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FAQ: How can previous versions of ArcGIS Desktop connect to geodatabases created with newer releases?

Question

How can previous versions of ArcGIS Desktop connect to geodatabases created with newer releases?

Answer

Previous versions of ArcGIS cannot read or access geodatabases created from newer releases of ArcGIS. There are two exceptions to this statement:

• ArcGIS 9.0 and geodatabases created with ArcGIS 9.1
• ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 5/Service Pack 6 with geodatabases created with ArcGIS 9.3 or ArcGIS 9.3.1.

Geodatabases are directly compatible between 9.0 and 9.1. It is possible to access and edit 9.0 geodatabases in 9.1 without upgrading them, and geodatabases that are created, modified or upgraded in 9.1 can be accessed and edited in 9.0.

Geodatabases are directly compatible between ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 5/Service Pack 6 and 9.3 or 9.3.1. It is possible to access and edit 9.2 geodatabases in 9.3 and 9.3.1 without upgrading them, and geodatabases that are created, modified or upgraded in 9.3 or 9.3.1 can be accessed and edited using 9.2 Service Pack 5 or 9.2 Service Pack 6.

For any other combination of ArcGIS and the geodatabase, the following steps facilitate the use of personal and file geodatabases with different releases of ArcGIS:

1. Make sure that there are no objects specific to the current release of ArcGIS in the geodatabase.
2. Create a new geodatabase using the previous release of ArcGIS.***
3. With the current release of ArcGIS, copy and paste the data into the geodatabase created by the previous release of ArcGIS.
4. The geodatabase contains the data from the current geodatabase and can be used by the previous release of ArcGIS.

If it is not possible to create geodatabases from a previous release of ArcGIS, the following link in Related Information contains a .zip file with personal geodatabases from 8.3 onwards and file geodatabases created from 9.2 onwards.

*** At ArcGIS 10 the Create File GDB and Create Personal GDB geoprocessing tools have been augmented to include a parameter indicating to which ArcGIS version the created geodatabase should correspond.

Related Information