Connect to a branch version

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

There are several workflows that require you to connect to a version to access and work with your versioned geodatabase datasets.

  • Configure the database connection—Use the Geodatabase Connection Properties dialog box to set the versioning type and connect to the default branch version. The version properties are stored as part of the database connection file and used when loading data to a map or performing tasks that use the database connection. The database connection must be set to branch for the versioning type prior to adding data to a map when publishing branch versioned data and performing version administration tasks.
  • Change the version for the map datasource—When working in an active map, use the Change Version dialog box to connect to a specific version for viewing and editing. This requires that the data source is from a feature service with the version management capability enabled.

Configure the database connection

When you first make a connection to an enterprise geodatabase using the Database Connection dialog box, the versioning type for the connection uses traditional versioning and connects to the default version. When working with branch versioned data, it is important for publishing and administration workflows that you have the database connection set to branch for the versioning type.


The Versioning options can be used to change the default versioning type for database connections.

Geodatabase Connection Properties for Branch Versioning Type

Follow these steps to set the database connection to the branch for the versioning type:

  1. Connect to your geodatabase in the Databases folder Databases in the Catalog pane.
  2. Right-click your database connection Geodatabase Connection and click Geodatabase Connection Properties Geodatabase Connection Properties.
  3. Select Branch for Versioning Type.
  4. Note:
    Only the default version is available.
  5. Click OK.
  6. With this change, each time you use this connection, you will connect to the default branch version for the geodatabase. You can also use the Update Geodatabase Connection Properties To Branch geoprocessing tool to set the versioning type to branch for the database connection.

Change the version for the map datasource

When data is initially added to the map from a portal connection, the default version is used. You can change from one version to another using the Change Version dialog box. When you change versions, all layers in the map that share the same data source are changed to the version you select.

Change Version dialog box

Follow these steps to change versions in an active map:

  1. In the Contents pane, click the List By Data Source button List By Data Source.
  2. Right-click the web feature layer data source ArcGIS server whose version you want to change and click Change Version Change Version.

    If you are currently connected to a named version, you can change directly to default by clicking on Change To Default Change Version. This bypasses the Change Version dialog.

    • To use the Change Version dialog box for branch versioned data, the data source must be from a feature service with the version management capability enabled. If the data source is from an enterprise geodatabase, the Change Version tool is unavailable.

    • When changing the data source version using Change Version and edits have not yet been saved, a dialog prompt will appear, providing a choice to save or discard edits before changing the version.
  3. Choose a version from the list and click OK.

    You can also double-click the version name to automatically change to the version.

When you change from one version to another, all layers from the workspace in the map change to the version you choose.


You can also create a version on the Versioning tab and change to this new version for active map layers.

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