ArcGIS functionality available for database tables that are not registered with the geodatabase

Data that you create or add to your enterprise geodatabase using ArcGIS for Desktop software is automatically registered with the geodatabase.

If instead you create spatial or nonspatial tables in the database management system (DBMS) using structured query language (SQL), the tables will not be registered with the geodatabase.

You don't have to register the tables with the geodatabase to use it with ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, or ArcGIS for Server; you can view and query your existing database data and create new tables in your database. But to edit your data or use any geodatabase functionality, such as topology, replication, archiving, networks, or versioning, you must register it with the geodatabase. The following table indicates what functionality exists for tables that are not registered with a geodatabase:

Functionality in ArcGIS

Table type

Tables not registered with the geodatabase

Nonspatial tables

  • Preview the table in ArcCatalog.
  • Add to ArcMap to participate in joins, relates, or query layers.
  • Add a column to the table.
  • Create a database view on the table.
  • Grant DML privileges to other users.

Spatial tables

All the same functionality as is available for nonspatial tables, plus:

  • Render features in ArcMap.
  • Include in a layer or map package.

ArcGIS can only display, query, or create columns of a data type that is supported by ArcGIS. See Data types supported in ArcGIS.

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