I received info to connect to a database (without a spatial component) that has tables I need for a project I'm working on. Problem is once I establish the connection in ArcCatalog I can see all of the tables contained in the database, but when I try to open all the fields are there but they aren't populated with any information. The person who created them says it looks good on his end.

I attempted to export one of the tables to a .dbf file and it gave me a 999999 error with a 000592 warning.

  • 2
    Please edit the question to specify the version of ArcGIS in use, the database product, and the version of the database product. A description of the fields (name & type) would also be necessary.
    – Vince
    May 16, 2016 at 17:29
  • 2
    do the tables contain spaces or non alpha-numeric characters in the table-names or field-names?
    – Midavalo
    May 16, 2016 at 18:13
  • Another thing to consider is if you have permission to view the contents of the tables. I think I have run into issues logging in under one schema where I couldn't access contents created/owned under another schema.
    – Branco
    May 16, 2016 at 19:20
  • Have you tried restarting your computer? Seriously. Also, what kind of server are you connecting to? Troubleshooting is different depending on if it's Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, open source, etc.
    – denim_dan
    May 16, 2016 at 20:49
  • 1
    Your error message is associated with mistakenly trying to write datatype(s) not supported by shapefiles. Exporting from database to shapefile is sufficently horrific that it should be avoided at any cost.
    – Vince
    May 16, 2016 at 23:06

3 Answers 3


If you are trying to pull in a table from a SQL server, such as Microsoft SQL Server, and the table contains data in Microsoft SQL Server but appears blank in ArcMap, the table may be using field names that aren't supported by ESRI. You will need to adjust the query.

Here is an example of a query that isn't supported by ESRI:

select ID, Device Name, Date, Meter - Current Day Reading (Last Known Value),
MeterNumber from tableName.dbo.meterReadings

The SQL Server table's column names had spaces, parenthesis, and hyphens, some or all of which are unsupported by ESRI. Thankfully, this only requires a simple fix. To do so, right-click on the table in ArcMap's Table of Contents, go to Properties, go to the Source tab, and change the query to alias the offending field names. You'll need to surround each offending field name with square brackets.

The fixed query looks like this:

select ID, [Device Name] as deviceName, Date, [Meter - Current Day Reading
(Last Known Value)] as currentDayMeterReading, MeterNumber from

You need to ask the dbo/ sys admin to database you have read permissions for all tables in the required database.


This may not be the source of your problems, but make sure the "show all records" icon is selected.

enter image description here

Otherwise the row values will be shown for only the rows that have been selected.

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