How To: Re-establish the relationship class for geodatabase attachments


Instructions provided describe how to enable and re-establish the relationships between geodatabase feature classes and related attachments.

When enabling attachments for a particular geodatabase feature class, a relationship class is automatically created to maintain the link between each feature and its associated attachment stored in the attachments table.

In the event that the relationship class is accidentally deleted, it is not possible to simply build a relationship class between the attachments table and its feature class, while re-enabling the attachment's functionality.

Therefore, the following workflow is needed to re-establish this relationship as well as enable attachments, so that attachments can be added and existing attachments accessed via the Attachment Manager.


  1. In the Catalog window of ArcMap, make a copy of the feature class used to establish the original attachments relationship class and paste it to the same geodatabase.
    The copied feature class is renamed with '_1' at the end of the name.

  2. Right-click the _1 feature class. Click Attachments, and click Create Attachments.
    The _1_ATTACH table along with a new relationship class has been automatically created.

  3. Right-click the _1_ATTACH table.
  4. Click Load > Load Data.
  5. Click Next, and use the input data file browser to navigate to and select the original ATTACH table. Click Open and Add.
  6. Continue clicking Next through the remaining dialogs of the wizard and click Finish.
  7. Add the _1 feature class into the map document.
  8. Right-click the _1 layer in the Table of Contents > Edit Features > Start Editing.
  9. Click a feature that has an attachment and open the Attributes window.
  10. Click the Attachments Manager drop-down and note that the attachments are listed.

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