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.


3D Objects

The 3D Objects toolset contains tools for enhancing a multipatch feature class with the capabilities of the 3D object feature layer. The 3D object feature layer improves multipatch features by optimizing the storage of texture information and adding support for additional visualization effects, textures, and materials associated with several 3D modeling formats.


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 way to associate nongeographic data with geographic information. With these tools, you can 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.

Contingent Values

The Contingent Values toolset contains tools for managing geodatabase contingent values and field groups. Contingent values functionality provides a way to add custom behavior to your geodatabase data. You can incorporate contingent values into your workflows and automate the process of adding and removing values using these tools.

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

The Distributed Geodatabase toolset contains tools for creating and synchronizing changes between replica geodatabases.


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 Binning

The Feature Binning toolset contains tools for managing feature binning. Feature binning is an advanced visualization capability that allows users to explore and visualize large datasets. It also helps users observe patterns at macro and micro levels with simple out-of-the-box mapping options.

Feature Class

The Feature Class toolset provides a set of tools that 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 tools to create and modify fields. 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; and sorting records.


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

The Joins and Relates toolset contains tools that add or remove joins between layers or table views. Joins made with the Add Join tool or the Add Spatial Join tool or relates made with the Add Relate tool are temporary and do not permanently transfer the fields between tables. To preserve the join or relate between sessions, you can create a relationship using the tools in the Relationship Classes toolset.

LAS Dataset

The LAS Dataset toolset provides tools for creating, managing, and optimizing an LAS dataset. The LAS dataset data type references collections of LAS files, making them easier to process, visualize, and analyze.

Layers and Table Views

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


The Package toolset contains tools to consolidate, package, and share layers (.lyr and .lyrx), maps (.mxd and .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 contains tools that 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.


The Table toolset contains tools that perform basic table management.

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 Toolbox toolset contains tools for analyzing the contents of toolboxes (model and script tools) for use with different versions of ArcGIS software.


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 contains tools to create the data storage structures used by ArcGIS.

Toolsets in the Data Management toolbox

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