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Python Toolbox Parameter Data Types - GP and DE?

Question asked by hashimotoy on May 25, 2019
Latest reply on May 26, 2019 by Dan_Patterson

Can someone please explain the definitive rationale behind the distinction between data types as GP* and DE*?


The majority of Python Toolbox parameter data types are prefixed with either "GP" or "DE", which I presume stand for 'geoprocessing object' and 'data element'. An illustrative example is the GPLayer and DELayer; the former refers to a geoprocessing layer object while the latter refers to a layer file representing a unit of data (aka data element). The distinction between data types is intuitive in some instances as in this 'layer' example but seems idiosyncratic in others. e.g. Why is a workspace identified as "DE"? Why not a GPWorkspace as a workspace refers to the container in which geoprocessing functions take place? Why "DETool" and not  "GPTool"? Why is a server connection identified as DE data element and not a GP geoprocessing object?


I ask because I have little recall and can't keep them straight in my head and am tired of revisiting the data type help pages whenever I create a new parameter.