Spatial views in ArcSDE allow you to join columns from a 'non-spatial' table in the database to a table with a 'geometry column'. They can also allow you to format and choose the attribute columns that you want to have included in your feature class.

A spatial view is created with the SDE commandline tools to 'register' the view with the geodatabase. The view won't show up in ArcCatalog unless it is registered.

I have a data maintenance process that utilizes spatial views. After running unattended for close to a year, I am now having a problem where the spatial view becomes partially unregistered from the geodatabase. This prevents the geoprocessor from seeing the feature class. It also introduces the fairly common SDE issue where you can't re-create the view because the tool tells you that it already exists, but you can't delete it because the tool tells you that it doesn't exist.

Has anyone else run into this issue and come up with either a prevention or remediation strategy.

Platform: ArcSDE 9.3x, Oracle10g, UNIX.

  • Could you expand on the paticulars of your data maintenance process, and how it utilize the views?
    – Zachary
    Apr 1, 2011 at 20:18
  • 1
    I have seen this happen when a table behind the view is dropped and recreated, i.e. a feature class is deleted and then added back using ArcCatalog. Sep 17, 2011 at 12:11

3 Answers 3


If your data maintenance process does the have the proper sde locks (or doesnt kick people when ran) it could have been that a user still had a lock (for example, GDB editing in ArcMap or ArcObjects will create a workspace-level lock) and you dropped some tables from sde, while the gdb did not know this was going on) and thus the GDB metadata tables were left in inconsistent state.

Without knowing more about your process is hard to guess more.


I have seen this kind of issue in the past on SQL servers where we had the SDE database run out of space; so then the supporting tables never got all of there updates and crashed.

I am not sure of the schema in Oracle; but my remediation had me going into the ESRI business tables and deleting the records for the SDE layers that were corrupted and recreating them.

Its very touchy to do; but if you know the schema of the SDE system you should be able to do it; but your first task should be a current back-up!!

  1. Backup
  2. Delete current view from SDE tables (TABLE_REGISTRY and COLUMN_REGISTRY, ArcSDE 9.3.1)
  3. Recreate view with sdelayer -o create_view

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