ArcGIS 10.x and ArcGIS Pro clients can connect to 10.x enterprise geodatabases; however, the version of the database management system you use must be compatible with the ArcGIS client version from which you connect. See the Microsoft SQL Server database requirements for the ArcGIS client version you want to use.
Be aware that when you use clients that connect to an ArcGIS Server service, such as Collector for ArcGIS or Survey123 for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Server is actually the client to the geodatabase. For these cases, make sure your ArcGIS Server and geodatabase versions are compatible.
Connecting from newer clients to older release geodatabases allows you to use the geodatabase without having to upgrade it at the same time the clients are upgraded. It also allows you to have mixed-release client installations at your site. For example, if one department uses a custom application that has not been updated to work with the latest ArcGIS client version, you can keep the geodatabase at the 10.6.x release, keep this group of users on an older client release, and upgrade the clients for the rest of the agency to the current release. Keep in mind, though, that the current-release clients cannot use the latest geodatabase functionality until the geodatabase has been upgraded.
Note that if you create or upgrade a geodatabase from ArcGIS Pro, the version number stored in the geodatabase includes both the ArcGIS version and the ArcGIS Pro version. For example, if you create an enterprise geodatabase from ArcGIS Pro 2.3, the geodatabase version is 10.7.0.2.3.
Rules for mixed-release connections
Keep the following in mind when deciding whether to use mixed-release connections:
- If your organization uses a mix of ArcGIS 10.5, ArcGIS Pro 1.4, and older ArcGIS clients with a 10.5 or newer release geodatabase, the older clients will not be able to open datasets created with ArcGIS 10.5, ArcGIS Pro 1.4, or newer clients. If you need to keep the older ArcGIS clients, be sure all new datasets are created or loaded using the older ArcGIS client.
- Older ArcGIS client versions can open, query, edit, and save data in newer release geodatabases; however, they cannot open datasets that participate in newer functionality.
- When you make a connection from a newer client to an older enterprise geodatabase, you only have access to functionality that is available for the release of your geodatabase. This also applies to API functionality; if the functionality does not exist in the version of the geodatabase to which you want to connect, you cannot use the newer API function.
- To connect from an ArcGIS client to an older release enterprise geodatabase, the geodatabase has to be upgraded to the latest service pack or patch for its release. For example, if you want to connect from ArcGIS Server 10.7 to a 10.6.1 enterprise geodatabase, you must apply the most recent 10.6.1 patch to the geodatabase.
- You cannot open functionality specific to ArcGIS Pro inside ArcMap. For example, you cannot access geodatabases in SAP HANA or utility networks from ArcMap.
- If you upgrade your geodatabase to 10.7.x and upgrade a dimension feature class using the Upgrade Dataset geoprocessing tool in ArcGIS Pro, you can no longer open it from ArcMap 10.7 and subsequent releases.