I am using ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop.

Within a file geodatabase does an attribute index name need to be unique?

I thought that it did, but I have not been able to find any documentation to say whether it does or not, for file or any type of geodatabase.

I have tested by:

  1. copying a test feature class from one file geodatabase into another as TestFC
  2. creating an attribute index on a field in TestFC
  3. renaming TestFC to be called TestFC_OLD
  4. copying the same original test feature class in again as TestFC
  5. creating an attribute index on a field in the new TestFC using the same attribute index name
  6. Looking at the Indexes tab of the Properties for both TestFC_OLD and TestFC to see that both have an attribute index of the same name

ArcGIS for Desktop seems to have no objection to the above workflow, so my only concern would be if queries to one feature class were able to use an index of the same name that referenced another feature class.

Although I am testing on a file geodatabase my target geodatabase for this workflow is in SQL Server and accessed via ArcSDE.

  • 1
    Have a look at this page.
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 23:29
  • @Hornbydd Not sure how I missed the bit in Midavalo's answer - that was one of the pages I had consulted.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


From @Hornbydd's link above, the key section would be Attribute index names which says:

In ArcSDE:

  • Must be unique in the database
  • Must start with a letter
  • Cannot contain spaces
  • Cannot contain reserved words

but in File Geodatabases:

There are no restrictions on how you can name an attribute index in a file geodatabase.

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