I'm running into an issue with Metadata and SDE. I'm not an expert on SDE, so was wondering if folks had run into this, and if so, what they do to address it.
I recently created a Version and made some edits, then looked at the Default copy of the Feature Class and the Metadata for Default shows the changes I made to the Version! These changes include both manual updates to the metadata and the automated geoprocessing updates to the metadata.
This is a bit disturbing, to say the least. Default is supposed to be a static copy of your data. However, any changes you make to your Version are immediately applied to the metadata of Default, resulting in mismatch of metadata and data.
Plus the metadata changed without a review - i.e. this happens immediately, not even waiting for a second-party review at the Reconcile and Post steps. So file control and Data integrity are an issue.
I discussed this with ESRI Tech Support this morning and they say its a known issue since 2006. Unfortunately, there is not currently a timeline to fix it, though it is already on their bug/enhancement list.
From what ESRI told me, the way Metadata is implemented in SDE is as a single file associated with the Default feature class. However, unlike the data it documents, it cannot be Versioned. So anytime anyone creates a Version, they are directly impacting the metadata. And, of course, being that SDE is a multi-user database, think of the havoc of several people all working on a Version of the same feature class - the metadata is immediately getting altered by all the Versions. In that situation, a user who accesses the Default feature class might find the metadata to be bizarrely mismatched to the data they are seeing.
In terms of workarounds, the metadata in SDE cannot be locked to prevent the changes.
So the reality is that when you work on a Version in SDE, you are changing the metadata for Default, whether you realize it or not.
So my questions are these:
- Has anyone else noticed this?
- Has anyone figured out a workaround to protect the Metadata from being altered until the Version is ready to be finalized (i.e. it was reviewed in Reconcile and Post and is now ready to replace Default)?
Chris Donohue, GISP