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layer workspace path points to a .sde file that doesn't exist, yet the layer still draws

Question asked by tedrakel_power on Aug 24, 2015
Latest reply on Aug 24, 2015 by rastrauch

I've been working with a .mxd that has some broken links.  I have been using the following python to print the workspace path for each layer:


>>> for lyr in arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd):

...     if lyr.supports("workspacePath"):

...         source = lyr.workspacePath

...         print "%s -> %s" % (lyr, source)


I found that layers do successfully get drawn and their data source is correct in arc map even if the workspacePath points to a .sde file that doesn't exist on the machine.  If the links aren't broken, then there's no need to fix them; but I'm curious how ArcMap is able to find the data in sde if the layer workspacePath is not correct.