Queries on shapefiles are not working in ArcIMS services

Last Published: April 25, 2020


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While querying shapefiles in an ArcIMS Service there is an error message in the HTML Viewer's Query frame, ArcExplorer Java Editon or Java Viewer message console, or Spatial Server log files stating that an Invalid SQL where clause was entered.


The ArcIMS Spatial Server has a known limitation dealing with upper case field names in shapefiles.

Solution or Workaround

Check the validity of the expression by confirming that the query works on a local shapefile. If the expression works on a local shapefile, check the shapefile's DBF to ensure that all the DBF column names are upper case.

You must change the case of the DBF column name for the expression to work. Two relatively easy ways to do this are as follows:

  • Import the shapefile into ArcSDE, then export it back out to a new shapefile.
  • Convert the shapefile to a coverage (using shp2cov) and then convert it back to a shapefile.

Article ID:000003567

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