Create a trace network

A trace network provides the framework to visualize, manage, and work with simple connectivity models. A trace network represents the connectivity relationship between a collection of feature classes in a feature dataset in which each participating feature class has the role of either a junction or an edge. Multiple feature classes can participate in either role in a single trace network.

The basic methodology used to create a trace network is to determine which feature classes will participate in the network and the role each will play. A trace network can be created with either the Create Trace Network tool or the Convert Geometric Network to Trace Network tool.


A trace network can be created with z-enabled feature classes to support 3D capabilities. Connectivity is established based on x, y, and z coincidence when the network topology is created. Connectivity is not determined using z unless all feature classes that participate in the trace network are z-enabled.

Deployment types

There are two deployment types for a trace network. The geodatabase type used to store a trace network will determine the deployment type.

  • Enterprise deployment—The deployment pattern for a trace network that employs an enterprise geodatabase. This services-based architecture allows multiuser editing and the sharing of a trace network across all platforms (desktop, mobile, and web).
  • Single-user deployment—An alternate deployment pattern for a trace network stored in a file or mobile geodatabase. While concurrent access is enabled for read-only operations, editing operations are limited to a single user.

Refer to the following table to review the different properties of each deployment type:

DeploymentNumber of editorsGeodatabase typeArcGIS Pro license levelUser type extension



Enterprise geodatabase


ArcGIS Trace Network



File geodatabase or Mobile geodatabase



Create Trace Network tool

The Create Trace Network tool is used to create a trace network in a feature dataset using the specified feature classes.

Requirements and prerequisites

The requirements and prerequisites for creating a trace network are as follows:

  • An existing feature dataset must be specified for the Input Feature Dataset parameter.

  • The feature classes must reside in the same feature dataset as the trace network.

  • At least an input junction or an input edge is required.
  • Only point and line feature classes are supported as input. The feature classes cannot participate in another trace network or other advanced geodatabase functionality such as a network dataset.

  • For deployments on an enterprise geodatabase, the following requirements must be met:
    • The geodatabase version must be or later.

    • ArcGIS Enterprise must be 10.9 or later. The version of ArcGIS Pro determines the compatible ArcGIS Enterprise version. For more information, see ArcGIS platform compatibility.
    • The input feature dataset must be from a database connection established as a database-authenticated user and owner of the input feature dataset. This user must have database privileges to create content and cannot be an OS-authenticated user, a database administrator, or the geodatabase administrator account. This database-authenticated user will become the database trace network owner on creation of the trace network.
  • License:
    The active portal account must be licensed with the ArcGIS Trace Network user type extension to create, publish, and work with a trace network in an enterprise geodatabase.
    • An active ArcGIS Enterprise portal must be added to the project with a portal account signed in that has privileges to publish content; this includes privileges to publish server-based layers as well as create, update, and delete content. The default Publisher role includes these privileges. The active ArcGIS Enterprise portal account is recorded in the network properties as the portal trace network owner on creation of the trace network.
    • ArcGIS Server must be federated with Portal for ArcGIS. Configuring a base ArcGIS Enterprise deployment is recommended but not required.

Supported geodatabases

A trace network can be created in a file, mobile, or enterprise geodatabase. To create a trace network in an enterprise geodatabase, the database platform must meet the minimum release in the table below. For more information, refer to the database requirements for ArcGIS Pro.

Database platformMinimum release
SQL Server

SQL Server 2016




PostgreSQL 10.17


HANA 2.0 SPS04

Create a trace network in a geodatabase

To create a trace network in a geodatabase, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Analysis tab, in the Geoprocessing group, click Tools Tools to open the Geoprocessing pane.
  2. In the Geoprocessing pane, search for and select Create Trace Network.
  3. For Input Feature Dataset, browse to an existing feature dataset Feature dataset in your geodatabase. By default, geodatabases are created under Databases Databases in the Catalog pane.
  4. For the Trace Network Name parameter, specify a name for the trace network.
  5. For the Input Junctions parameter, choose input junctions from the available point feature classes Point feature class. These feature classes must reside in the input feature dataset provided in step 3.
  6. For the Input Edges parameter, choose input edges from the available line feature classes Line feature class. These feature classes must reside in the input feature dataset provided in step 3.
  7. Click the Connectivity Policy drop-down menu to specify whether the input edge feature class should be set as a simple or complex edge.
  8. Click Run to execute the tool.

The selected feature dataset is now populated with a trace network.