You can connect to spatial or nonspatial data in a supported database from ArcGIS to do the following:
- Visualize and analyze existing data.
- Filter the data.
- Manage existing data.
- Load data from other sources.
Visualize data in ArcGIS Pro
Once you connect to your database from an ArcGIS Pro project, you can view the data in a map or scene. To map spatial data or perform analysis on it, you can drag the table from your connection in the Catalog pane to the map or Contents pane. If necessary, define a unique identifier, spatial reference, and geometry type for spatial tables you add to the Contents pane.
When you drag a database feature class into the map, a query layer is automatically created and is defined to include all columns of supported data types in the table. The first row of the table is used to determine the geometry type (point, line, or polygon), spatial reference, and dimensionality (that is, 2D or 3D). If you don't want to use those properties—for example, if you want to display the three-dimensional records in the table, but the first record is two-dimensional—you can alter the query layer definition.
Supported data types
To use the data with ArcGIS, the data types in your database table must map to those supported by ArcGIS. If your table contains columns of a data type not supported by ArcGIS, ArcGIS will not display the unsupported columns. When you move tables between databases or between databases and geodatabases using ArcGIS, unsupported data types will not be included in the destination database.
Many geoprocessing tools can be used to analyze data in a database. Just be aware that if the tool adds records to an existing table, the table must contain a unique identifier that is maintained by the database.
When doing spatial analysis on large feature classes, though, it may be more efficient to write queries that use the database's native SQL functions in the query layer interface. These queries are processed in the database.
You can write database SQL queries in the query layer interface to filter the data returned to ArcGIS Pro.
If you want the filter to persist outside of ArcGIS Pro, create a view on tables or feature classes in your database. You can create a view by using the Create Database View geoprocessing tool or Python script, or define a view directly in the database.
There are a number of tools available in ArcGIS that allow you to manage data in a database.
Grant and revoke privileges on database tables
Table owners can use the Change Privileges geoprocessing tool to grant privileges to or revoke them from other database users or roles.
Manage indexes and statistics
Alter the schema of database tables
If your database management system allows it, you can change the name of an existing database table from the Catalog pane. Double-click the item's name, press F2 or right-click the item, and click Rename. The item is renamed within the database, and the item's name is updated accordingly in the Catalog pane.
You can use tools in ArcGIS Pro to load data from other data sources into your database. Options for moving data include the following methods:
- Copy tables from a source database and paste them into a destination database.
- Use the Feature Class To Feature Class geoprocessing tool.*
- Use the Copy geoprocessing tool.*
- Use the Copy Features geoprocessing tool.*
- Use the Copy Rows geoprocessing tool.*
- Create a table or create a feature class in the database and use the Append geoprocessing tool to bring in records from another source.*
*Cannot be used with tables that do not contain a unique identifier that is maintained by the database.
Note that to create new tables or feature classes in the database requires you to connect to the database as a user with privileges to create database objects. As the database administrator, you can use the Create Database User geoprocessing tool to create a user that has privileges sufficient to create database objects.
Enable geodatabase functionality
You might decide at some point that you need geodatabase functionality in your database, such as topology, networks, or versioned editing. You can create a geodatabase administrator user, connect to the database as that user, and use the Enable Enterprise Geodatabase geoprocessing tool to create a geodatabase in those databases in which it is supported. This creates the system tables, types, procedures, and functions a geodatabase requires.
Once you have enabled a geodatabase in the database, any new tables or feature classes you add through ArcGIS are automatically registered with the geodatabase. You can also use the Register with Geodatabase geoprocessing tool to register existing database tables with the geodatabase if you want, or you can leave them unregistered and still access them through ArcGIS Pro.