I know a little Python/arcpy, enough to barely get me by. My goal was to, on a regular task schedule, convert feature classes to shapefiles and overwrite existing shapefiles, but I realized that arcpy.overwriteoutput = True did not work. So, as a work around, I added an os remove code to remove all files ending in .shp, .dbf. prj etc. I ran it in ArcCatalog and it was successful in deleting some file types but not all of the file types associated with the shapefile, and although I commanded it to delete .shx, .cbg, and .sbn files, they still remained in the folder. I also tried arcpy.CopyFeatures_management to copy the feature classes to the existing shapefiles in the workspace, but I was unsuccessful in even getting a version of a script to work.

Here is an example of a code that works but runs in an infinite loop.

(I replaced the workspaces, folders, and destinationoutput) Please focus on the infinite for loop.

 import os
 import arcpy
 dir_name = C:\Users\Employee\Documents\ArcGIS
 location = os.listdir(dir_name)
 extensions = (".shp", ".prj", ".dbf", ".xml", ".cpg", ".sbn", ".sbx" ".shx")
 for item in location:
     if item.endswith(extensions):
         os.remove(os.path.join(dir_name, item))
 arcpy.overwriteoutput = True
 arcpy.env.workspace = C:\Users\Employee\Documents\ArcGIS\NSD_exampleschemaCOPY.gdb
 destinationOutput = C:\Users\Employee\Documents\ArcGIS\HansenTest
 datasetList = arcpy.ListDatasets()
 waterfcList = arcpy.ListFeatureClasses("", "", "WaterDistribution")
 for datasets in datasetList:
     for fc in waterfcList:
         if fc in waterfcList:
             arcpy.FeatureClassToShapefile_conversion(fc, destinationOutput)
         elif fc == "MST_Temp_Pipeline_Project":

I also tried this to work but it keeps processing with no end in sight:

import arcpy
arcpy.env.workspace = r'C:\Users\Employee\Documents\afgdb.gdb'
outWorkspace = r'C:\Users\Employee\Documents\Employee'
datasetLists = arcpy.ListDatasets()
fcList = arcpy.ListFeatureClasses()
cases = ("watertest", "watertest1", "watertest2", "sewertest", "sewertest1", "sewertest2", "sewertest3")
for datasets in datasetLists:
    for shapefile in fcList:
        for shapefile in cases: 
            outFeatureClass = os.path.join(outWorkspace, shapefile.strip(".gdb"))
            arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(shapefile, outFeatureClass)

I for some reason couldn't answer my own question, but the script below works without looping infinitely.

import arcpy
arcpy.env.workspace = r'C:\Users\bnamsaly\Documents\New File Geodatabase.gdb'
outWorkspace = r'C:\Users\bnamsaly\Documents\Vicky'
datasetLists = arcpy.ListDatasets()
fcList = arcpy.ListFeatureClasses()
cases = ("watertest", "watertest1", "watertest2", "sewertest", "sewertest1", "sewertest2", "sewertest3")
for shapefile in cases:
        outFeatureClass = os.path.join(outWorkspace, shapefile.strip(".gdb"))
        arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(shapefile, outFeatureClass)
    except arcpy.ExecuteError:
        tb = sys.exc_info()[2] # execute errors from Python
        tbinfo = traceback.format_tb(tb)[0]
        pymsg = "PYTHON ERRORS:\nTraceback info:\n" + tbinfo + "\nError Info:\n" + str(sys.exc_info()[1])
        msgs = "ARCGIS ERRORS:\n" + arcpy.GetMessages(2) + "\n"
  • 2
    It is called arcpy.env.overwriteOutput=True (.env and big O). Do you have the shapefiles opened which could cause them to be locked? – BERA Jan 26 at 7:27
  • Thanks for that, I will try a version of the script using the correct syntax. Also I don't think that will help me with my infinite loop and no, the shapefiles were not open. I'm shifting my script to delete and do a featureclasstoshapefile conversion instead. I don't imagine it would be possible to do a copyfeaturemanagement function to multiple feature classes/shapefiles even if I call them out in a list. – Vicky Nam Jan 26 at 18:42
  • I am confused about the purpose of an infinite for loop. I suspect a while loop would be more appropriate. – Aaron Jan 27 at 19:12

Another approach could be just OGR2OGR and not use python. Also you can add your batch script to windows scheduler to run at a set schedule or just double click .bat

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