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How To: Distribute saved spatial database connection properties to clients

Summary

When a spatial database connection is created, a file is created on the client computer that contains the connection parameters that were provided through the Spatial Database Connection dialog box.

Instructions provided describe how to share spatial database connection files across multiple computers using ArcGIS.

Procedure

There are two procedures to use to distribute these spatial database connection files. One is most useful if the connection properties remain static, while the other is most useful if the connection properties change often.

  • Use case:
    A database administrator wants to distribute a common set of database connections to all of their ArcGIS Desktop users.

    The spatial database connection information is stored in the following directory: C:\Documents and Settings\<login name>\Application Data\ESRI\ArcCatalog. The individual files are stored as <connection name>.sde.

    1. Navigate to the following directory in Windows Explorer:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<login name>\Application Data\ESRI\ArcCatalog.

    2. Copy all of the files in this directory that correspond to the connection information that is to be distributed. The files will have a *.sde extension.

    3. Send these files to the appropriate users or computers that require new connections.

    4. Copy the files to the same directory (C:\Documents and Settings\<login name>\Application Data\ESRI\ArcCatalog) on the new computers. These computers will then have the connections available the next time they launch ArcMap or ArcCatalog.

  • Use case:
    A database administrator wants to maintain a common set of database connections in one shared location and manage them, as user names and passwords change periodically.

    1. Create a network share that all users can access.

    2. Place all SDE connection files in that shared network folder (if necessary, give read-only access to the share so that users cannot edit them).

    3. Have all users make a folder connection to this network share in ArcCatalog to access the .sde connection files.

    4. This way, all users can access connection files from one single location instead of every ArcCatalog user physically copying the .sde files into their user profile. This gives flexibility to the administrator to add/delete/modify connections to sde databases in one location.