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Feature restrictions and rules

A utility network provides essential mechanisms to help maintain data accuracy and correctness:

  • Feature restrictions
  • Network rules and attribute rules

Feature restrictions are built-in restrictions that are imposed at the feature class level. Network rules and attribute rules are user-defined rules that can be used in conjunction against the utility network and the underlying feature classes. Network rules dictate which features can connect or associate with other types of features. Attribute rules enhance the editing experience and ensure data integrity by automatically calculating values based on expressions or constraining acceptable values for an attribute.

To learn more about improving data quality, see Feature restrictions, Network rules, and Attribute rules.

Feature restrictions

Feature restrictions limit the types of rules you can define in a utility network. They are system-maintained and cannot be modified or removed. They limit features participating in certain feature classes from connecting or associating. Features can connect or associate as long as the built-in feature restrictions are respected.

Network rules

Network rules support industry configurations and workflows associated with business-specific requirements. Network rules are imposed at the asset group, asset type, and terminal levels (if applicable) for the entire utility network. They help manage the correctness of assets in your network by allowing you to select which features can connect or associate with other types of features.

To enable the network topology for a utility network, there must be rules present. Rules can be defined based on business practices. Only rules that do not have a restriction can be added to a utility network. To learn more see, Feature restrictions.

When one network rule is added to a utility network, no features can connect or associate aside from the ones participating in the rule. To allow more types of features to affiliate, additional rules are added to a utility network.

The network rule base for a utility network can be viewed at any time from a utility network layer's properties page.

Attribute rules

Attribute rules are user-defined rules that are used to enhance the editing experience and help enforce data integrity. They allow you to define behaviors related to attributes and geometry of a feature. They can be created to constrain permissible feature configurations based on specified attribute or geometry criteria or automatically populate attribute values. For example, you can define a rule for field A that states this field cannot be less than the total of field B + field C.