I just started a new job and we have about 20 different clients. Each client has their own database with totally different schemas. I'm trying to combine all of the schemas into a blank database that covers everything with data in it. I have my first version (asset_v1.1).

It's very messy getting them 'migrated' into each database with all of the attributes coming along. Once they are moved I know they are at least good locked down with new subtypes and domains. The problem I'm running into is older employees are wanting to add or take away attribution. I'm now on version 1.4 of it and don't want to keep loading data for 20 databases with several feature classes within those. Basically I want to know if there's a way to take a database (1.4) and be able to add a field in a feature class and copy it to the new one (1.5) without having to load each feature and appending the data?

The end result I want every client to have the exact same database format. Some of our techs work for a client for a couple months then don't know where anything is in another clients database. Also having the same databases, I'm able to run scripts and update them much easier than customizing each one. Right now they're File Geodatabases, with hopes of getting everyone on SDE. Everything needs to be cleaned up before that would happen.

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    Hard to tell what is being asked here. Can you provide examples and more detail about your current process, and how exactly you would like to improve it? – blah238 Apr 9 '14 at 19:05
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    Please provide Info about what type of backend your geodatabase uses. Is it a personal geodatabase or an enterprise geodatabase backed by some RDBMS? If latter, then which one (Oracle, SQL Server)? Do you want to accomplish some kind of database chagescripting / schema evolutions? – Jürgen Zornig Apr 9 '14 at 19:08
  • in short -try to compare sachems with table compare tool and then load the data using append or data loader. – Dror Har Gil Apr 9 '14 at 19:35
  • That's what I've been doing, but was wondering if you could just load the whole database instead of each feature class. – MjonesGEO Apr 9 '14 at 19:46
  • I reworded the title to something that, to me, captured the problem more clearly. Please feel free to revert or reword if you don't agree it's better. – matt wilkie Apr 9 '14 at 21:23

Specifically with regard to "[I want to] add a field in a feature class and copy it to the new one (1.5) without having to load each feature and appending the data"

Yes, you can use the Add Field tool in Data Management to add fields to each of the affected feature classes without dropping and reloading features. (That field will be empty for each feature and you'll have to use some other process to populate the values appropriately.)

More broadly, to compare schemas there is the Geodatabase Schema Compare tool in the Data Reviewer toolbox (an extension that might not be installed by default). There are also the Table Compare and Feature Compare tools which can report on value as well as definition differences (Data Management toolbox); see An overview of the Data Comparison toolset.

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