeology, political science, hydrology, Earth systems science, in addition to our degrees and certificates in GIS. So here's a big cheers—to all the women in Esri Support, the Esri worldwide community, and the field of GIS!

Women in Support: Redlands, CA


Women in Support: Charlotte, NC

Julia L. - Geodata Support Analyst -->

For the last several releases, we incorporated more functionality into the user interface of the ArcGIS client. For upgrading the geodatabase repository at 10.0, the Upgrade Geodatabase tool replaced the ArcSDE Post Installation wizard. At 10.1, the Create and Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tools allowed for the deprecation of the ArcSDE Post Installation wizard all together. The application server and command line tools have been an optional install since 10.1, and the database connection dialog box was reworked to allow a direct connect for the default method of working with database connections. Overall, these upgrades prepare us for the deprecation of the command line tools and the application server.

With the release of ArcGIS 10.3 comes the end of support for the ArcSDE service and the application server connections (three-tier). Additionally, ArcSDE command line tools have been replaced by geoprocessing tools in the ArcGIS clients. Therefore...There is no install for ArcSDE 10.3.

You can connect to all of your databases in ArcGIS for Desktop 10.3 using direct connections by adding a database connection in ArcCatalog. You can also use existing SDE files created from application server connections and create application server connections to services from previous versions. Since ArcGIS 10.2.2 is the last release to include the ArcSDE application server, we encourage you to use direct connections moving forward.

If you're wondering what to do about the ArcSDE command line tools no longer being available, geoprocessing tools have been added to the Geodatabase Administration toolset to help you with any administrative needs. So rejoice! There is one less step in the installation process of upgrading to the newest versions of ArcGIS products.

Please follow the GeoNet discussion for more in-depth conversations related to the install for ArcSDE 10.3.

For additional information, check out our documentation linked below:ArcGIS for Desktop Help: What's new for Geodatabases in ArcGIS 10.3?ArcGIS for Desktop Help: Client and Geodatabase Compatibility in 10.3ArcGIS for Desktop Help: Database servers in 10.3ArcGIS for Desktop Help: Database connections in ArcGIS for DesktopArcGIS for Desktop Help: Migrate from ArcSDE administration commands
Julia L. - Geodata Support Analyst -->
The Merge tool combines multiple input datasets of the same geometry type (e.g., polyline, polygon, or point), or tables, into a new feature class. The output will have an extent that encompasses all of the features included in the merge. The relationship of input features relative to each other does not change, so the physical boundMerge1.pngaries of the features are not actually blended together - the features simply belong to the same feature class after the Merge. Therefore, the number of features in the output is equal to the sum of features used in the Merge.  No new features are created for where areas overlap.

With Merge, you can decide which attributes are transferred to the output, and these can be any combination of the input attribute fields. It is not necessary for inputs to have the same coordinate system to be merged, as the tool does this on-the-fly. However, the output defaults to the coordinate system of the first input unless specified in the Environment Settings.Example: Your colleagues collected data in different parts of the state. One collected population and age data for the western counties, while the other collected population, age, and gender information for the eastern counties. You obtain the two feature classes from your colleagues and use Merge to create a single feature class with population and age attribute information for the entire state.Append-296x300.jpgAppend The Append tool does exactly what the name implies: it adds, or appends, data from one feature class to another feature class of the same type. No new dataset is actually created, so you have to be sure you want to change the original data before using this tool. You can use Append for point, line, or polygon feature classes; tables, rasters, raster catalogs, annotation feature classes, or dimensions feature classes – the only requirement is that the inputs are the same type as the target.  In this case, you can choose to only append feature classes with the same schema (set of attributes, domains, and so forth), or you can choose to append different schemas. If appending a feature class with a different schema other than the target, the attributes will not be transferred to the target feature class.

The full geometry of the underlying features is preserved, and the number of features in the output is equal to the sum of the features from the appending layers and the target layer.Example: You work for the Department of Parks and Recreation for your city, and you have a detailed feature class with all the spatial and attribute information for city parks. A new park was just finished in the downtown area, and you have been asked to update the master parks polygon feature class. Your colleague sends you a shapefile of the new park polygon with all the required attributes. After ensuring the shapefile is correct and contains the right information, use Append to add the shapefile to the master parks feature class.  Union-300x270.jpgUnionUnion can do some nifty things, but here’s the catch: it only works with polygons. This tool is interesting because the output of the tool contains features and/or parts of features representing areas of unique intersection, as well as features and/or parts of features representing no intersection among all the features in the input feature classes. Attributes from all features involved in the intersection are contained in the output record for the newly created feature that represents the intersecting feature or feature part.  Features in the output representing areas with no intersection will have the FID_<FcName> value of -1.Example: You are looking for regions with specific combinations of soil and rainfall to help you find a good place to grow certain crops. You have two feature classes: one with the location of certain soil types and the other with ranges of precipitation.  You use the Union tool to find all the areas with unique combinations of rain and soil.Other Tools: DissolveDissolve is used for combining features from a single dataset based on aDissolve_test1-150x150.png common attribute. The tool dissolves the boundaries between features to aggregate them by category. If you have a feature class with a polygon representing each state and you just want a feature class that represents the United States, use the Dissolve tool and specify the 'country' field as the dissolve attribute. If you select the multi-part option, the output contains one polygon with no boundaries between states. You can also choose to calculate statistics of attributes during the dissolve. For example, you can calculate the sum of all state populations to get the population for the entire US.Aggregate PolygonsThis tool combines polygons within a specified distance of each other into new polygon features. The input is a single polygon layer with multiple features, and the output is a polygon layer with a reduced number of polygons encompassing the area of the input features. You can set the distance for aggregation and choose to preserve orthogonal angles in the output.

Note: Aggregate everything within a 500 meter radius.Spatial JoinThe Spatial Join tool does not combine the physical features of two datasets. Rather, it appends the attributes of a layer to a different layer. A new feature class is created based on the geometry of the target features, but the attributes of the joined features are added to the output attribute table. This tool is useful when you are looking for statistics about features located in relation to other features. Additionally, the inputs can have any combination of feature types – points can be joined to polygons, polygons can be joined to lines, and so forth.Combine This tool is specific to raster datasets. The Combine tool combines raster datasets in such a way where each output pixel has a value indicating a specific combination of input values. This is really useful for categorical raster data. For example, if you have three raster datasets, and each represents a different type of risk (e.g. drought, earthquake, and floods), use the Combine tool to find all the different combinations of risk that exist throughout an area. Which areas have a high risk of earthquakes and floods, but a low risk of drought? This combination is represented by a specific value in the output of the Combine tool.Intersect1-150x150.jpgIntersectThe Intersect tool calculates the geometric intersection of all input features. So what’s a geometric intersection? It’s the physical geometry of the overlapping features. If you have different input types (e.g. points and polygons), the output will use the lowest dimension; points have a lower dimension than lines, and lines are lower than polygons. Use this tool when you are only interested in the unique intersections between features in all your inputs, and when an intersection between the inputs is not important for the analysis.Erase
I include the Erase tool here because it does the opposite of the Intersect tool - the Erase tool removes overlapping areas of input feature classes. Use the Erase tool to remove features or parts of features representing an intersection between the input feature classes.  The output feature class only contains features or parts of features that do not intersect with the erased feature class.

There are many tools you can use to combine, overlay, or spatially relate data that share common locations– but don’t worry.  The next time you're confused about which of these tools to use, ask yourself this question: "What information do I want in my output?" Use this blog as a guide to discover the best tool for you.
Julia L. - Geodata Support Analyst -->
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