Upgrade a geodatabase in Oracle

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

The goal of upgrading an enterprise geodatabase is to update the geodatabase system tables, stored procedures, types, and functions to take advantage of new functionality and bug fixes.

Install a new version of the ArcGIS client or apply a service pack, patch, or hot fix to an existing installation and upgrade the geodatabase.

Complete the steps needed prior to upgrading, and then upgrade your geodatabase using the Upgrade Geodatabase geoprocessing tool or a Python script.

Before you upgrade

When you upgrade any enterprise system, including a geodatabase, plan ahead. Test the new version on a development or test server to ensure that it works with all your client applications.

When you have determined that the new system works the way you expected, schedule the upgrade; be sure the necessary staff are available to perform the upgrade and that they have the permissions necessary to complete their assigned tasks.

Be aware of the following:

  • Upgrades of user-schema geodatabases are no longer supported. At this time, you can upgrade the sde geodatabase, but you cannot upgrade the user-schema geodatabases. You can still connect to the user-schema geodatabases, but you cannot upgrade them.
  • Upgrades from beta or prerelease versions of the software are not supported.
  • You can upgrade directly from a 10.4.x, 10.5.x, 10.6.x, 10.7.x, 10.8.x, or 10.9.x geodatabase if your database release is supported for the ArcGIS version to which you upgrade.
  • There is no formal mechanism to downgrade a geodatabase to a previous version. If, after upgrading to a newer version, you want to downgrade the geodatabase, you must restore the old database from a backup file.
  • If you intend to upgrade a 10.4.1 or earlier geodatabase, remove all locators from the geodatabase before upgrading.
  • ST_Raster storage is no longer supported. You must convert existing ST_Raster data to a different format before you upgrade.
  • Verify that the Oracle OPEN_CURSORS parameter is set to a large value, such as 2000, and that the setting is synchronized with the geodatabase.
  • Once you upgrade the geodatabase to the current release, the geodatabase will use only global temporary tables for log file tables.
  • If your geodatabase is in Oracle 11.x or and you want to use branch versioning, you must move to a version of Oracle for which branch versioning is supported before you upgrade the geodatabase. Moving to a supported Oracle version and then upgrading will create branch versioning system tables in the geodatabase.

The following is a checklist of steps to complete before you upgrade your geodatabase:

  1. Read the Oracle database requirements for ArcGIS to confirm that Esri supports the Oracle and ArcGIS version combination you want to use.
  2. Check to see if your geodatabase can be upgraded. To do this, install the ArcGIS client version you want to move to on one machine. If you install ArcGIS Desktop, you can connect to the geodatabase and open the Database Properties dialog box to see if a geodatabase upgrade is possible. If you install ArcGIS Server (enterprise edition) or the ArcGIS Engine Geodatabase Update extension, you can use the ArcPy Describe function to determine if the geodatabase can be upgraded.
    # Open Python.
    cd /arcgis/server/tools
    # Create a connection to the geodatabase.
    # Import ArcPy and check the geodatabase release.
    import arcpy
    isCurrent = arcpy.Describe('/tmp/egdb_connection.sde').currentRelease
    print isCurrent

    If false is returned, you can upgrade your geodatabase. If true is returned, you do not need to upgrade your geodatabase. Do not proceed with the subsequent steps.

  3. Make sure that the Oracle Text component is installed.

    The Text component is installed by default in Oracle; however, if you did not do a default installation, the Text component may not have been installed.

    To see if it is installed, execute the following SQL statement while logged in as SYSTEM or a user with DBA privileges in the database:

    SELECT owner, object_name
    FROM all_objects
    WHERE object_type = 'PACKAGE'
      AND object_name = 'CTX_DDL';
    If no record is returned, the Text component is not installed. Run the Oracle installation to install the Text component.

  4. Convert any application server connections used in existing maps or services to direct connections.
  5. Create a backup of the database.
  6. Remove any custom functionality you may have added to the geodatabase system tables outside ArcGIS, such as triggers or additional indexes.

    The upgrade procedure cannot take into account customizations you make to the system tables. If such customizations prevent the alteration of a system table's schema, the upgrade will fail.

  7. Grant the geodatabase administrator the permissions necessary to upgrade a geodatabase.

    See Privileges for geodatabases in Oracle for a list of required privileges.

  8. If you access data directly from SQL, replace the existing st_shapelib on your Oracle server with the new version of the library. Download the new st_shapelib file from My Esri.

    Be sure to use the library appropriate to your Oracle server operating system.

    If you place the library in a different directory on the Oracle server than it was previously, you must reconfigure your extproc to point to the new library location and restart the Oracle listener. See Configure the extproc to access ST_Geometry in Oracle for more information.

  9. Make sure that there are no users connected to the geodatabase you are upgrading. If your geodatabase contains user-schema geodatabases, also make sure no one is connected to any of the user-schema geodatabases.

    To see a list of the users who are currently connected to your geodatabase, go to the Geodatabase Administration dialog box in an ArcGIS Desktop client.

