Problem: Unable to alter properties of an existing geodatabase created with CASE Tools using Enterprise Architect


When creating a geodatabase schema using Unified Modeling Language (UML) in Microsoft Visio Professional 2007, the geodatabase schema is exported as an XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) document in the file format of .xml.

This is readable by CASE Tools to create empty template geodatabases and allow properties, such as the spatial reference, extent, and precision of data in the geodatabase to be modified.

However, when using UML in Enterprise Architect to create and manage the geodatabase schema, the model is exported to an XML Workspace Document, which is used to create geodatabase templates. The existing properties for spatial reference, precision and extent of the geodatabase created from the XML Workspace Document cannot be modified using Enterprise Architect.


By design, when a template geodatabase is created, the geodatabase properties are set according to the existing schema. There are no options available to allow the predefined spatial reference, extent, or precision of data in the geodatabase to be modified.

A geodatabase schema modeled in Enterprise Architect requires an XML workspace document, as the XMI document exported from Enterprise Architect is not supported for use with CASE Tools and the Schema Generation Wizard.

Since incremental updates to the geodatabase schema are not supported when exporting to an XML workspace document, the entire document must be updated.

Solution or Workaround

To modify the geodatabase properties, follow the steps below.

  1. Create a UML geodatabase schema in Enterprise Architect.
  2. Specify a spatial reference for the schema to export a valid geodatabase schema from Enterprise Architect. In Enterprise Architect, select the desired coordinate system when defining the spatial reference to automatically insert default values for the geodatabase properties.
  3. Generate the geodatabase schema as an XML workspace document by selecting the Export to ArcGIS Workspace XML option.
  4. In ArcCatalog, import the XML workspace document to a new geodatabase.

      a. In the Catalog tree, right-click the geodatabase name > Import > XML Workspace Document.
      b. In the Import XML Workspace Document wizard, select the 'Schema Only' option and specify the location of the XML source to import.

      c. Click the Next button to begin the importing process.

      d. When the schema information of the geodatabase is displayed in the Import XML Workspace Document wizard, click Finish.
  5. Use the X-Ray for ArcCatalog Add-in to apply a different spatial reference to the existing data from a different geodatabase.

      a. Create a new file geodatabase.

      b. Open the XML workspace document in X-Ray.
      c. Under the Options menu, select the Use Spatial Reference option to use the spatial reference from another geodatabase.
      d. Save the spatial reference.
  6. Import the updated XML workspace document to a new geodatabase.
  7. Load existing data into the new geodatabase.
  8. In Enterprise Architect, make the necessary updates to the UML of the new geodatabase.
  9. Export the UML back to an XML workspace document in ArcCatalog.
  10. Use the ArcGIS Solutions Schema Migration Wizard to update the existing geodatabase with the updated schema. For more information, refer to Upgrade information model.

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