We've been trialling ArcGIS at work and are just about to buy. However, we have a PostgreSQL database which contains a lot of stuff we work with, which is named in all upper-case ("GISSTUFF", for instance). ArcGIS won't connect to it.

We've contacted the ESRI support desk and they say it needs renaming to lower-case. Which is easy enough to accomplish, but unfortunately throws out our other connections. GISSTUFF suddenly becomes gisstuff and their connections are lost.

And that's a lot of connections across a whole range of things. It can be managed, but we'd have to think of every point first where the connection would be, re-establish it and test it. I have no doubt that, since none of the staff here were the original system admins and documentation/training was sparse, things would fall through the gaps.

So, does anyone know of a way to make ArcGIS (just the standard Desktop stuff - I think that would be Pro nowadays) handle PostgreSQL databases in all upper-case?

  • What version of ArcGIS desktop are you using? (yes, it's important) Have you installed the Postgres client? It is true that postgres prefers all lower case, when you do rename the database does ArcGIS then connect? Perhaps you could post on dba.stackexchange.com to see if there's a possibility of mirroring/aliasing GISSTUFF as esrigisstuff just for Esri users to connect (same database, different name). – Michael Stimson Mar 24 '19 at 23:29
  • I was thinking about mirroring / aliasing. May give that a go. I don't know the other things as the ArcGIS trial has expired. It would be the latest. I'm just doing barebones Postgres admin using pgadmin III. – user25730 Mar 24 '19 at 23:34
  • That makes it kind of hard to test the connection if your Esri trial has expired. Mirroring/aliasing might work but may not, the mirror might be looking for a schema esrigisstuff in the GISSTUFF database which wont exist... I'm predominantly an Esri user so I setup PostGIS specifically for Esri and it's just a bonus that other software will connect to it; A warning though, having mixed editors is a very bad idea, if you want to edit in QGIS do so, but don't edit with Esri and visa versa. – Michael Stimson Mar 24 '19 at 23:43
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    There is no way to make ArcGIS use uppercase database names. Period. Not since SDBE 1.2.1, at least (excepting Oracle databases, which could only be uppercase). – Vince Mar 25 '19 at 0:19
  • Do you have a reference for that @Vince? If so it would make an excellent answer/warning for users who wish to use PostGIS with ArcGIS... though I would also be interested to see if a database could be successfully aliased or mirrored with a lower case name. – Michael Stimson Mar 25 '19 at 2:23

It is not possible to use ArcObjects to access databases (or tables, or columns) with mixed- or uppercase names. ArcGIS Server, Desktop, and ArcPy are only capable of accessing objects with lowercase names.

The Desktop documentation states (emphasis mine):

Type the database name in lowercase; upper- and mixed-case object names are not supported for geodatabases in PostgreSQL. If you type a database name in upper or mixed case, ArcGIS converts it to lower case.

And the Server documentation says the same (ditto):

Use all lowercase characters for the login role; mixed and uppercase character names are not supported with ArcGIS.

With tables and columns, you can create views to work around naming issues. But with databases, no connection is possible, so you never get that chance.

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