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ArcMap 10.4 "Add Data" vs. "Add Query Layer"?

Question asked by tobias.bruehlmeier on Jan 23, 2017

Hi all,


There are two ways to add data from a database to a map:

  1. I choose the button "Add Data", navigate to my SDE connection file, open it, and add my required table or view to the map.
  2. I navigate to File > "Add Data" > "Add Query Layer". Then I select a database connection, build my SQL query, and add my required table or view to the map.


I had in mind that since version 10.3 of ArcGIS, both ways lead to the same result. But still, I can find several differences.

  1. Worst is this: I have a Oracle 12 view containing point objects and several additional attributes. Via "Add Data", I'm able to add this layer. But with "Add Query Layer" the same layer doesn't work. For only 5 points in my view, it takes about 15min to show them on the map; as soon as I open the respective table, ArcMap throws an error.
  2. Secondly, it doesn't seem to be possible to choose a project SDE file as a connection. Only SDE files stored in \Database Connections are available.


I would absolutely prefer Query Layers with the possibility to modify the query with SQL.


I couldn't find any documentation describing the differences. Does anybody know a documentation comparing "Add Data" vs. "Add Query Layer"? Or could anybody share his or her experiences with it?



Thanks, Tobias