I am trying to use arcpy to identify the name of the archive class for a number of feature classes, but cannot find a function that will output the name of the archive class, only whether the feature class has archiving enabled.

import arcpy

gdbConn = r"Database Connections\ScriptTest.sde"
arcpy.env.workspace = gdbConn

queryResult = ["List of all my feature classes"]

for row in queryResult:
    gisLayer = row
    desc = arcpy.Describe(gisLayer)
    if desc.isArchived:
        print "{} has Archiving Enabled".format(gisLayer)

        gisLayer_Archive = "" # Identify Archive Class here

        arcpy.FeatureClassToFeatureClass_conversion(gisLayer_Archive, r'D:\temp\TempOutput.gdb', gisLayer_Archive)

My intention is to take a copy of each archive class and save them in a file geodatabase.

Is there a way to find the name of the archive class for archived feature classes in a geodatabase so that I can copy those archives out?

I could possibly assume that all archive classes have a _H suffix, however it is possible that some of these have changed over time.

ArcGIS for Desktop/Server 10.3.1 MS SQL Server 2012

  • In what cases would an archive name be different from ObjectClassName+"_H"? Genuinely curious. I know you can set up your own naming conventions using the SDK, but are there other situations where it would be different? Would renaming a class affect the archive name?
    – nwduncan
    Sep 21, 2016 at 3:48
  • 1
    @nwduncan you can rename the archive class in ArcCatalog, but more likely the archive has been disabled then re-enabled which causes it to be _H1 or _H2
    – Midavalo
    Sep 21, 2016 at 4:15

1 Answer 1


There is no way to find this out using arcpy functions, however using arcpy.ArcSDESQLExecute lets you submit SQL queries, so you can stay within the Python ecosystem.

import arcpy

sql = '''select table_name from sde.SDE_table_registry where
registration_id = (select history_regid from sde.SDE_archives where archiving_regid =
(select registration_id from sde.SDE_table_registry where table_name = '{0}'))'''.format(fc)

con = arcpy.ArcSDESQLExecute(server='localhost', instance='sde:sqlserver:localhost',database='gdbname')

print con.execute(sql)


  • Thanks for that. Yes this is pretty much the same as what I ended up with (once I figured out which tables to use). I quite like ArcSDESQLExecute(), I use it often
    – Midavalo
    Sep 21, 2016 at 6:16
  • No problem at all. Would have answered earlier, but the time zones are out of sync ;) Agree, very handy to be able to submit the queries. Keep in mind that you can also submit other calls - I call often some stored procedures with EXEC and then get back the result as a recordset or a scalar value in Python (provided it was a part of SELECT statement). Sep 21, 2016 at 6:35

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