We've got all the geospatial information of our company within an ArcSDE Database (over SQL Server):

  • points (locations of the antennas),
  • lines (elevation, rivers),
  • polygons (protected areas, houses).

We consume these data with ArcGIS Desktop and with ArcGIS Server.

We are planning to migrate all the information to PostGIS (over PostgreSQL), and wonder if there is any documentation/webpage to follow some steps, and some considerations to keep in mind. Is it very hard to export the Data Model?

I've been investigating and been doing some tests with GDAL-Python scripts to read from SDE and write into PostGIS, but any experience will be appreciated.

By the way, we plan to consume the information from PostGIS with ArcGIS Desktop (along with QGIS) and GeoServer.

  • 1
    Why do not migrate ArcSDE to PostGIs with FME Desktop ? It's easy. Trial : 14 Days
    – user3120
    Jun 18, 2012 at 19:42
  • Hi Julien. Thank you very much for your answer. FME could be a valid solution, but we consider it as a very expensive solution. We think that a 14-day trial period is insufficient for a migration. Does anybody have experience with other tools, like GDAL scripts or GeoKettle? Regards.
    – SonOfabox
    Jun 19, 2012 at 15:28
  • Also, you can try this ESF Database Migration Toolkit..
    – Kishor
    Aug 21, 2012 at 4:22
  • tried with ESF Database Migration. Transfer is successful but when data reaches the postgis db destination, it loses its geometry column so it's no longer a spatial table.
    – Ligia
    Feb 10, 2014 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Have you looked at any other spatial ETL solutions? There are some open source solutions like GeoKettle and Spatial Data Integrator.


There's this presentation from FOSS4G 2010 on moving from ArcSDE to PostGIS. Granted, they used Oracle instead of SQL but I think you can still learn from them. Good luck :)

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