From client tools, like ArcCatalog, is there a way to know if the GIS server I am connecting to is running under a workgroup or enterprise license? Also, is it possible to tell if the edition is basic, standard, or advanced?

I ask because we are trying to migrate a 9.3.1 database to 10 (migrate but not upgrade yet) using ArcCatalog. When we add a new database server in ArcCatalog the only options are to add a personal or workgroup database server. It seems like it is only looking for SQL Express instances, but it should be also be able to see full SQL Server (Enterprise) servers. We have ESRI enterprise licensing, but I want to know if it is possible to discover that from the client tools.

Help, About ArcCatalog shows ESRI ArcCatalog 10, ArcGIS Desktop 10 SP2, license type ArcInfo. This is the ArcCatalog (client) licensing, not the server.

1 Answer 1


This may not be a license issue, in Esri parlance, database servers are SQL Server Express instances only. ( help doc )

To connect to a full SQL Server DB, you need to make a database connection.

That said, I also would like to know if there is a way to check the license level of an ArcGIS Server instance, as I looked into it before without success.

  • 3
    wwnick is spot on with the connection info. As for determining a license level of Server, the "best" way I've found is to peek at the license file on the AGS machine itself: c:\Program Files\ESRI\License10.0\sysgen\keycodes (with a text editor). In a punch, you can write a few lines of python to inspect this file and get back the license info
    – KHibma
    Aug 23, 2011 at 17:21
  • Wow, I don't know what I was doing before, but that works perfectly. Has the product level, extensions, and the expiration date as well.
    – wwnick
    Aug 23, 2011 at 21:23
  • So far I have only looked at the one on the dev server where the EDN license is in use, which should be Advanced - Enterprise. I must be seeing something entirely different. I'll need to check a production server when I get the chance.
    – Bratch
    Aug 24, 2011 at 3:00
  • Okay, I see the keycodes file on the server, with many entries in it, including "svrenterprise,100,....." From ArcCatalog it also looks like I can right-click on the database server, select properties, and from my older server I get information, including, "Class: ArcSDE Workgroup Server."
    – Bratch
    Sep 16, 2011 at 17:14
  • I'm accepting this answer with the comment from KHibma containing the best advice about checking the version from the keycodes file on the server. For some reason I thought the client software would have this capability, but it doesn't. Good info in that keycodes file.
    – Bratch
    Sep 26, 2011 at 17:44

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