Preview Dataset From Multifile Feature Connection (GeoAnalytics Desktop)


Creates a preview of the first ten features in a multifile feature connection (MFC) dataset.


  • This tool requires a MFC. To create a MFC, use the New Multifile Feature Connection dialog or Create Multifile Feature Connection tool.

  • Use this tool to verify that dataset information is registered correctly for MFC datasets. The following are example scenarios:

    • You have a delimited dataset and need to verify the delimiter being used is correctly parsing your dataset.
    • You have updated field aliases and want to confirm that the attribute values match the field aliases.
    • You have hidden certain fields and want to preview your filtered dataset.

  • The tool will include details of the first ten features in the tool messages. Optionally, you can create an output CSV representation of the features using the Output Preview File parameter. The ten features are not random and should not be used as random representations for analysis.

  • The output will include all visible fields from the input. Any fields that have been set as not visible will be excluded.

  • The Describe Dataset tool may be a more suitable tool in some cases. The Describe Dataset tool provides a summary of all of the fields, the time and geometry extents, and optionally provides a sample of the dataset with the time and geometry. Use the Describe Dataset tool in the following cases:

    • You want to create a sample of your dataset and output it to shapefile, file geodatabase, or enterprise geodatabase.
    • You want to preview more than ten features.
    • Your dataset has time or geometry, or you want to interact with your features on a map.
    • You want to calculate and preview summary statistics for your dataset.

  • To make a copy of a MFC dataset, use the Copy Dataset From Multifile Feature Connection tool.

  • The Preview Dataset From Multifile Feature Connection tool creates a preview of an existing MFC dataset. Use the following tools to modify a MFC:

  • This geoprocessing tool is powered by Spark. See Multifile feature connections to learn more about multifile feature connections and how to use them.


LabelExplanationData Type
Multifile Feature Connection Dataset

The dataset to preview from the MFC file.

Table View
Output Preview File

The output .csv file that represents a preview of your MFC dataset.


arcpy.gapro.PreviewDatasetFromBDC(bdc_dataset, {out_preview_file})
NameExplanationData Type

The dataset to preview from the MFC file.

Table View

The output .csv file that represents a preview of your MFC dataset.


Code sample

PreviewDatasetFromBDC (stand-alone script)

The following Python script demonstrates how to use the PreviewDatasetFromBDC function.

# Name:
# Description: Preview a dataset from a MFC.

# Requirements: ArcGIS Pro Advanced License

# Import system modules
import arcpy

# Set local variables
dataset = r"c:\Projects\MyProjectFolder\my_BigDataConnection.mfc\airplane_tracksDataset"
csvOutput = r"c:\Projects\MyProjectFolder\Preview_airplane_tracks.csv"

# Preview MFC Dataset
arcpy.gapro.PreviewDatasetFromBDC(dataset, csvOutput)


This tool does not use any geoprocessing environments.

Licensing information

  • Basic: No
  • Standard: No
  • Advanced: Yes

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