I've encountered some performance issues when developing in ArcPad 10. The first is the loading of the map file. It takes 1 minute with sample data, and once opened each form takes 1 to 2 sec to be displayed, especially when the form contains comboboxes filled from other tables. But it takes 5 sec for some complex geometric calculations including search in all the features. (I think that this delay could increase with data size.)

I think that this performance is due to a large geodatabase including 20 layers with just 6 visible layers. The invisible layers are more like related tables. I used related tables in this way to avoid some design limitations in exporting related tables to ArcPad.

The Question: Can a large number of invisible layers reduce ArcPad performance? What could I do to improve the performance of this ArcPad Application?

1 Answer 1


ArcPad is slow because Windows Mobile devices are very limited in RAM (and ArcPad is bloated). I've got two recommendations for you to marginally increase performance:

  1. Turn off all extensions that you're not using (range-finder, imagery like jpeg2000 and mr. sid). Just remember if you every use one of these you'll need to reactivate it.
  2. Use the quick draw button (looks like a rocket ship). This button generalizes raster and vector data so that it draws faster. It won't necessarily decrease time needed to launch, but navigating map will be much faster (with more pixelated image).

What specifically are you refering to when you say:

the invisible layers are more like related tables, i used related tables in this way to avoid some design limitations in exporting related tables to arcpad.

What advantages are you getting by using feature classes instead of related tables? This most definitely slowing down your launch.

  • there are some limitations for related tables they must be child tables arcpad enforces data integrity, and the relationships between feature classes are not quite simple to export for Arcpad data manager. the main constraint is enforced data integrity with relationships (1-1) or (1-many)
    – geogeek
    Jun 5, 2012 at 11:41
  • i have a idea to link all the related tables with one fake feature layer, and then establish relationships in code level, like i'm working with fake feature layers tables
    – geogeek
    Jun 5, 2012 at 11:46
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    I worked on an ArcPad project recently and had some trouble with relationships. The ESRI rep told me that ONLY fc to table relationships were supported; you may see unexpected results in fc to fc relationships. My solution was to create a flat gdb structure for arcpad, then parse data into a more robust gdb at the office through Python.
    – Roy
    Jun 5, 2012 at 11:56
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    Keep in mind that ArcPad was pretty much made to map simple features in the field as opposed to collect detailed, relationship based data. After 4 months of development and a call with the ESRI professional project development team they asked us why we were using ArcPad and told us for 20k they'd show us what ArcGIS mobile is. WHAT A JOKE.
    – Roy
    Jun 5, 2012 at 11:57
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    ArcGIS Mobile is an ArcGIS Server application that supports a “sometimes connected” mode. Arcpad is a generic GIS solution it operates entirely in a disconnected environment. but in todays terms is it slow due to low RAM. A more powerful device can be used with ArcGIS Mobile (Android) blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2011/10/26/…
    – Mapperz
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:14

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