Preparing to upgrade a geodatabase in SQL Server

When you upgrade any enterprise system, including a geodatabase, plan ahead. Test the new version on a development or test server to ensure that it works with all your client applications.

When you have determined that the new system works the way you expected, schedule the upgrade; be sure the necessary staff are available to perform the upgrade and that they have the permissions necessary to complete their assigned tasks.

Be aware of the following:

You must also complete the following steps before you upgrade your geodatabase in SQL Server:

  1. Check the ArcGIS Resource Center to be sure that your database, operating system, and other components meet at least the minimum system requirements.

    Your database must be at a supported release and your hardware must meet at least the minimum system requirements before you upgrade your geodatabase.

  2. TipTip:

    If you are unsure of the database compatibility level of your SQL Server database, check the database properties from Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. If your database compatibility level is 80, you must update your database compatibility level. See SQL Server documentation for instructions.

  3. Create a backup of the database.
  4. If you use an ArcSDE service for connections and have customized any of the files in the etc directory of SDEHOME, make a copy of these files.
  5. If you do not have the Full-Text Indexing component installed in the database, install it.

    Some columns in the geodatabase system tables require this component.

  6. Remove any custom functionality you may have added to the ArcSDE geodatabase system tables outside ArcGIS, such as triggers, participation in SQL Server replication, or additional indexes. The upgrade procedure cannot be aware of customizations you make to the system tables. If such customizations prevent the alteration of a system table, the upgrade will fail.
  7. Make sure that the login you use to upgrade the geodatabase has the correct privileges.

    If the geodatabase is stored in the dbo schema, the geodatabase administrator (dbo) automatically has the privileges necessary to upgrade. For geodatabases stored in the sde schema, if it is a single-spatial-database model geodatabase and the database is not named sde, the login you use must either be sysadmin or in the db_owner role. If you are using a multispatial-database model geodatabase (or a single-spatial-database named sde), you must log in as sysadmin to upgrade.


    Do not add the sde user to sysadmin.

  8. Install the current release of an ArcGIS client (ArcGIS for DesktopStandard or Advanced, ArcGIS Engine with the Geodatabase Update extension, or ArcGIS for Server Enterprise Standard or Advanced) on a computer that can directly connect to the geodatabase to perform the upgrade.
  9. Make sure the SQL Server Native Client is installed on the computer where the ArcGIS client is installed.

    This is required because you must connect directly to SQL Server from ArcGIS to upgrade the geodatabase. If you are installing the SQL Server Native Client on a 64-bit operating system, use the 64-bit SQL Server Native Client executable.

  10. Make sure there are no users connected to the geodatabase you are upgrading.

    You can see a list of the users who are currently connected to your geodatabase by opening the Connected Users tab of the Geodatabase Administration dialog box in ArcGIS for Desktop.

  11. If you are using an ArcSDE service, do the following:
    1. Stop the ArcSDE service using the Windows Services interface.
    2. If you are upgrading to a new, full release of the ArcSDE application server (such as from 9.3.1 or 10 to 10.1), uninstall the old release of ArcSDE, and delete the old service when prompted to do so.

      If you are applying a service pack or patch, do not perform this step.

    3. Obtain the ArcSDE Application Server installation from the Esri Customer Care portal.

The geodatabase is now ready to be upgraded. You can use the Upgrade Geodatabase tool in ArcGIS for Desktop or a Python script run on the ArcGIS client computer.

If you use an ArcSDE service for connections, install the ArcSDE application server after you upgrade your geodatabase.

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