Set or modify an association role assignment

Association roles define how certain features participate in a utility network. A utility network has existing system-provided association roles for structures and containers. For features to be set as containers or structures using associations, it is necessary to first set an association role. This is assigned at the feature class or table level for specific asset groups and asset types. The Set Association Role tool is used to assign the following system-provided association roles:

  • Container—Allows features to act as a container to other features
  • Structure—Allows features to act as a structure to which other features can be attached

There are additional parameters that can be defined or modified with this tool. These parameters will vary depending on the Role Type specified:

  • View Scale—Container only
  • Split Policy—Container only
  • Deletion Semantics—Container and Structure

To learn more, see Associations.


To set or modify an association role assignment, the following requirements must be met:

  • The network topology must be disabled.
  • Unassigning Container or Structure association roles can only be performed before the network topology is enabled for the first time.
  • When working with an enterprise geodatabase, ensure the following:


To set or modify an association role assignment, 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 Set Association Role.
  3. For the Input Utility Network parameter, specify a utility network.
  4. For the Domain Network parameter, enter a domain network.
  5. For the Input Table parameter, enter a feature class or table.
  6. For the Asset Group parameter, enter an asset group.
  7. For the Asset Type parameter, enter the asset type to which you want to assign the association role.
  8. For the Role Type parameter, specify the type of role to assign to the asset type:

    • Container
    • Structure
    • None
    Any existing association roles that are assigned will be populated.

  9. If you chose Container for the Role Type parameter in the previous step, specify the appropriate settings for Deletion Semantics, View Scale, and Split Policy:
    1. For the Deletion Semantics parameter, specify one of the following to be used for features that participate in the association:
      • None
      • Cascade
      • Restricted
    2. For the View Scale parameter, specify the scale at which to enter into containment edit mode for point features participating in the association role. For example, setting the scale to 5 means that when you enter into containment edit mode for that feature, the scale on the map will be 1:5. Units are based on the vertical units for the utility network on the Source tab of the utility network layer properties. The envelope of the container feature is used to determine the extent with line or polygon container features. This property does not apply to junction and edge objects.
    3. For the Split Policy parameter, specify whether content features will be split when the container is split:

      • Unchecked—When a container feature is split, its content features will not be split.
      • Checked—When a container feature is split, its content features will be split.

  10. If you chose Structure for the Role Type parameter, specify the appropriate setting for Deletion Semantics to be used for features that participate in the association role:
    • None
    • Cascade
    • Restricted
  11. Click Run.

The association role is set or changed based on the options used within the tool.

In this topic
  1. Requirements
  2. Steps