A container for geographic data. A workspace can be a folder that contains shapefiles, a geodatabase, a feature dataset, or an ArcInfo workspace. Other multidimensional data formats such as netCDF or HDF can also be considered workspaces, and are often treated in this manner within GIS software packages.
In ArcObjects, a container for spatial and nonspatial datasets such as feature classes, raster datasets, and tables that provides methods to instantiate existing datasets and create new datasets. Different types of workspaces are specified by the esriWorkspaceType enumerator: esriFileSystemWorkspace (such as an ArcInfo workspace), esriLocalDatabaseWorkspace (such as a personal geodatabase), and esriRemoteDatabaseWorkspace (such as an ArcSDE geodatabase).