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I have an ArcGIS geodatabase that contains one origin feature class linked to multiple standalone tables by Simple one-to-many Relationship Classes. The foreign keys in the destination tables are all nullable, deliberately, in order to allow shapes in the origin feature class to be edited, merged and (in some cases) deleted. My editing scenario is generally deleting an existing shape and then creating a new one with the same primary key.

ArcGIS behavior sets the foreign key value to "Null" if I delete an origin feature. Even if I delete one shape and create a new one with the same origin key I have to go back into the many linked tables and re-add the foreign key which got set to Null when I deleted the first shape. I need to be able to delete, split, or otherwise edit the origin features without the foreign key being set to "Null."

Can anyone suggest the best workaround to deal with this problem?

I'm using a file geodatabase on ArcGIS 10.1 and 10.2 (same behavior in each version). One functionality I need to keep is that when I ID the item on an origin feature class, I need to be able to view (and Edit) all the linked tables.

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    How are you 'creat[ing] a new one with the same origin key...'? Is your primary key the OBJECTID in the parent feature class? OBJECTID's are not recycled... if you delete a feature, that OBJECTID should never exist in that feature class again. IF the feature has valuable related data, why not just re-shape the feature instead of delete and re-create? I feel like I'm missing something here. – Robbie Symborski Oct 2 '19 at 18:16
  • I would avoid deleting the origin feature at all, if you merely want to change its shape! Just change its shape in place, either manually, or by replacing its shape with the shape from another feature (eg, from a feature in some other file geodatabase feature class created specifically for this purpose). Eg, You can use the "Spatial Adjustment" toolbar in ArcMap to easily replace the geometry/shape of a feature with the geometry/shape of another feature from another feature class. – Son of a Beach Jan 31 at 0:46