A bit of background first.

I have a PostGres DB with PostGIS, I also have ArcSDE installed in this DB and all feature classes created through ArcSDE are using the PG_Geometry. Everything works well!

Over the next twelve months I will be looking at getting all of my desktop and web clients away from esri products to open source equivalents which for me means i'll be free of ArcSDE at last (I'm not an esri basher, I enjoy working with esri products but I can't justify the existance of ArcSDE doing something that should be free). Anyway I want to know if there is a way which I can "uninstall" ArcSDE from PostGres? I know that if the ArcSDE tables are left there users wont notice a difference but from an admin perspective it would be much nicer and tidier.

Has anyone done this in the past? Any tips or experiences?

Thanks Ando

1 Answer 1


I would install PostgreSQL 9 with PostGIS 1.5.2 and migrate the data there by a backup restore process with just the "real" tables and leave the SDE-stuff behind.

If I'm not wrong informed ArcGIS server only supports quite old versions of PostgreSQL and PostGIS (is it postgresql 8.2.x and postgis 1.3.x or something). A lot has happened since then.

In other words, I don't think you want to uninstall ArcSDE, you want to grab your data and run instead :-)

When I think about it I guess your tables are quite cluttered with SDE stuff too, so it maybe isn't that easy. I see your problem.

But you have a good opportunity to think through your whole database layout. Working with PostGIS outside SDE will give you total control and you have a lot to gain in starting with a more or less normalized database. I have a feeling that common database "good practice" often come a little in the background when fancy things like versioning makes the structure more complicated (or I have at least seen examples of that)

In any way you will work with your data in another way when outside SDE so it is probably worth the effort to look through the db-design and then the migration to new PG9 and PostGIS 1.5 will just be a part of a bigger process.

HTH /Nicklas

  • Same route as Nicklas. Good Answer
    – Mapperz
    Oct 27, 2010 at 1:30
  • haha grab my data and run...nicely put. I'll try what you mentioned. I just assumed that SDE would have embedded itself into my database structure in such a complicated way that I would have trouble shifting away from it. But i'll setup a test environment and give it ago!! Thanks.
    – Ando
    Oct 27, 2010 at 20:51

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