I am working with a number of detailed ArcGIS Geodatabases with domains used to enforce specific workflows, etc. This is all good and great, but I would like to move my data into either a PostgreSQL/PostGIS or SQL Azure datastore and would like the ESRI client APIs (Mobile SDK, Web APIs, and Desktop templates) to enforce workflows in a similar manner to Geodatabase domains. Obviously a domain is nothing more than a table constraint, but there is lots of built in ArcGIS functionality which makes life easier for the end user (mainly desktop users). This seems very timely since it appears that at 10.1 ESRI is expanding support for native spatial support (i.e. Simple Features).

Will ESRI provide domain support within a native spatial DB from ArcGIS Desktop? Thoughts, suggestions, etc.


1 Answer 1


A note about attribute domains and subtypes (ArcGIS Server)

To enhance the user experience of the Editor task and to prevent data entry errors, configure your datasets to use attribute domains and subtypes where appropriate. These provide ways of categorizing your data and ensuring that appropriate values are entered when the data is edited. In some cases, the Editor task can detect and use the subtypes and domains. For example, if you have a domain limiting the color of a fire hydrant to red, yellow, or blue, you will see a drop-down list in the Editor task allowing only the selection of one of those three colors.

The picture below shows part of an Editor task in which a roads feature class has been configured to use a domain. The user can now classify the road using a drop-down list.


  • Thank you for your reply. Yes, if I want to use the Geodatabase model with PostGreSQL or SQL Server than I will get the ability to create domains. But what about if I only want to use built in spatial storage types provided by the vendor, how can I create the equivalent of a domain and allow ArcGIS to support my constraints? Desktop specifically.
    – Blair
    Feb 13, 2012 at 22:22
  • if you use ArcSDE you can have it both ways: open-geometry and proprietary support for domains. The only way to do what you're asking is by using ArcSDE. If want to go open-source, you can easily create a solution that will map-out your domains and valid values and check whenever the user edits/adds data. Feb 14, 2012 at 12:12

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