Our organization is interested in knowing the frequency with which people who are using ESRI geodatabases choose GDB files over GDB in relational databases for serving web applications. Opinions and anecdotal evidence are welcome, as well as any hard data on this topic that anyone might have.



Anecdotally: A general rule of thumb that I have experienced in my ventures is if the GDB is serving as the back-end for a web application, many more times than not (~85%) it is stored in a RDBMS.

The advantages of doing so far outweigh the disadvantages in most cases:


1: Easy backups and logging of activity

2: More control over user permissions

3: Centralized integration with other, nonspatial data (the web developer doesn't have to go through extra hurdles to access the spatial data)


  1. Extra fees in licensing (If you are already paying for ESRI licenses, this is probably a minimal cost anyway)
  2. Extra resources required for DB setup (again rather minimal, because for most spatially enabled databases going from FGDB to RDBMS is not a monumental task)

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