Managing a geometric network

This topic applies to ArcGIS for Desktop Standard and ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced only.


Although geometric networks can be both created and edited in ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced and Standard, they are read-only in Basic

You can manage geometric networks using ArcCatalog or the Catalog window in ArcMap. Unlike most items that appear in the Catalog tree, the geometric network does not represent a single entity, such as a table, shapefile, or feature class. A geometric network is actually an association among several feature classes and is represented by several tables in the database. Managing a geometric network is different from managing other items in the Catalog tree.

Managing the geometric network

Some of the standard operations on the geometric network work the same way as other items in the Catalog tree. A geometric network can be copied or deleted. Copying a geometric network retains the network connectivity and feature classes. Deleting a geometric network also deletes the network schema and causes the network feature classes to revert to simple feature classes.

Geometric networks can be copied in two ways—by copying the feature dataset containing the geometric network or by copying the geometric network itself. If the geometric network is copied, the target feature dataset must have the same spatial reference and extent as the source feature dataset.

Geometric networks can be deleted by deleting the containing feature dataset, which will remove the geometric network and any other object stored in the feature dataset, or by deleting the geometric network itself, which will leave the feature dataset and its containing objects intact.

Once your geometric network is deleted, the following changes occur:

Any of the following will require you to delete and re-create your geometric network:

Managing network feature classes

Managing network feature classes is more restrictive than managing simple feature classes. While a network feature class's alias can be changed, its name cannot. Deleting a network feature class is also more difficult than deleting simple feature classes. To delete the network feature class, you must first delete the geometric network; this action converts the network feature class to a simple feature class that can then be deleted. The alternative is to delete the entire feature dataset, which deletes the network and all the feature classes.

Removing an empty feature class from a geometric network

Every feature class that participates in a geometric network adds a cost to using and editing the geometric network. This is true whether the feature class is populated (contains features) or is empty. You can use the Remove Empty Feature Class from Geometric Network geoprocessing tool to remove empty feature classes from your geometric network that are no longer needed. This tool can be run on versioned and non-versioned geometric networks. Removing empty feature classes from your geometric network can lead to better editing and tracing performance.

Schema locking

An exclusive lock is required to modify a geometric network's connectivity rules, add a feature class to the geometric network, or delete a geometric network. An exclusive lock can only be acquired for a geometric network if the feature classes that participate in the network can also be locked. Therefore, if a user has an exclusive or shared lock on any of the feature classes in a geometric network, then the properties of the geometric network can't be edited.

Learn more about exclusive locks and schema locking

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