Overview of input and output data considerations
Geoprocessing is based on a framework of data transformation: geographic data is input and new geographic data is output. All data transformations (that is, geoprocessing tools) are aware of all the capabilities of the input and output data. Capabilities, in this context, are things like geodatabase subtypes and attribute domains, cartographic representations, and coordinate M and Z values. In general, all input dataset capabilities are preserved in the output dataset. There are exceptions to this general rule, and the topics below describe those cases where input dataset capabilities are not preserved, or are modified, in the output dataset.