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I have a script for updating some features on my database every night (just for copying and replacing some features). This features are "read-only". My problem is that I can't avoid that these features are opened by users, and my script can show the following error:

ExecuteError: ERROR 000464: Cannot get exclusive schema lock. 
              Either being edited or in use by another application.

Can I force the phyton script, via some command, copying the files, even been opened by some user? Can I fall down all the connections on my database before running the script?


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This appears to be an arcpy/arcgisscripting error. Please confirm which you are using, and also which database you are using. – blah238 Jul 5 '12 at 14:31

4 Answers 4

I suppose that you are working with SDE.

You should kill all connections using sdemon command-line tool.

  1. If there is an ArcSDE installed on PC where you a running the script then you can execute sdemon -o kill locally to kill all connections. Take a look at this help topic. I am not sure is it killing direct-connections on 10.0. I remember that it was a kind of a problem on 9.3 and that it is definitely killing direct-connections on 10.1.
  2. If you don't have ArcSDE installed and it is running only on a separate server then you can execute this command remotely from Python. There is some discussion in this topic.
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Yes, I'm using SDE (installed on a server). But the "sdemon -o kill" command returned a syntax error. – Arthur Vrechi Jul 5 '12 at 16:37
The sdemon command has to be executed in ArcSDE. Can I put it on my Python script? – Arthur Vrechi Jul 5 '12 at 18:17
Take a look at subprocess module. Also there is nice questions here: How to call external command in Python and Running shell command from python and capturing the output. – Alex Markov Jul 5 '12 at 19:12
Command sdemon -o kill is not enough. You should pass additional parameters, take a look at provided link. – Alex Markov Jul 5 '12 at 19:15

Another possibility since you said you are using SDE is to delete shared locks from the layer_locks and table_locks tables using SQL, PL/SQL, T-SQL, etc. e.g.:


I would definitely not recommend this approach on a versioned geodatabase. See also: How are the various lock mechanisms implemented in ArcSDE and the geodatabase?

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I'm not very familiar with postgresql but I think this post can lead you to the right direction:

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If the preference is to remove specific SDE user locks, there is a way to do this via arcpy. I prefer this approach because it doesn't require that you jump onto the database server to perform an sde command. I can disconnect any unwanted locks, then perform data updates all in one script/process.

Example from the above link is very useful:

import arcpy

admin_workspace = "Database Connections/tenone@sde.sde"
arcpy.env.workspace = admin_workspace
user_name = "GDB"

# Look through the users in the connected user list and get the SDE ID.
# Use the SDE ID to disconnect the user that matches the username variable
users = arcpy.ListUsers() # The environment is set, no workspace is needed.
for item in users:
    if item.Name == user_name:
        arcpy.DisconnectUser(admin_workspace, item.ID)
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