What is ArcSDE?
ArcSDE is ESRI's technology for accessing and managing geospatial data within relational databases. ArcSDE technology supports reading and writing of multiple standards including (among other data storage options) Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), standards for simple features; the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for spatial types; and the Oracle Spatial format.
ArcSDE is unique in its support of the following capabilities:
What is ArcSDE?
NOTE: This applies only to ArcSDE geodatabases licensed through ArcGIS Server Enterprise.
- It is open and interoperable across multiple database management systems (DBMS) (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Informix, and PostgreSQL).
- It is standards based, using as its native data structure the OGC binary simple features standard and the ISO spatial type (for Oracle, IBM DB2, IBM Informix, and PostgreSQL only).
- It supports full, open SQL access to geodatabases stored in Oracle, IBM DB2, IBM Informix, and PostgreSQL.
- It fully supports the Oracle format for feature storage (using Oracle Spatial and Oracle Locator).
- It provides high performance and scales to a large number of users. ArcSDE geodatabases outperform all other solutions for storage and retrieval of spatial data.
When do you need ArcSDE?
When you need a multiuser geodatabase that can be edited and used simultaneously by many users, the ArcSDE geodatabase provides the solution. It adds the ability to manage both a shared, multiuser geodatabase and a number of critical version-based GIS workflows. The ability to leverage an organization's enterprise relational databases is a key advantage of the ArcSDE geodatabase.
ArcSDE also supports users who need to manage long transactions and version-based workflows, for example, to manage historical archives, distributed editing, and federated replicas across many DBMS architectures as well as to support multiuser editing scenarios.
ArcSDE geodatabases work with a variety of DBMS storage models (IBM DB2, IBM Informix, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL). ArcSDE geodatabases are used in a wide range of workgroups, departments, and enterprise settings. They take full advantage of their underlying DBMS architecture to support the following:
Through many large geodatabase implementations, it has been found that DBMSs are efficient at moving the type of large binary objects required for GIS data in and out of tables. In addition, GIS database sizes and the number of supported users can be much larger when using ArcSDE.
- Extremely large, continuous GIS databases
- Many simultaneous users
- Long transactions and versioned workflows
- Relational database support for GIS data management (providing the benefits of a relational database such as scalability, reliability, security, backup, and integrity)
- Standards-based SQL types for Spatial when the DBMS supports this capability
How is ArcSDE technology included in ArcGIS?
In the past, ArcSDE was sold as a separate ESRI product. Beginning with ArcGIS 9.2, ArcSDE technology is still included in ArcGIS; however, it is no longer a separate product. Instead, ArcSDE technology has been integrated into both the ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Desktop products.
ArcSDE geodatabases readily scale from personal, single-user geodatabases, through workgroup geodatabases, up to extremely large enterprise geodatabases.
There are three levels for accessing and using ArcSDE technology in ArcGIS. Geodatabase capabilities are available in the following ESRI software:
ArcSDE technology included with ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, and ArcGIS Server WorkgroupBeginning at ArcGIS 9.2, ArcEditor, ArcInfo, and ArcGIS Server Workgroup include the Microsoft SQL Server Express database. ArcGIS Desktop software includes ArcSDE capabilities to support ArcSDE geodatabases. Beginning with ArcGIS 9.3, ArcGIS Engine includes the Microsoft SQL Server Express database.
Within ArcEditor and ArcInfo, the ArcCatalog application provides the ability to fully administer and manage ArcSDE geodatabases stored in SQL Server Express. This provides full ArcSDE geodatabase capabilities for a few users. You set up and manage these ArcSDE geodatabases within ArcCatalog. No extra software or database administration expertise is required.
When using ArcGIS Engine, administration and use of the ArcSDE geodatabases stored in SQL Server Express are done through ArcObjects.
ArcSDE technology included with ArcGIS Server EnterpriseThis is the traditional ArcSDE technology that runs on Oracle, SQL Server, IBM DB2, IBM Informix, and (beginning with ArcGIS 9.3) PostgreSQL. It can scale to databases of any size and number of users, running on computers of any size and configuration. Users provide their own DBMS license for this level of ArcSDE use.* The DBMS is typically administered and managed by a database administrator (DBA).
The following table further compares the types of ArcSDE geodatabases:
*Exception: The PostgreSQL DBMS is included with ArcSDE for PostgreSQL.
||SQL Server Express
||SQL Server Express
||DB2, Informix, Oracle, PostgreSQL, or SQL Server
|Type of client-to-database connection
||Direct connect or ArcSDE application server (ArcSDE service)
||ArcCatalog or ArcObjects
||ArcSDE Administration Commands, DBMS administration software, and ArcCatalog
||Licensed per CPU or core
||Dependent on DBMS
|User able to alter configuration
|Type of user/group logins
||Operating system (Windows) authenticated
||DBMS or operating system authenticated
||Uses same code page as the server
||Customizable; options dependent on DBMS
|XML column support
||Yes (beginning with 9.3)
|Versioned editing support