I currently have a client that still uses personal geodatabases (Access files). I currently have to open up ArcCatalog and manually append any FeatureLayers that are contained in the original personal geodatabase to the newly created one.

I now need a non ArcObjects/ArcView way of doing this. The FileGeodatabase API does not support personal geodatabases (as far as I know). You cannot use a common OleDb connection to the personal geodatabase and transfer the feature layer tables correctly (must use the ArcObjects OleDB provider which requires ArcObjects).

The above are the only things I have tried. Is there a way to transfer these personal geodatabase feature layers from one geodatabase to another, without a license for ArcView or ArcObjects? I am open for using the filegeodatabase api if there is a hackish way to do it, but I can't find one.

I prefer a .Net solution, but would be able to create a wrapper for a C++ one.


I am currently looking at the GDAL OGR drivers to see if it is possible to use them and accomplish what I am trying to do. Has anyone used them to access personal geodatabases?

  • I have been successful in the past with using the pure .NET OleDB adapters to transfer feature classes. You do, of course, need to manage the master table in that you have to tell it what you're doing (therefore, not worth it unless you have time on your hands). Using OGR to access a GDB has been flaky for me.
    – nagytech
    Jul 17, 2012 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Provided you're not intending to work with complex features (networks, annotation) then you're looking at the IFeatureDataConverter interface.

The current API is documented here:


The only example I could find is a bit outdated, but should still guide you in the right direction:


  • I was looking for a non arc object solution. However, after much research, one does not exist. If you include the fact that personal geodatabases are proprietary to ESRI, and that it's not possible. I will accept this as the answer.
    – jsmith
    Aug 21, 2012 at 13:48

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