Problem: DataConnection object fails to return a GeoDataset


The DataConnection object may fail to return a GeoDataset object when specifying a valid path and file name using Universal Naming Convention (UNC) to connect to shapefiles and tables.

UNC allows you to identify a path without specifying a drive letter, for example, \\Computer\Files\Paths\file.doc.


This problem occurs when the name of the computer or folders is greater than eight characters. This has been observed on Novell networks.

Solution or Workaround

  • Option 1: Map a network drive to the machine containing the data.
  • Option 2: Make sure the names of the machine and folders are eight characters or less.

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