I am new to Enterprise geodatabases and am looking for some information regarding data structure and storage. Within my organization, we would like to store individual projects by feature dataset within a single Enterprise geodatabase. To my knowledge this is possible if the data does not contain any related tables or associated toolboxes.

Is it possible to store related tables and toolboxes within a feature dataset?

My goal is to not create an Enterprise geodatabase for each individual project.

  • Geodatabase Diagrammer for 10X > arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=a378b48be11b45b5bb25254643304cb7 – Mapperz Apr 9 at 14:00
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    Best practice is to only place the feature classes which are absolutely required to be in feature datasets together. It's an antipattern to use feature datasets as a folder to glom related data together; doing this slows the actual FDS operations with additional checking and locking. – Vince Apr 9 at 14:48

No, a feature dataset is used to group related feature classes (see here). These feature classes can have related tables, but the tables will be stored outside the feature dataset.

One approach that I see with many organization is to have distinct database users / schemas / whatever to keep projects separated. This way, you don't need to have separate geodatabases, and it also gives you an easy way to implement security (e.g. when not all users are allowed to see all projects)


As others have said, don't use feature datasets for organizing data. They are not folders and will cause problems down the road if you teat them as such.

My suggestion would be to use schemas instead. Create a schema and database role for each project and then assign roles and permissions to users as appropriate.

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