I am wondering why it's possible to add a relationshipClass from the catalog into a map in ArcMap 10.3 only when the cardinality is M-N (many-to-many).

When I try to drag and drop other relationshipClass with cardinality (1-1 or 1-M) I have the following error:

Could not add the specified data object to the map.

Is there any specific reason to that?

1 Answer 1


You can't drag and drop 1-1 or 1-M Relationship Classes onto ArcMap, it wouldn't make sense to as they don't represent data but the links between the tables.

Drag and drop the Feature Classes and Tables that the Relationship Classes are linked to instead.

  • But in fact it's possible for M-N relationship classes. Relationship classes are tables in the datatabase. Mar 8, 2019 at 19:55
  • 1
    You are correct on the M-N type, it adds the relationship table to the document, but not the Origin or Destination tables. I've updated my answer to be clearer. I would also state that there should be either a better message or not allow it in the first place for this case.
    – fergie
    Mar 12, 2019 at 15:58

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