In my workplace, we have just upgraded to Windows 7, we have a roaming profile, so all the files that are in the Application Data folder are in a folder called "\username\redirect\Folders.." also in this is the ESRI folder that contains the .sde files for the database connections. We have teams that share generic mxd's and one problem that we have found is that when a user adds data from their database connection e.g.


and then saves it, when another user tries to open the mxd the data source is broken, as the 2nd user does not have access to JoeBloggs folder.

My solution is to create a new folder that everyone has access to, and place the .sde connections in that folder, but how do I make the Database connections node in ArcCatalog look at this new folder rather then the folder in AppData\ESRI\ArcCatalog.

Hopefully that makes sense.


In theory all you need to do is point ArcGIS at the environment variable for that path rather than the explicit path. So rather than point at:


you'd instead use:


I'm not sure if you can get ArcCatalog to do point at this though. Wikipedia has a page on them - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppData#Default_Values_on_Microsoft_Windows

The "proper" solution however is to use a networked area and store everything on there; its much easier.

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  • I cant find nothing in the environment variables to change where the DB Connections actually look, so will probably go with the networked folder share. – MapMan May 11 '12 at 20:24
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    default .sde connection files are in %appdata%\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcCatalog and not %localappdata%\...etc – matt wilkie May 16 '12 at 17:05
  • ..and in Arcgis 9.x it's %appdata%\ESRI\ArcCatalog – matt wilkie May 16 '12 at 18:22

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