What is the simplest way to share a map and data with both ArcGIS 10.0 and 9.3 users, portably?

This question could be rephrased as "Instead of waiting for Esri to (maybe) implement backwards compatible map packages, what can we do?"

Assume that one is starting with project resembling the following, all in v10:


I've tried saving the mxd as 9.3, and then create a map package from that, but get an "error compressing map package".

Using the Feature Class To Geodatabase (Multiple) tool is unsatisfactory because it can't handle Feature Datasets.

Another failed approach was to export the v10.gdb to binary xml and import it into a v93.gdb, ("Import xml data failed. The domain field type does not match that of the field it is being assigned to [feature class name]")

Got any other approaches that might bear fruit?

1 Answer 1


I would try the following:

If you have v9.3 users trying view v10 map doc:

  1. Create v9.3 geodatabase and copy and paste features datasets/features classws in ArcCatolog from geodatabase 10 to 9.3 (have not tested this). Then resource your v10 mxd layers to v9.3 geodatabase data, and finally Save as Copy of v10 mxd to v9.3 mxd.
  2. Create layer package in v10 mxd and post data onto ArcGISOnline for 9.3 users to view.
  3. Use the Map to KMZ tool in ArcToolbox for 9.3 users to view.
  • oh, that's funny and sad at the same time. WRT #1, I never tried drag'n'drop from v10 to v93 gdb because the "real tools" aren't up to the task. DnD works, so thanks. #2 could be useful from time to time, but the volume of data is too large to be practical for the case which instigated this. #3: I don't understand how it fits? Dec 5, 2012 at 17:25
  • Re-pathing the layer sources is not necessary if one a) set Map Document properties to Relative Paths, b) save as 9.3 in same folder as v10.mxd, c) move 9.3.mxd into new folder and create the v93.gdb with same name as v10.gdb, and d) now drag'n'drop. Dec 5, 2012 at 17:32
  • #3 is for viewing data in Google Earth. Just another way to share data.
    – artwork21
    Dec 6, 2012 at 1:12
  • oh, I see. That's out of scope then because the .mxd isn't shared. It's about sharing editable map & data, not just viewing (that wasn't clear in the original Q). Dec 6, 2012 at 16:43

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