You can now upgrade your geodatabase.

Upgrade the geodatabase

You can use the Upgrade Geodatabase tool in ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro, or use a Python script run on the ArcGIS client computer to upgrade your geodatabase.


You must use current connection syntax when you connect to the geodatabase to upgrade it. The upgrade process will fail if you use the older connection syntax. See Connect to Oracle from ArcGIS for information on connection syntax.

Use the Upgrade Geodatabase tool

Open the Upgrade Geodatabase geoprocessing tool from one of the following:

  • The Geodatabase Administration toolset in the Data Management toolbox
  • The Upgrade Geodatabase button on the General tab of the Database Properties dialog box in ArcMap or ArcCatalog
  • The Run Upgrade button on the General tab of the Database Properties dialog box in ArcGIS Pro

If you open the tool from Database Properties, the Input geodatabase text box is prepopulated with the geodatabase connection information.

Esri recommends that you leave both the Pre-requisites check and Upgrade geodatabase options checked. That way, the tool checks to see if the prerequisites to upgrade have been met before continuing with the geodatabase upgrade.

The prerequisite check detects other active connections to the geodatabase, determines whether the connecting user has sufficient privileges to upgrade the geodatabase, ensures that the database can support XML columns, makes sure all datasets can be opened, and ascertains that the database and libraries are at the same release. If any prerequisites are not met, the tool terminates. You must correct any problems before you run the upgrade procedure again.

The results of this check are reported on the geoprocessing tool dialog box. If the check (or upgrade) fails, results are also written to the GDBUpgrade.log file in the c:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\ESRI\<ArcGIS product> folder.

If all checks are passed, the tool proceeds with the upgrade. The status for the prerequisites check and the upgrade are shown on the geoprocessing tool progress dialog box. If the upgrade fails, information is written to the GDBUpgrade.log file. Additional information is written to the sde_setup.log file in the system TEMP directory.

Run a script

To upgrade the geodatabase, copy one of these example scripts into a text editor. Alter any variable values to match the information at your site.

