Validation attribute rules

Validation rules specify permissible attribute configurations and general relationships on a feature. They are used to check features in a dataset based on a specific requirement or constraint. The rule evaluation occurs for existing features at a user-specified time, and if rules are violated, error features are created. This process allows you to perform quality assurance checks on features and review areas of concern as an iterative process.

The following video demonstrates how to create a validation rule.

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  • This video was created with ArcGIS Pro 3.2.
Batch calculation and validation attribute rules are only supported on point, line, and polygon feature classes or tables. For enterprise geodatabases, these rule types are only supported for branch versioned datasets.

Validation rules can be created by clicking the Validation Rule button Validation Rules in the Add Rules group of the Attribute Rules view. Rules can also be created using the Add Attribute Rule or Import Attribute Rules tool.


The Ready to Use Rules button Ready To Use Rules provides access to a gallery of configurable checks that support creation of constraint and validation rules. This is available with an ArcGIS Data Reviewer license.

Learn more about how to create attribute rules using ArcGIS Data Reviewer

To evaluate validation rules for a dataset, you can use the Evaluate Rules tool or the Error Inspector.

The input workspace for evaluating batch calculation and validation rules depends on the type of geodatabase the dataset with attribute rules is stored in:
  • File or mobile geodatabases—A geodatabase is the input workspace to evaluate.
  • Enterprise geodatabases—A feature service with the Validation capability is the input workspace to evaluate. If the same dataset is published to multiple services, be aware that the error layers and validation status attribute are shared for the default version.

The following are general steps involved in configuring and evaluating validation rules for datasets in an enterprise geodatabase:

  • Register the dataset as branch versioned.
  • Configure the database connection to branch for the versioning type.
  • Add the attribute rule to the dataset.
  • Share the dataset as a web feature layer with the Validation capability enabled.
  • Make edits to the web feature layer.
  • Evaluate the rules and check features using the Error Inspector.
  • Review the error features and make edits to correct the errors.
  • Evaluate the rules once more.

To learn more, see Share datasets with attribute rules, Evaluate attribute rules, and Manage attribute rule errors.


The following are examples of how validation attribute rules can be used in a geodatabase:

  • An attribute value (string) must be a specified number of characters in length.
  • For hydrant features, ensure the size of the valve is greater than or equal to a certain diameter.
  • If the height of a power pole is greater than 65 feet, the material must be set to Steel.

See the Arcade profile for the requirements and global variables to author attribute rule types. The Arcade Getting Started guide and Function Index are additional resources you can use to construct script expressions for attribute rules.

See specific examples for attribute rule script expressions

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