What are configuration keywords?

Configuration keywords represent a setting or group of settings that tell the geodatabase where or in what format to store the data in each dataset. You can use configuration keywords when you create a table or feature class to specify how data is stored.

Configuration keywords are used with file geodatabases and enterprise geodatabases. Each of these geodatabase types has its own set of keywords. In the case of enterprise geodatabases, there are a number of configuration keywords that can be used for specifying geometry storage (which varies by database management system [DBMS]) as well as for managing geometric networks, topologies, and terrains.

Here are some examples of configuration keywords and their uses:

  • DEFAULTS: This uses reasonable default configuration and storage settings for most geodatabase uses.
  • MAX_FILE_SIZE_256TB: If you are importing an extremely large image into a file geodatabase, you can specify the MAX_FILE_SIZE_256TB configuration keyword, which tells the geodatabase to allow the raster dataset to be up to 256 terabytes in size.
  • SDELOB: If you want to add a feature class to a geodatabase in Oracle, you could specify the SDELOB configuration keyword, which tells the database to store the spatial data in BLOB format.
  • TEXT_UTF16: If you are creating a file geodatabase feature class that will contain attribute data in Chinese, Russian, or another language with non-Latin characters, you can specify this keyword so the text characters store in UTF-16, a more efficient storage format for these languages.

In most cases, simply choosing the default option creates new datasets that will work well for you. However, there are some cases in which you must specify a configuration keyword, for example, if you want to use a nondefault raster storage setting in an enterprise geodatabase or you need to store a large raster dataset (one that is a terabyte or more in size) in a file geodatabase.


Configuration keywords are only used with file geodatabases or enterprise geodatabases.