Creating versions and setting permissions
This topic applies to ArcGIS for Desktop Standard and ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced only.
You can create a geodatabase version, derived from an existing version, with ArcGIS for Desktop. When you create a version, you specify its name, an optional description, and the level of access other users have to the version. As the owner of the version, you can change these properties or delete a version at any time.
(For a definition of a version, see Understanding versioning.)
You set the access level of a version to protect it from being edited or viewed by users other than the version owner. You can set one of three permissions on a version:
- Private: Only the owner or the geodatabase administrator may view the version and modify versioned data or the version itself.
- Protected: Any user may view the version, but only the owner or the geodatabase administrator may edit datasets in the version or the version itself.
- Public: Any user may view the version. Any user who has been granted read/write (update, insert, and delete) permissions on datasets can modify datasets in the version.
When setting access on versions, consider your version workflow strategy along with the needs of the various users working within that framework. You should use version access along with dataset permissions to control access to the data.
When setting version access, pay particular attention to how you'll safeguard the DEFAULT version. The DEFAULT version is the ancestor of every other version in a geodatabase and usually represents the published version of a geodatabase. Any features or rows that are deleted from the DEFAULT version, even though they are recorded in the version delta files, cannot be restored unless the dataset is unregistered as versioned (assuming the database has not been compressed beforehand). Unregistering a dataset as versioned restores the dataset to its configuration at the last database compression; however, all uncompressed edits are lost. Given that, it is essential to safeguard DEFAULT to prevent accidental alterations or corruption.
There are three ways you can protect the DEFAULT version:
- If you've chosen a strategy where users directly edit the DEFAULT version, you can create a new version as a read-only, archive version of DEFAULT. Any features accidentally deleted from the DEFAULT version could be restored from this version as required.
- If you've chosen a strategy where some but not all users need to edit the DEFAULT version directly, you can create new versions from DEFAULT for some of the users to edit.
- If you've chosen a strategy where no one directly edits the DEFAULT version, the geodatabase administrator should set the access level of the DEFAULT version to Protected. Never set the access level on the DEFAULT version to Private; doing so would prevent all users except the geodatabase administrator from connecting to the database. With the permissions set to Protected, any user can view the DEFAULT version, but only the geodatabase administrator can either edit DEFAULT directly or reconcile and post edits to it from other versions.
To read an example scenario of creating versions and setting access on the versions, see Version creation and permissions example.
Open the Version Manager dialog box using one of the following methods:
- In the Catalog tree, right-click a connection to the geodatabase, point to Administration, click Administer Geodatabase, then click the Versions tab.
- In ArcMap, click the Version Manager button on the Versioning toolbar.
To create a new version, right-click the version from which you want to derive the new version and click New.
The New Version dialog box appears.
Type a name for the new version.
The length of the version name is limited to 62 characters.
(Optional) Type a description of the version.
You can use the version description to provide additional information regarding the version's purpose. The size limit on the description is 62 characters.
- Choose the desired access level for the version: Private, Public, or Protected.
- Click OK to create the new version.