If I store my vector GIS data in SQL-Server, what editors can I use to edit the GIS data?

15 Answers 15


Have you seen the SQL Spatial Tools from Sharp GIS? Or did you have more advanced requirements?


Manifold will directly read and write SQL Server spatial data. I assume you are using 2008, but if not, Manifold will also let you use SQL 2005 (Geometries are varbinary(MAX) not SQLGeometry / SQLGeography in that case). They have a free CLR add-in that provides spatial indexing for 2005.

It supports multi-users, conflict resolution, etc.

We use it internally and I know many others who do too. It's stable and robust.


The development build of GDAL includes an OGR driver for SQL Server:



Your open-source (free) alternatives are a bit limited, you might be able to put something together with GeoServer (http://docs.geoserver.org/stable/en/user/data/index.html) as a viewer at least, if a web app is your intent. However many commercial GIS environments support SQL Server; a list of 'spatial partners' can be found here



TatukGIS Editor will edit geospatial data in most all spatial databases - Sql Server, Oracle, SDE, PostGIS, pGeodb,etc.

Also, the new Fgis, based on tatukgis editor, can edit/view Sql Server Spatial. It is only $99. http://fgis.tatukgisconsulting.com/


QGIS version 1.8 now has native (not using OGR) read/write/edit support for MS SQL 2008/2012

enter image description here

This will work on Windows, Linux, OS X. Although Linux and OS X require some more setup then what windows does due to the Qt ODBC driver.


You can try with AutoCAD Map (FDO). I use it for editing SQL Server 2008 spatial data. Currently I cant remember any other good editor for SQL Server spatial data editing.


I have used Manifold to edit SQL data, but it seems it actually grabs the table and brings the data into Manifold for edit (maybe stores it in memory?). When you save, it seems to write the whole table back to SQL.

I have used TatukGIS's Editor too. This does a very good job of just editing the selected records or writing the new records back to SQL. But I find the editing tools a little clunky.

I have also tried ArcGIS 10 via ArcSDE. Yes, you can tell ArcGIS to write the data as SQL Spatial format. But it wraps a lot of other tables around the data. PLUS, if you have a native SQL Spatial table, ArcGIS can not access it or edit it. It must run through Esri's GeoDatabase to be available to ArcGIS.

I would like to know if Quantum GIS built with the new OGR would allow for editing SQL Spatial. That would be a great solution.

  • 1
    Yeah QGIS will let you edit spatial data in SQL 2008 see: woostuff.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/…
    – Nathan W
    Sep 20 '11 at 23:51
  • small clarification about Manifold, while it does grab the table and bring it into memory, it retains an open link to the database as well, so any updates are persisted immediately, rather than writing the whole table back. For larger datasets, you can set it up with SQL Server to only grab a bounding box of data rather than the whole dataset.
    – Kelso
    Sep 26 '11 at 23:12
  • Not completely correct. ArcGIS 10 introduced the Query Layer, where you can (only read) almost every native spatial database type directly without SDE or enterprise geodatabase. But you are right, when it comes to editing, you need at least ArcEditor and SDE. In 10.1 database connection mainly uses th new query layer approach. Seems that ESRI realized, that their users don't want to extra pay for database access anymore. Mar 9 '13 at 12:46

To my opinion Manifold GIS is the most practicable solution for direct editing of SQL-Server geometries. Unfortunately they are now announcing a new Version for more than 18 months. So it is not really clear if you investment will be sustainable. But for the moment manifold is excellent.

if you want to do some coding mapdotnet.com offers read-write connectors to SQL-Server


Intergraph's GeoMedia suite of products support SQL Server databases. Since recently i.e., from January 2012, SQL Server 2008 spatial enhancements are also supported.


MapInfo Professional has been able to read and write data stored in a SQL Server 2008 database. This support has been included in MapInfo Professional since v10.0.

No middleware required, except an extra table in the database describing to MapInfo Pro how to read the data and how to display the data on a map (styles and so)

  • With MapInfo Professional 11.5 support for SQL Server 2012 has been added Oct 8 '12 at 6:05

It is possible to create and edit simple features using a web OpenLayers front-end and passing WKT directly into SQL Server geometry fields.


You can also set ArcSDE to store geometries using Microsoft's CLR Spatial types (SqlGeometry/SqlGeography) instead on ESRI's binary format. Then you could use ArcGIS Desktop to edit the vector data.


You can edit SQL Server vector geometry data in ArcView without SDE using the "GISquirrel" extension (formerly known as ArcSquirrel). See www.gisquirrel.com


AFAIK, none support direct edition of SQL SERVER 2008 spatial data.

With ArcSDE installed in your DB you can edit your data in ArcGIS.

Perhaps someone with more sqlserver experience might give you better hints.


  • what do you mean by "none support direct edition"? I guess this list here kind of proves that there is a number of tools that do support direct editing of SQL Server 2008 spatial data. But maybe I misunderstand what you are saying? Mar 5 '12 at 20:40
  • -1 as this is incorrect. As Peter said, this list proves otherwise.
    – Nathan W
    May 26 '12 at 6:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.