I have taken over an ArcSDE 9.3 Enterprise database setup which has around 80% of it´s vector data in an MSSQL SDE Database system and 20% in FileGDB on the application server. I am trying to understand if there is a logical reason as to why someone would set this up. Can anyone offer reasons why a MSSQL SDE Database is prefered to FileGeodatabases? Versioning is not being used in either case. The web clients which have read/write access seem to all be in the MSSQL SDE DB. There are also 6 SDE Services running although most of the connects are direct.

If anyone could explaing the logics behind this (if there are any) I would be grateful.

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    I know you say versioning isn't being used for editing, but just to verify, is replication in use or is anyone using check-out and check-in editing work-flows (these use versioning behind the scenes)? Also, do you mean there is web based editing being performed? If so, that requires an SDE style database, not FGDB. I don't know MSSQL but, some database engines don't scale as well, get resource intensive on the computer, get expensive to scale, etc... so large static datasets may be moved out to FGDB to save space. Also, some data types take up more space in one DB type vs another. – John Mar 3 '14 at 20:25
  • Replication is not in use. Edits are used by turning off versioned editing by unchecking "Edit a version of the database" in the ArcCatalog editor options dialog. OK...So Web-editing can ONLY be performed on SDE Databases? It makes sense for large static databases-for example Aerial photos, Topography DGM etc to be placed in FGDBs? – Robert Buckley Mar 3 '14 at 21:11
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    If the web editing is via an ArcGIS Server published feature service, then yes, you can only do that via a multi-user geodatabase (ex: MSSQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc...). See details at resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//… As far as large static datasets, I'm not saying it's necessarily best for everyone, I'm just saying there are various licensing, database size, performance, etc... issues involved in determining if large static data should be in a multi-user database or just a FGDB. – John Mar 3 '14 at 21:25

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