  • If you have an existing database connection file that uses a direct connection and connects as the sde user, copy the script that applies to your operating system, paste it in a text editor, alter it to use information specific to your site, save and close the file, then run it:
    # Name: upgradesdegdb_example.py
    # Description: Connect from a Windows computer 
    # with an existing database connection file 
    # and upgrade an enterprise geodatabase
    # Import arcpy module
    import arcpy
    # Local variables:
    Output_Workspace = "C:\\ArcGIS\connection_files\<Connection file>"
    Default_gdb = "C:\\ArcGIS\connection_files\<Connection file>"
    # Process: Upgrade Geodatabase
    arcpy.UpgradeGDB_management(Default_gdb, "PREREQUISITE_CHECK", "UPGRADE")
    # Name: upgradesdegdb_example.py
    # Description: Connect from a Linux or UNIX computer 
    # with an existing database connection file 
    # and upgrade an enterprise geodatabase
    # Import arcpy module
    import arcpy
    # Local variables:
    Output_Workspace = "<user>/connections/<Connection_file>"
    Default_gdb = "<user>/connections/<Connection_file>"
    # Process: Upgrade Geodatabase
    arcpy.UpgradeGDB_management(Default_gdb, "PREREQUISITE_CHECK", "UPGRADE")
  • If you do not have a database connection file on the computer from which you are scripting the upgrade, you can copy the following script and provide your site-specific information at the command line:
    Name: upgrade_gdb.py
    Description: Provide connection information to an Enterprise geodatabase 
    and upgrade the geodatabase
    Type upgrade_gdb.py -h or upgrade_gdb.py --help for usage
    # Import system modules
    import arcpy
    import os
    import optparse
    import sys
    # Define usage and version
    parser = optparse.OptionParser(usage = "usage: %prog [Options]", version="%prog 2.0; valid for 10.1 only")
    #Define help and options
    parser.add_option ("--DBMS", dest="Database_type", type="choice", choices=['SQLSERVER', 'ORACLE', 'POSTGRESQL', 'DB2','INFORMIX','DB2ZOS',''], default="", help="Type of enterprise DBMS:  SQLSERVER, ORACLE, or POSTGRESQL.")
    parser.add_option ("-i", dest="Instance", type="string", default="", help="DBMS instance name")
    parser.add_option ("--auth", dest="account_authentication", type ="choice", choices=['DATABASE_AUTH', 'OPERATING_SYSTEM_AUTH'], default='DATABASE_AUTH', help="Authentication type options (case-sensitive):  DATABASE_AUTH, OPERATING_SYSTEM_AUTH.  Default=DATABASE_AUTH")
    parser.add_option ("-u", dest="User", type="string", default="", help="Geodatabase administrator user name")
    parser.add_option ("-p", dest="Password", type="string", default="", help="Geodatabase administrator password")
    parser.add_option ("--upgrade", dest="Upgrade", type="choice", choices=['TRUE', 'FALSE'], default="FALSE", help="Upgrade Options (case-sensitive):  TRUE=Perform Pre-requisite check and upgrade geodatabase, FALSE=Perform Pre-requisite check only.  Default=FALSE")                   
    parser.add_option ("-D", dest="Database", type="string", default="none", help="Database name:  Not required for Oracle")
    # Check if value entered for option
    	(options, args) = parser.parse_args()
    #Check if no system arguments (options) entered
    	if len(sys.argv) == 1:
    		print("%s: error: %s\n" % (sys.argv[0], "No command options given"))
    	#Usage parameters for spatial database connection to upgrade
    	account_authentication = options.account_authentication.upper()
    	username = options.User.lower() 
    	password = options.Password	
    	do_upgrade = options.Upgrade
    	database = options.Database.lower()
    	database_type = options.Database_type.upper()
    	instance = options.Instance
    	if (database_type == ""):
    		print("\nDatabase type must be specified!\n")
    	if (database_type == "SQLSERVER"):
    		database_type = "SQL_SERVER"
    	# Get the current product license
    	# Checks required license level to upgrade
    	if product_license.upper() == "ARCVIEW" or product_license.upper() == 'ENGINE':
    		print("\n" + product_license + " license found!" + "  Enterprise geodatabase upgrade requires an ArcGIS Desktop Standard or Advanced, ArcGIS Engine with the Geodatabase Update extension, or ArcGIS Server license.")
    		sys.exit("Re-authorize ArcGIS before upgrading.")
    		print("\n" + product_license + " license available!  Continuing to upgrade...")
    	# Local variables
    	instance_temp = instance.replace("\\","_")
    	instance_temp = instance_temp.replace("/","_")
    	instance_temp = instance_temp.replace(":","_")
    	Conn_File_NameT = instance_temp + "_" + database + "_" + username     
    	if os.environ.get("TEMP") == None:
    		temp = "c:\\temp"	
    		temp = os.environ.get("TEMP")
    	if os.environ.get("TMP") == None:
    		temp = "/usr/tmp"		
    		temp = os.environ.get("TMP")  
    	Connection_File_Name = Conn_File_NameT + ".sde"
    	Connection_File_Name_full_path = temp + os.sep + Conn_File_NameT + ".sde"
    	# Check for the .sde file and delete it if present
    	if os.path.exists(Connection_File_Name_full_path):
    	print("\nCreating Database Connection File...\n")
    	# Process: Create Database Connection File...
    	# Usage:  out_file_location, out_file_name, DBMS_TYPE, instnace, database, account_authentication, username, password, save_username_password(must be true)
    	arcpy.CreateDatabaseConnection_management(out_folder_path=temp, out_name=Connection_File_Name, database_platform=database_type, instance=instance, database=database, account_authentication=account_authentication, username=username, password=password, save_user_pass="TRUE")
            for i in range(arcpy.GetMessageCount()):
    		if "000565" in arcpy.GetMessage(i):   #Check if database connection was successful
    	# Check whether geodatabase needs upgrade
    	isCurrent = arcpy.Describe(Connection_File_Name_full_path).currentRelease
    	if isCurrent == True:
    		print("The geodatabase is already at the current release and cannot be upgraded!")
    		sys.exit("Upgrade did not run.")
    	# Process: Upgrade geodatabase...
    		if do_upgrade.lower() == "true":
    			print("Upgrading Geodatabase...\n")
    			arcpy.UpgradeGDB_management(input_workspace=Connection_File_Name_full_path, input_prerequisite_check="PREREQUISITE_CHECK", input_upgradegdb_check="UPGRADE")
    			for i in range(arcpy.GetMessageCount()):
    			print("Running Pre-Requisite Check...\n")
    			arcpy.UpgradeGDB_management(input_workspace=Connection_File_Name_full_path, input_prerequisite_check="PREREQUISITE_CHECK", input_upgradegdb_check="NO_UPGRADE")
    			for i in range(arcpy.GetMessageCount()):
    		for i in range(arcpy.GetMessageCount()):
    	if os.path.exists(Connection_File_Name_full_path):
    #Check if no value entered for option	
    except SystemExit as e:
    	if e.code == 2:
    		parser.usage = ""
    For example, if you saved the text file as gdbupgrade and your database is myogdb, type the following at a command prompt:

    gdbupgrade --DBMS ORACLE -i myogdb --auth DATABASE_AUTH -u sde -p mysdepassword --upgrade TRUE

Oracle releases and branch versions

Branch version system tables are only created if you create or upgrade your geodatabase in an Oracle release in which ArcGIS supports branch versions. That means if your geodatabase is in a version of Oracle in which branch versioning is not supported, you cannot use branch versioning.

Even if the your geodatabase version supports branch versioning but the geodatabase is in an Oracle 11.x or database—for example, you have a geodatabase in Oracle 11.x—upgrading Oracle or restoring your geodatabase to a supported release of Oracle will not implement branch versioning. You must upgrade the geodatabase after you move to a newer, supported Oracle release.