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An overview of the Data Management toolbox

The Data Management toolbox provides a rich and varied collection of tools that are used to develop, manage, and maintain feature classes, datasets, layers, and raster data structures.



The Archiving toolset contains tools for managing geodatabase archiving. Archiving in ArcGIS provides the functionality to record and access changes made to data in a geodatabase. Geodatabase archiving is the mechanism for capturing, managing, and analyzing data change.


The Attachments toolset contains tools for managing geodatabase attachments. The attachments functionality provides a powerful way to associate nongeographic data with your geographic information. With these geoprocessing tools you can more easily incorporate attachments into your workflows and automate the process of adding and removing attachments.

Attribute Rules

The Attribute Rules toolset contains tools for managing geodatabase attribute rules. Attribute rule functionality provides a way to add custom rules and behaviour to your geodatabase data. With these geoprocessing tools you can easily incorporate attribute rules into your workflows and automate the process of adding and removing rules.

Data Comparison

The Data Comparison toolset contains tools to compare one dataset with another dataset to report similarities and differences. You can use these tools to identify changes made to a dataset.

Distributed Geodatabase

Distributing geodatabases allows organizations to disperse their data as necessary from central servers to regional or local offices, which may be in a connected or disconnected environment.


Domains offer a way to define a range of values that can be used for multiple attribute fields. Using domains helps ensure data integrity by limiting the choice of values for a particular field. Validation for coded value domains is accomplished by restricting field values found in drop-down lists. Range domains are automatically validated during editing.

Feature Class

The Feature Class toolset provides a set of tools designed to perform basic feature class management.


The Features toolset contains tools to create and manage feature-based GIS data, transform features from one geometry type to another, find and correct issues with feature geometry, and record feature geometry measurements and coordinates as attributes.


The Fields toolset contains a set of tools to add and make changes to the fields in the tables of a feature class. A field is a column in a table; each field contains the values for a single attribute. Any number of fields can be included in a table. Settings can be specified for fields, such as the field type and the maximum size of the data that can be stored in it.

File Geodatabase

To reduce storage requirements, you can compress vector file geodatabase feature classes and tables to a read-only format. Files can reduce to as little as 1/4 their original size. Once compressed, a dataset looks the same in ArcCatalog and ArcMap as when it was uncompressed. Also, apart from editing, you work with it the same way. The compressed data is a direct access format, so you do not have to uncompress it each time you access it: ArcGIS and ArcReader read it directly.


The General toolset contains tools for performing general data management operations. The toolset contains tools for combining feature classes or tables; renaming, copying, or deleting datasets; finding or deleting duplicate or identical records; sorting records; and tools that enhance ModelBuilder functionality.


Tools in the Generalization toolset can be used to aggregate or eliminate features.

Geodatabase Administration

The Geodatabase Administration toolset contains tools for a variety of geodatabase management tasks. Specific geodatabase data management tools as well as geodatabase upgrade, management, and maintenance are covered by the tools in this toolset.


The Indexes toolset provides tools that create and remove indexes.

Joins and Relates

Tools in the Joins and Relates toolset create a join or a relate between a layer and a table view. Joins made with the Add Join tool or relates made with the Add Relate tool are temporary and do not permanently transfer the fields between tables. If you need to preserve the join or relate between sessions, you can create a relationship using the tools in the Relationship Classes toolset.

LAS Dataset

Contains tools for creating and managing LAS datasets. The LAS dataset is a triangulated surface type that allows for the rapid read and display of airborne lidar data in the LAS format.

Layers and Table Views

The Layers and Table Views toolset creates and manipulates layers, layer files, and table views.


The Package toolset provides tools to consolidate, package, and share layers (.lyr, .lyrx), maps (.mxd, .mapx), projects (.aprx), address locators (.loc), and geoprocessing results.


The Photos toolset contains tools for analyzing and managing digital photograph files. The toolset includes tools for creating a point feature class from geotagged photo files (photos that were captured from a GPS camera device or a smartphone) and matching photo files to features or table rows based on the time stamp of the photo.

Projections and Transformations

This toolset contains tools to convert geographic data from one map projection to another. There are additional tools for transforming raster datasets, such as shift, rescale, and rotate.


The Raster toolset in the Data Management toolbox provides tools to perform raster data management and raster processing. These tools allow you to work with raster dataset properties and create and process raster data.

Relationship Classes

Relationship classes define relationships between objects in the geodatabase. These relationships can be simple one-to-one relationships, similar to what you might create between a feature and a row in a table, or more complex one-to-many (or many-to-many) relationships between features and table rows. Some relationships specify that a given feature, row, or table is not only related to another feature but that creating, editing, or deleting one will have a specified effect on the other. These are called composite relationships, and they can be used to ensure that the links between objects in the database are maintained and up-to-date. Deleting a feature, such as a power pole, can trigger the deletion of other features, such as a transformer mounted on the pole or the maintenance records in a related table.


The Sampling toolset provides tools that create features used either as sampling locations or as aggregation areas. For example, the Create Random Points tool creates points that can be used as sampling locations within the extent of a dataset. The Generate Tessellation tool creates a mesh of triangle, square, or hexagon polygons within an extent that can be used to aggregate other data.


One of the great advantages of using the geodatabase to store geographic data is the ability to create subtypes for your features and attributes. Subtypes provide a method of dividing your feature classes or tables into logical groupings based on an attribute value. By allowing you to work with a subset of features in a feature class, subtypes make it possible to assign consistent attributes and behavior to those subsets.


A table contains a collection of rows and columns, where each row, or record, represents a geographic feature—such as a parcel, power pole, highway, or group of lakes—and each column, or field, describes a particular attribute of the geographic feature, such as its square footage, height, length, and area. Tables are typically stored in a database or simply in files such as dBASE tables. Tables manage the attributes of geographic features.

Tile Cache

The Tile Cache toolset contains tools to generate, manage, import, and export tile caches. These tools are capable of generating tile caches from a raster dataset or a mosaic dataset on your desktop without the need for ArcGIS Server. These tile caches can then be shared as tile packages on ArcGIS Online and published as tiled map services.


The Topology toolset contains a set of tools that can be used to create and manage a geodatabase topology.


Versioning allows multiple users to access geographic data in a geodatabase. Versioning lets connected users simultaneously create multiple, persistent representations of the geodatabase without data duplication. The same features or rows can be concurrently edited without explicitly applying locking the data. This framework lets you create versions of a geodatabase for the states of a project, reconcile differences between versions, and update the master version of a geodatabase with the design as-built. Versioning is supported by the Enterprise geodatabase only.


The Workspace toolset comprises a set of tools to create the data storage structures used by ArcGIS.

Toolsets in the Data Management toolbox

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