Assuming I have two SDEs or other datasources with the same datamodel. One contains features the other one is empty. In ArcMap I have layers from both datasources in my table of contents. Now I would like to copy some features that are already selected in the map view from one sde to the other using C# and ArcObjects. What would be the best way to do this?

  • 1
    Have you considered using arcpy for this? Yes you can do it in ArcObjects. No, you probably shouldn't.
    – blah238
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:25
  • I agree with this comment. My answer below requires quite a bit of code. This can actually be done with less code by writing an ArcPy script and invoking it from Visual Studio.
    – Conor
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


Assuming that your features are non-complex, you will want to use an Insert Cursor (method 1). If your features are complex, you must use IFeature.Store() (method 2).

See the following code from this link (It's in VBA, but shouldn't take long to translate over)

Public Sub LoadFeatures()
    Dim pMxDoc As IMxDocument
    Dim pFeatureLayer As IFeatureLayer
    Dim pInFeatureClass As IFeatureClass
    Dim pOutFeatureClass As IFeatureClass
    Dim pQueryFilter As IQueryFilter
    Dim pFeatureCursor As IFeatureCursor
    Dim pFeature As IFeature

    'For simplicity sake, load features into the feature class
    'selected in the table of contents
    Set pMxDoc = Application.Document
    If pMxDoc.SelectedItem Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    If Not TypeOf pMxDoc.SelectedItem Is IFeatureLayer Then Exit Sub
    Set pFeatureLayer = pMxDoc.SelectedItem
    Set pOutFeatureClass = pFeatureLayer.FeatureClass

    'Open a shapefile containing the features to load into the geodatabase
    Set pInFeatureClass = OpenFeatureClass("d:\data\usa", "counties")
    If pInFeatureClass Is Nothing Then Exit Sub

    Set pQueryFilter = New QueryFilter
    Set pFeatureCursor = pInFeatureClass.Search(pQueryFilter, True)
    Set pFeature = pFeatureCursor.NextFeature
    Do While Not pFeature Is Nothing
        'The next two lines control which loading method is used
        'To use an insert cursor, comment out the second line
        'To use CreateFeature/Store, comment out the first line
        InsertFeature pOutFeatureClass, pFeature.Shape
        'CreateFeature pOutFeatureClass, pFeature.Shape
        Set pFeature = pFeatureCursor.NextFeature

    'Refresh the display
    pMxDoc.ActiveView.PartialRefresh esriViewGeography, Nothing, Nothing

End Sub

Method 1: an insert cursor

Private Sub InsertFeature(pFeatureClass As IFeatureClass, pGeometry As IGeometry)
    Dim pFeatureBuffer As IFeatureBuffer
    Dim pFeatureCursor As IFeatureCursor

    Set pFeatureCursor = pFeatureClass.Insert(True)
    Set pFeatureBuffer = pFeatureClass.CreateFeatureBuffer

    Set pFeatureBuffer.Shape = pGeometry
    pFeatureCursor.InsertFeature pFeatureBuffer
End Sub

Method 2: CreateFeature/Store

Private Sub CreateFeature(pFeatureClass As IFeatureClass, pGeometry As IGeometry)
    Dim pFeature As IFeature
    Set pFeature = pFeatureClass.CreateFeature
    Set pFeature.Shape = pGeometry
End Sub

Opening the feature class:

Public Function OpenFeatureClass(strWorkspace As String, strFeatureClass As String) As IFeatureClass
    On Error GoTo ErrorHandler

    Dim pShpWorkspaceName As IWorkspaceName
    Dim pDatasetName As IDatasetName
    Dim pName As IName

    'Create the workspace name object
    Set pShpWorkspaceName = New WorkspaceName
    pShpWorkspaceName.PathName = strWorkspace
    pShpWorkspaceName.WorkspaceFactoryProgID = "esriDataSourcesFile.shapefileworkspacefactory.1"

    'Create the feature class name object
    Set pDatasetName = New FeatureClassName
    pDatasetName.Name = strFeatureClass
    Set pDatasetName.WorkspaceName = pShpWorkspaceName

    'Open the feature class
    Set pName = pDatasetName
    Set OpenFeatureClass = pName.Open

    Exit Function

    Set OpenFeatureClass = Nothing
End Function
  • 1
    Way to put in the effort! Two comments though. When you use an Insert Cursor, you should try to create the Feature Cursor and Buffer outside your load loop. In the example above, I think you are creating a new cursor and buffer for every feature. Also, you may want to release the COM objects (Marshel.ReleaseCOMObject) so that they release the locks faster.
    – travis
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 1:20

The easiest way I can think of is to either copy and paste the features or use the Copy Features GP tool. That doesn't use C#.

If you really want to do with using C#, you could create an add-in or GP tool. You could use search and insert cursors to actually copy the features. Or, you could call the Copy Features GP tool from C# to do the work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.