Network categories

A network category is a tag used to represent a characteristic of an asset in your network. They are created and assigned to network features for specific asset group and asset type combinations.

Every utility network model includes a set of system-provided network categories that incorporate semantics in the utility network for subnetwork management and tracing operations. These system-provided network categories cannot be deleted from the utility network.

System-provided network categories are as follows:

  • Subnetwork controller—This network category is required to allow a terminal on a device or junction object feature to be set as a subnetwork controller to define the origin of a subnetwork.
  • Subnetwork tap—This network category is used in tracing to model features that are tapped off a midspan vertex on a main line or edge object. Tapped network features allow a network commodity to continue to flow through the feature, without interruption, to the other side of the main line or edge object. Secondary features attached to the tap are influenced by the attribute substitution value defined for the tap.
  • Attribute substitution—This network category is assigned to attributes to indicate that a substitution value for subnetwork tap features is to be used during a trace.

Although you cannot delete a system-provided network category, you can decide whether you want to assign it to assets in your network. Subnetworks are a required piece of subnetwork management, and subnetwork controllers must be set in your network. Propagation and attribute substitution are advanced functionality used in tracing; it is optional to define features with the network attributes of subnetwork tap or attribute substitution.

You can add additional user-defined network categories (for example, protective) to a utility network and assign them to network features at the asset group and asset type levels. There is no limit to the number of categories that you can set for each asset group and asset type combination.

User-defined network categories are created using the Add Network Category geoprocessing tool. Use the Set Network Category tool to assign a user-defined or system-provided category to a network feature at the asset group and asset type levels. All features or objects belonging to that asset type will have the assigned network category.

Network categories are used by the Update Subnetwork, Export Subnetwork, and Trace tools. To learn more, see Subnetworks.