I am working with two ArcSDE geodatabases -- one for test, one for production. They both have the same schema. I recalculated an attribute in the test environment and wanted to push that to production. My instinct was to join the two feature classes and use the Field Calculator, but there was no way to distinguish which column belonged to which database. So I appended _TEST to the aliases of the test class. When I ran the join again, it automatically appended _TEST to the production aliases as well. [grunt] Somehow I figured out which was which and was ready to use Field Calculator but... the option was grayed out in the right-click menu for the column. All columns, in fact. So my main question is:

How is it possible to join feature classes from two ArcSDE geodatabases and copy attribute values from one to the other?

Secondly, why on earth were my production field aliases being suffixed with _TEST? It seems like ArcMap has no way of managing a join between feature classes with the same field names. Is this true?

  • If you are doing this in ArcMap, have you tried simply "renaming" the layer in the TOC (right-click the layer->properties->General tab->Layer Name)? I have seen previous issues where ArcMap featureclasses with the same layer name gets ArcMap confused. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 23:32
  • We did try that as well, no dice :\
    – bertday
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


Easy quick and dirty.
Export test to fgdb with new (different name). Join -start edit session calculate
depending on the use case and version.
I have used database replication to manage this also.
but not for a one-off fix.

  • Brad - thanks for the tip. That was the essentially what I ended up doing. I was hoping for a more direct method but it seems like this might just be a limitation of the software.
    – bertday
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 5:58

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