I have a problem. After appending annotations into the feature class on the SQL Server database I need to delete extra attribute fields that where made in the process. Usually I would just simply use Delete Field tool. However because people are working on this database I can't do this because of unique lock. I also have Python script that disconnects everyone and delete these fields during the night, but I want to find the way to do this when people are connected. So I had an idea that I could delete these fields through SQL Server Management Studio but I'm afraid that this may cause problems to database or text feature class.

Is it safe to delete attribute fields through SQL Server Management Studio?

I'm using ArcGIS Desktop 10.6.1 and SQL Server Management Studio 18.

  • 1
    No, it is not safe to do this. You need an outage window where you can disconnect all users to do this safely. In the future, you'll want to engineer a process that doesn't alter the table for this kind of operation (parallel table with join is one option).
    – Vince
    Jul 24, 2020 at 13:27

1 Answer 1



Definitely not safe to do this. Either announce a maintenance outage during the day where you can safely do this without users connected, or run your existing process overnight.

The Enterprise geodatabase has a lot more links behind the scenes than you may be aware of, deleting through SQL Server Management Studio won't be the correct process and has the potential (probably quite high) to corrupt your geodatabase. Don't do it. You need to use the tools provided.

So again, no, it is not safe, use the tools provided in the way they are intended.

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