ESRI describes representations as follows: A feature class representation is a property of a feature class that allows you to specify and store a series of rules that dictate the way the features in the feature class should be drawn.
I've used a few simple representations in the past to correct the appearance of some line features as well as complex outlines of polygons features with varying levels of success. I am still trying to fully understand the usefulness of representations. So far it seems like too much effort with little reward.
Right now I have a situation where I have a group of polygons around which i would like to show an outline. I know I can merge them but the group has several types and is always changing and I would like to make this outline dynamic; if a polygon is added or removed, the outline will change accordingly. I basically want to blow all the inner lines away without having to alter the data in any way. In terms of symbology, it must remain a polygon outline with no fill.
Can this be done with representations? I was thinking of perhaps using the "Enclosing Polygon Effect" with "Close Path" method but that doesn't do anything. If I can't use representations is there another dynamic way of doing this without having to alter data or using masks or overlaying layer symbologies?
Below are images of what the layer looks like and what I want it look like.
Here is what the layer looks like (yellow outline):
Here is what I want it to look like: