I have a non spatial data set that I would like to keep sync'ed in SDE as a spatial set. So I would like to be able to insert, update, and delete without using one of my two ArcEditor licenses since this will be running on a server. Can I do this?

Clarification: I meant data set in the most general term, just a raw table in a DBMS that holds spatial data, but is not a part of any ESRI product.

Full explanation: We use a very old MapObjects customization that was purchased from a 3rd party vendor. It stores binary shape information (conforming to ESRI shapefile standards thankfully) in a binary column in MSSQL server. Every time an edit is made to a record in that datbase a trigger records the edit. As of now, there is an application that runs on a server that checks out an ESRI ArcEditor license and processes the edits (with ArcObjects) that have been made and makes the appropriate change in an SDE database with feature datasets and feature collections. I would like to avoid this use of a license on an unattended server for what would seem to me to be a normal use of SDE and not something inherent that requires an ArcEditor instance.

  • I'm not understanding your question. First, the non-spatial table "shouldn't" be called a dataset. That is an esri term for spatial data groups. Next if it is non-spatial how is it sync'd as spatial? Next it sounds like all you want to do is have an sde "registered" table which will be perhaps be joined to spatial data and then you run standard sql IUD transactions. All that sounds do-able. Just clarify a bit by editing your question. Welcome to G.SE!
    – Brad Nesom
    Oct 28, 2011 at 15:48
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    @BradNesom In the esri sense, the term dataset also applies to standalone tables. Oct 28, 2011 at 16:07
  • @eptiliom The initial answer is 'yes' until you throw something into the mix (like a geometric network) that makes it a 'no'. Can you elaborate? Oct 28, 2011 at 16:19
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    A dataset is anythins that holds data, as I see it. Check esriDatasetType enumeration. You'll find that there are many non-spatial datasets... Oct 28, 2011 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can do this. I do this to load CSV files of control points from surveyors in multiple offices into SDE. Surveyors save their GPS files to a directory on the server, and nightly a python script runs to update the control layer in SDE.

  • 1
    What python code/library are you using to do this with?
    – eptiliom
    Oct 31, 2011 at 14:43
  • It's an ArcGIS 10/python 2.6 script that uses arcpy. ArcGIS is installed on the server that runs the script, but the license is not checked out on that server. As far as I've been able to determine, geoprocessing tools that require a certain licensing level won't work in a script without the appropriate license, but basic python with arcpy scripting works. Without a license checked out I'm able to use an insert cursor and populate an SDE feature class.
    – Jeff Berry
    Nov 1, 2011 at 23:57
  • I think I found the relevant writeup here.
    – eptiliom
    Nov 2, 2011 at 1:59

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