I have a USDA Statsgo soil polygon featureclass stored in a file geodatabase along with an attribute table; I have a one-to-one relationship class defined based on the soil type field. When I bring the featureclass into ArcMap I can view the attributes in the related table when I use the identity tool.
What I would like to do is create a raster from this featureclass using values from the related table. This seems simple enough, but when I used the Polygon to Raster conversion tool the only fields available to use are those which are stored in the featureclass itself. If I define a join on the same featureclass and table I can then select the appropriate field in the joined table, which makes me wonder why I bothered creating the relationship class in the first place (resulting raster values are numeric - I lose my classification codes of A through D).
Can anyone explain 1) why I can't use the relationship class to access fields in the related table, and 2) how to keep the alphabetic soil classification codes?