I'm trying to setup a versioned database to a small office and was wondering whether ESRI's File Geodatabase has that type of capabilities? Researching the topic I found conflicting data from ESRI's support web site.

On the one hand:

(File Geodatabase) "Versioning support - Only supported as a geodatabase for clients who post updates using checkout and check-in and as a client to which updates can be sent using one-way replication." (http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/manage-data/geodatabases/types-of-geodatabases.htm)

But than I found this comment from ESRI support team:

"No, versioning is not possible in a file geodatabase. File geodatabases are designed to be edited by a single user and do not support geodatabase versioning. Versioning, a mechanism in which all data edits are recorded as rows in delta tables, is only supported in an enterprise geodatabase." (https://support.esri.com/en/technical-article/000012595)

So, can or can't you use versioning with a file geodatabase?


1 Answer 1


No, you cannot use versioning within a file geodatabase. As the second reference states, versioning is a capability of an Enterprise geodatabase (only a database can do the UNION ALL versioned queries).

The only participation file geodatabase can have in the versioning framework is through Geodatabase Replication, either One-way replication (parent-to-child) or Checkout/check-in replication. In these cases, the versioning does not occur in the file geodatabase; the FGDB is either the snapshot out of the database or a container which is used as the basis for bulk versioned changes when they reach the Enterprise geodatabase. FGDB cannot be used in Two-way replication because it does not natively support versioning.

You may want to review the Desktop and Workgroup geodatabase options to see if they are a better fit for your organization. These are based on Microsoft SQL-Server Express and have limitations, so be careful.

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