Connect to a traditional version

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

There are several workflows that require you to connect to a version to access and work with versioned geodatabase datasets. You can configure the database connection to use traditional versioning and connect to a specific version, or specify the version for the data source of the layers in the active map.

Configure the database connection

When you make a connection to an enterprise geodatabase using the Database Connection dialog box, the default versioning type specified in the application versioning options for the project is used. You can change the versioning type and the version you are connected to by opening the Geodatabase Connection Properties tab for the database connection.

Geodatabase Connection Properties for traditional versioning

Follow these steps to set the database connection to a specific traditional version:

  1. Access the database connection in the Databases folder Databases of the Catalog pane or Catalog view.
  2. Right-click the database connection Geodatabase Connection and click Geodatabase Connection Properties Geodatabase Connection Properties.
  3. Choose Traditional for the Versioning Type option.
  4. In the Select Version section, choose the version from the version list to access through the connection.

    For larger version lists, you can use the Filter by name and Filter by owner boxes to filter the results.

  5. Click OK.
  6. Each time you use this connection, you will connect to the version you specified.

Change the version for the map layer's data source

When data is initially added to the map from the enterprise geodatabase, the default version is used unless the geodatabase connection properties are modified to use a different version. You can change the version that the layers reference 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 for layers in an active map:

  1. In the Contents pane, click the List By Data Source tab List By Data Source.
  2. Right-click the enterprise geodatabase data source Geodatabase Connection for the layer and click Change Version Change Version.

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


    If you change the data source version using Change Version and you have unsaved data edits, you will be prompted to save or discard edits before changing the version.

  3. Choose a version from the list on the Change Version dialog box 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 in the active map that use the same workspace 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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