I have been given a point shapefile but it's feature class is null. I haven't seen this before so I'm wondering if the data is bad or if it's something I need to handle with code.

//I was using this to determine if my layer was a point layer, but it's FeatureClass is null
public void isPointsLayer(ILayer layer)
IFeatureLayer fl = layer as IFeatureLayer;
if (fl == null && fl.FeatureClass == null) return false; 
esriGeometryType type = fl.FeatureClass.ShapeType;
if (type == esriGeometryType.esriGeometryPoint) return true;


I guess ILayer.Valid returned false, thanks for the answers.

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1 Answer 1


The terminology is actually a bit different - a shapefile's feature class is not null, it's the feature layer which has null feature class reference.

This means that the reference to your data (the shapefile) is broken. This can be checked beforehand through ILayer.Valid property.

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