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I have a feature class with sub-types that need to be modified and re-ordered as new data becomes available. Right now I have 20 subtypes but could potentially have close to a 100. I use the subtypes numbers for labeling so the subtypes and the subtypes need to be in a logical order, grouped by similar items.

Having to insert a new item in position 3 for example, requires me to rebuild the entire list from position 3 on; adding a new item in position for and bumping up the remaining 17 items.
http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/tools/data-management-toolbox/an-overview-of-the-subtypes-toolset.htm This will get really cumbersome really fast. (This features class is exported to a feature service and accessed by many users on our web GIS.) I don't see a way to add then re-order subtypes without having to rewrite them all, or insert a new subtype at a specific position, or export subtypes to a file, modify this list externally (notepad) then import subtypes.

Is there a workaround or some other method I am not seeing that would make it easier to change the order of subtypes?

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  • Subtypes are numerical coded values - in the database it stores the 1, 2, 3 etc. for those values. If you change a subtype, or insert a new one (and move the other values down) any existing features will keep their existing value, and whatever new Description for that existing value. – Midavalo Jan 9 '17 at 16:59
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Here is my workaround solution; I modified a standalone Python script i found in ArcGIS 10.4.1 help (Tool Help for the Add Subtype tool) I can easily change and modify the list of subtypes in the script, then run it and it removes the existing subtypes sets up new subtypes and sets the default.

# Name: ManageSubtypes.py
# Purpose: Create a subtype definition
# Author: ESRI

# Import system modules
import arcpy

try:

    # Set local parameters
    inFeatures = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)

    # Process: Set Subtype Field...
    arcpy.SetSubtypeField_management(inFeatures, arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1))

    # Process: Add Subtypes...
    # Store all the suptype values in a dictionary with the subtype code as the "key" and the 
    # subtype description as the "value" (stypeDict[code])
    stypeDict = {"0": "0: Unclassified",\
        "1": "1: High Voltage Cable",\
        "2": "2: High Voltage Cable (Approximate Location)",\
        "3": "3: Grounding",\
        "4": "4: Grounding (Approximate Location)",\
        "5": "5: Fiber Optic Cable",\
        "6": "6: Fiber Optic Cable (Approximate Location)",\
        "7": "7: Propane Line",\
        "8": "8: Fire Water Pipeline",\
        "9": "9: Fresh Water Pipeline",\
        "10": "10: Well Water Pipeline",\
        "11": "11: Potable Water Pipeline",\
        "12": "12: HDPE Pipe",\
        "13": "13: Sanitary Effluent Pipeline",\
        "14": "14: Sanitary Gravity Pipeline",\
        "15": "15: Sanitary Pipeline",\
        "16": "16: MRP 20” Pipeline",\
        "17": "17: North Pond Pipeline",\
        "18": "18: South Pond Pipeline",\
        "19": "19: Tailings Pipeline",\
        "20": "20: Reclaim Pipeline",\
        "21": "21: Reclaim & Tailings Pipeline",\
        "22": "22: Weeping Tile",\
        "23": "23: Assay Lab Piping",
        "24": "24: Pinewood River Pipeline",\
        "25": "25: Western Corridor 6” Pipeline "}


    # use a for loop to cycle through the dictionary
    for code in stypeDict:
        arcpy.AddSubtype_management(inFeatures, code, stypeDict[code])     

    # Process: Set Default Subtype...
    arcpy.SetDefaultSubtype_management(inFeatures, "0")

except Exception as err:
    print(err.args[0])

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