I know Versioning allows multiple editors to alter the same data in an enterprise or workgroup geodatabase without duplicating data and Geodatabase replica allows creates copies of data across two or more geodatabases such that changes to the data may be synchronized.

I am not really getting the point here! aren't they same? can someone please let me know what is exactly the use of Replica?

1 Answer 1


Versioning is for editing in a multi-user environment. Replication is for replicating your data in a multi-database environment. They are two very different things.

In a multi-user environment the versioning is used to enable handling of conflicts where two (or more) editors may have edited the same feature. It gives the abililty to choose the correct edit when pushing those changes back to the default live version - what everyone else sees. Versions are not a copy of the data, rather the database keeps track of edits (creation, edit, deletion) and when these edits are posted, they are reconciled and updated in the default live version.

Replication is used to copy your data out to other databases - these may be in other locations, or just on the other side of a firewall. If users need to edit features in a replica then usually versioning is used to handle those edits, particularly as edits may also be coming in from other locations.

In our office we use both replication and versioning. Versioning because we have 10-20 users in the organisation that edit features across hundreds of feature classes. Replication because we push all our data through to a cloud server environment which is then made available on the web or in apps over the internet. Some editing also takes place via these apps, and are replicated back to our internal server environment.


Both versioning and replication require ArcGIS Standard or Advanced licenses.

  • Thanks Midavalo, so if we are not getting to put things on the server or cloud or any enterprise Gedatabase we do not need Replica, correct? Sep 29, 2016 at 17:49
  • @user1106951 without knowing the full extent of what you're trying to do, I would think you don't need a replica. May be best to discuss with Esri.
    – Midavalo
    Sep 29, 2016 at 17:50
  • @user1106951 Also if you're not using an enterprise Geodatabase I don't believe you can use versioning either- I think the only exception to this is if you're using a workgroup geodatabase.
    – Midavalo
    Sep 29, 2016 at 17:51

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