Feature restrictions and rules

A utility network provides essential mechanisms to help maintain data accuracy and correctness:

  • Feature restrictions
  • Network rules and attribute rules

Feature restrictions are built-in restrictions that are imposed at class level for features and objects that participate in the network. Network rules and attribute rules are user-defined rules that you can use in conjunction with the utility network and the underlying classes. Network rules dictate which features or objects can connect or associate. Attribute rules enhance the editing experience and ensure data integrity by automatically calculating values based on expressions or constraining acceptable values for an attribute.

To learn more about improving data quality, see Feature restrictions, Network rules, and Attribute rules.

Feature restrictions

Feature restrictions limit the types of rules you can define in a utility network. They are system-maintained and cannot be modified or removed. They limit network features participating in certain classes from connecting or associating. Network features can connect or associate as long as feature restrictions are respected and network rules exist to allow such relationships.

Network rules

Network rules support industry configurations and workflows associated with business-specific requirements. Network rules are imposed at the asset group, asset type, and terminal levels (if applicable) for the entire utility network. They help manage the correctness of assets in your network by allowing you to select which types of features or objects can connect or associate.

To enable the network topology for a utility network, there must be rules present. You can define rules based on business practices. You can only add rules that respect feature restrictions to a utility network. To learn more, see Feature restrictions.

When a network rule is added to a utility network, no network features can connect or associate aside from the ones participating in the rule. To allow more features and objects to connect or associate, additional rules are added. You can view the network rules for a utility network at any time from a utility network layer's properties page.

Attribute rules

Attribute rules are user-defined rules that are used to enhance the editing experience and help enforce data integrity. They allow you to define behaviors related to attributes and geometry of a network feature. You can create them to constrain permissible configurations based on specified attribute or geometry criteria or automatically populate attribute values. For example, you can define a rule for field A that states this field cannot be less than the total of field B + field C.