How To: Append feature classes that have different schemas


Instructions provided are to append feature classes that have different schemas. The Append function in ArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > General > Append does not append two or more like feature classes of different schemas by default. It is necessary to specify the schemas of all the feature classes involved, in the new output feature class.


The following example uses shapefiles, but any feature class (shapefile, personal geodatabase, or SDE geodatabase) can be used. Create a new shapefile that stores the output of the appended shapefiles. Match the schema of this shapefile so that it matches the schemas of the input shapefiles, by following the steps below:

  1. Create a new shapefile using the Create Feature Class tool. This tool allows you to specify that the template of the new feature class will be a combination of the shapefiles you are appending.
  2. Open Data Management Tools > General > Append. Specify the input shapefiles that you are appending into the new shapefile.
  3. Select the output feature. This is the shapefile created in Step 1.
  4. Select NOTEST. This specifies that input schemas are not to be transferred to the target feature class unless they match the schema of the target.