Subnetwork name attribute

The Subnetwork name attribute is used to track which subnetwork network features belong to. The value populated in this attribute field is derived from the subnetwork name of features that are set as a subnetwork controller. Additionally, features in the domain network have Supported subnetwork name and Supporting subnetwork name attributes. These attributes help track the subnetwork that a container or structure feature supports and the subnetwork that supports a content feature, respectively.

When a feature participates in multiple subnetworks, the Subnetwork name, Supported subnetwork name, and Supporting subnetwork name attributes are concatenated with each subnetwork name. For example, a boundary feature that connects multiple subnetworks would be updated by concatenating the subnetwork names separated by two colons, for example, subnetwork1::subnetwork2.

You can use the Update Subnetwork tool to update the Subnetwork name, Supported subnetwork name, and Supporting subnetwork name attributes for network features. This process ensures that the subnetwork name is consistent for all subnetwork features.

To learn more, see Update subnetworks.

Subnetwork name

All classes in a utility network, with the exception of the assembly feature class, have a subnetwork name attribute. This attribute varies between the two types of domain networks. The subnetwork name is specified when a subnetwork controller is set. The name of a subnetwork is applied to the Subnetwork Name attribute on all traversable features in a subnetwork when the subnetwork is updated. If a value of unknown is present for this attribute, it means either the update subnetwork process has not been run or a traversable path cannot be established to a subnetwork controller. The name of the Subnetwork Name field varies depending on the tier definition for the domain network.

Hierarchical domain networks

Domain networks with hierarchical tier definitions are nested by nature, and features that participate in subnetworks of lower tiers inherently participate in subnetworks of higher tiers. In a gas network, for example, a valve in a subnetwork in an isolation tier would also be in a subnetwork in the pressure and system tiers.

When a tier is defined in a hierarchical network, a user-defined subnetwork field name is created for all features in the domain network. This field is shared for all tiers belonging to a tier group. When adding the initial tier to a tier group, a name is provided for the Subnetwork Field Name parameter in the Add Tier tool. This field is reused when subsequent tiers are added to the same tier group so that the same attribute field is maintained during the process of updating a subnetwork. In a gas network, you can define different subnetwork names for tiers that participate in the same tier group. For example, the following values would be provided as the Subnetwork Field Name and created for the initial tiers added to each tier group: system subnetwork name, pressure subnetwork name, and isolation subnetwork name.

The field configured to store the subnetwork name attribute for hierarchical domain networks can be viewed on the Network Properties dialog box for the utility network in the Domain Network section under the Tiers subsection; refer to the Subnetwork Field Name column for each tier.

Partitioned domain networks

Domain networks with partitioned tier definitions are sequential, and features can participate in more than one subnetwork. For example, a subnetwork controller can participate in multiple tiers, acting as the terminus of one tier and the controller for another. Only one subnetwork name field is defined for partitioned systems. The name of the field is system provided and named Subnetwork name. It is added to every feature in a domain network when the first tier is defined. Subsequent tiers do not create additional fields.

Supported subnetwork name

In addition to participating in a subnetwork, network features can serve as containers or structures that help support other features through associations. The Supported subnetwork name attribute helps to track the subnetwork name for supporting features. The Supported subnetwork name is updated with the subnetwork that the container or structure feature supports when updating the subnetwork.

Domain network classes have an attribute named Supported subnetwork name. Collectively, the subnetwork name and supported subnetwork name attributes help to differentiate which subnetwork a network feature participates in and which subnetwork the feature supports.

For example, a domain network line feature is part of subnetwork A and is the container for features that participate in subnetworks B and C. When update subnetwork is run, the following attributes are updated for the domain network line feature:

  • Subnetwork name = Subnetwork A
  • Supported subnetwork name = Subnetwork B::Subnetwork C
  • Supporting subnetwork name = Unknown

Structure network classes support features that participate in a subnetwork. The structure network only has a single subnetwork name field. The system-provided field is named Subnetwork name and has an alias of Supported subnetwork name. It is defined on every structure network feature class when the utility network is created.


For domain network datasets, the Supported subnetwork name field only exists for domain network datasets when the utility network is Utility Network Version 4 or later.

For structure network datasets, the Subnetwork name field alias is set as Supported subnetwork name for utility networks created at Utility Network Version 4 or later. The field alias is the same as the field name for upgraded utility networks.

Supporting subnetwork name

Network features can also participate as content of other features. Domain network classes have an attribute named Supporting subnetwork name that helps to track the subnetwork name of the container that supports the content feature. The supporting subnetwork name is updated for network features set as content when updating the subnetwork.

For example, when a domain network junction is contained by a device that participates in subnetwork A, the following attributes are updated for the domain network junction feature when update subnetwork is run:

  • Subnetwork name = Unknown
  • Supported subnetwork name = Unknown
  • Supporting subnetwork name = Subnetwork A


The Supporting subnetwork name field only exists if the utility network is Utility Network Version 5 or later.