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FAQ: Are ArcGIS Desktop applications forward compatible with major new releases of ArcSDE?

Question

Are ArcGIS Desktop applications forward compatible with major new releases of ArcSDE?

Answer

ArcGIS Desktop applications are not forward compatible with major new releases of the ArcSDE server product and the Geodatabase. This means that older versions of ArcGIS Desktop are not able to connect to newer major releases of ArcSDE. Examples of migrating to major releases are:
� ArcSDE 8.0.x to 8.1.x
� ArcSDE 8.1.x to 8.2.x

The exception to this rule is Geodatabases created with ArcGIS versions 9.1 and 9.0. Geodatabases are directly compatible between ArcGIS 9.0 and 9.1. You can access and edit 9.0 geodatabases in 9.1 without upgrading them, and geodatabases that you create, modify, or upgrade in 9.1 can be accessed and edited in 9.0.

For more information on this; see the ArcGIS Desktop Help for ArcGIS 9.1:
ArcGIS Desktop Help 9.1

When upgrading ArcSDE between such versions, it is required that ArcGIS Desktop also be upgraded to a matching version.
� Migrating ArcSDE 8.0.x to 8.1.x requires that ArcGIS Desktop be migrated to
ArcGIS 8.1.x.
� Migrating ArcSDE 8.1.x to 8.2.x requires that ArcGIS Desktop be migrated to
ArcGIS 8.2.x.

One of these following messages occurs when attempting an ArcSDE connection from ArcGIS Desktop to an incompatible version of ArcSDE and the GeoDatabase.

From an ArcGIS 8.0.x client:
"Failed to connect to the specified server. This release of the GeoDatabase is either invalid or out of date (Run gdbs.exe create)"

From an ArcGIS 8.1.x and later client:
"Failed to connect to the specified server. This release of the GeoDatabase is either invalid or out of date. [Please run the ArcSDE setup utility using the -o upgrade option.]"

We understand that many of our customers require a phased upgrade path. The ArcGIS client application suite is backward compatible with older versions of ArcSDE. This allows ArcGIS Desktop to be upgraded first. Please note that this will not give ArcGIS access to new features available only in the newer version of ArcSDE.

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