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An error message, "The coordinate system is invalid," is returned when accessing an ArcSDE version 9.3.1 feature class from a later ArcGIS version.
Before ArcGIS 10, a projected coordinate system definition was not checked to ensure all expected parameters were included. For each map projection, ArcGIS expects certain parameters.
For instance, a projected coordinate system based on transverse Mercator should include:
Capitalization and underscores/spaces are ignored.
Central_Meridian | Longitude_Of_Center | Longitude_Of_Origin
Latitude_Of_Origin | Latitude_Of_Center | Central_Parallel
False_Easting | Easting_At_False_Origin
False_Northing | Northing_At_False_Origin
The feature class must have the coordinate system redefined using the ArcGIS style.