Error: No ArcSDE Server License Found. This is a read only connection

Error Message

Attempting any type of write operation, such as edit data, load data, or delete data, from any ArcSDE client while using ArcSDE direct connect may return this error:

"No ArcSDE Server License Found. This is a read only connection"


The error occurs when attempting to write to the ArcSDE server without a valid license that's connected through ArcSDE direct connect.

Solution or Workaround

Beginning with ArcSDE 9.0, all ArcSDE operations require a license.

For ArcSDE 8.x, if using a direct connection, it is possible to perform read-only operations without having an ArcSDE license. However, write actions are prohibited. If you do not have a valid ArcSDE license and attempt to perform a write operation, the error message will occur.

Even with DBMS read and write privileges on the data, read/write connections require an ArcSDE Server license feature in the license.dat file.

  • Option 1:
    Make sure the environment variable ESRI_ARCSDE_LICENSE_FILE is pointing to a license manager with an ArcSDE Server feature.
  • Option 2:
    Set the ESRI_LICENSE_FILE or LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variables to the license server name that hosts the ArcSDE Server feature.