Here is my code to replace the old SDE connection file with the new one. I am getting an error due to grouped layers, that I know. I have been trying to fix this but regardless of what I try I keep getting the ValueError: Layer: Unexpected error due to the grouped layer.

Can anyone let me know what I am doing wrong?

import arcpy
import os

for root, subFolders, files in os.walk(r"C:\Users\x\Desktop\lyrtest"):
    for filename in files:
        fullpath = os.path.join(root, filename)
        basename, extension = os.path.splitext(fullpath)
        if extension.lower() == ".mxd":
            print "------------------------------"
            print filename
            MXD = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(fullpath)
            for lyr in arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(MXD):
                if not lyr.isGroupLayer:
                    if lyr.supports("DATASOURCE"):
                        source = lyr.workspacePath
                        print "%s -> %s" % (lyr, source)
                        basename, extension = os.path.splitext(source)
                        if extension.lower() == ".sde":
                            datapath = r"C:\Users\x\Desktop\lyrtest\xdbprod.sde"
                            lyr.findAndReplaceWorkspacePath(source, datapath)
                    print "exception"
            del MXD

Here is the error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\x\Desktop\lyrtest\mxdchng5.py", line 20, in <module>
    lyr.findAndReplaceWorkspacePath(source, datapath)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\ArcPy\arcpy\utils.py", line 182, in fn_
    return fn(*args, **kw)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\ArcPy\arcpy\_mapping.py", line 696, in findAndReplaceWorkspacePath
    return convertArcObjectToPythonObject(self._arc_object.findAndReplaceWorkspacePath(*gp_fixargs((find_workspace_path, replace_workspace_path, validate), True)))
ValueError: Layer: Unexpected error
  • 1
    please give the full error including a line number – Midavalo Jul 28 '16 at 23:09
  • 1
    what version of ArcGIS are you using? – Midavalo Jul 28 '16 at 23:10
  • I am using ArcGIS 10.3.1. So if I run this and the MXD does NOT have grouped layer files, I do not get an error. The full error report is too long for this comment section but the error occurs in line 20. – Strand83 Jul 28 '16 at 23:15
  • 1
    Please edit your question to include that information plus your error message. Paste your error message as text (not an image) – Midavalo Jul 28 '16 at 23:25
  • Please use the edit button beneath your question to revise it with any requested clarifications. – PolyGeo Jul 28 '16 at 23:27

The line if layer.supports("DATASOURCE") should get your passed any group layers - I don't have issues with group layers running the code below

import arcpy, os

workspace = r"D:\temp\SE\updatePath" # Change to match your MXD folder path
datapath = r"Database Connections\GISDatabase.sde" # Change to match your new SDE connection path

for dirpath, dirnames, filenames in arcpy.da.Walk(workspace, topdown=True):
    arcpy.env.workspace = dirpath
    mxds = arcpy.ListFiles('*.mxd')
    for filename in mxds:
        print "------------------------------"
        print filename
        mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(os.path.join(dirpath, filename))
        for layer in arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd):
            if layer.supports("DATASOURCE"):
                print "{} -> {}".format(layer.name, layer.dataSource)
                if '.sde' in layer.dataSource:
                    layer.findAndReplaceWorkspacePath(layer.workspacePath, datapath)
  • Ok I'll see what happens with your suggestion, thank you! – Strand83 Jul 28 '16 at 23:59
  • Still get the same error :( – Strand83 Jul 29 '16 at 0:03
  • @Strand83 then I would suggest that Group Layers are not your issue. I've just re-run this on group layers containing group layers and it still works without error. You may need to re-check some of your data sources – Midavalo Jul 29 '16 at 0:04
  • Will do thanks for the tip. I have it running on multiple mxd's and it only has the error when there are grouped layers so I figured that was the issue. Guess I need to do some more spot checks. – Strand83 Jul 29 '16 at 0:08
  • 1
    For the time being I have thrown in a "if layer.isRasterLayer: print skip" and everything is running smoothly. Thank you again for the help! – Strand83 Jul 29 '16 at 1:18

According to http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/analyze/arcpy-mapping/layer-class.htm

There are two ways of determining if a layer is a group layer. First, you can check to see if the layer supports the isGroupLayer property. Second, you can evaluate the longNameproperty. A layer's longName value will include the group name in addition to the layer name. For example, a layer named Layer1 in a group layer named Group1 will have a longNamevalue of Group1\Layer1. If the name value is equal to longName value, then the layer is not a group layer or the layer is not inside a group layer.

So I would try using longName value to see if this recognises that its a group layer on the line that checks group layer

Rather than

if not lyr.isGroupLayer:


if lyr.name == lyr.longName:


I just realised this will probably just skip all layers inside the group layer. So not sure if this answer is helpful

  • Thanks for the tip, I will try this as a check to see if it will correctly ignore them. – Strand83 Jul 28 '16 at 23:40
  • Yeah I just tested it with your edit and it is skipping them. I'll keep looking into it, thank you for the help :) – Strand83 Jul 28 '16 at 23:58

Often the Unexpected Error results from bad arguments being passed into your .findAndReplaceWorkspacePath method . You can try running this snippet in your code before you get to the method:

argList = [source,datapath] argCnt = 0 for arg in argList: argCnt +=1 print '\t','\t',"Argument string %d is %s" %(argCnt,arg)

I've found many weird things in strings that I thought were fine just by running this. I hope that helps.


Try this:

findAndReplaceWorkspacePaths (find_workspace_path, replace_workspace_path, {validate})

validate would be False

i.e. lyr.findAndReplaceWorkspacePath(source, datapath, False)

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