An overview of table properties

Tables are the basic objects in the database used to store data as well as data about data (metadata). In a geodatabase, there are system tables that store information about the other tables, records, and indexes in the geodatabase. These are called metadata tables or repository tables.

There are also classes of tables in the geodatabase that work collectively to store specific types of spatial data. For example, feature classes store information about spatial features. They are made up of several tables, depending on the DBMS you use to store them and whether they are versioned. These spatial data tables have the same properties as nonspatial tables plus they have spatial properties.

General table properties

Spatial table properties

(These properties are in addition to the general table properties.)

You can define table names, field names, and data types when you use ArcGIS to create tables in a geodatabase. For spatial tables such as feature classes, you also define whether m- and z-coordinates will be present, the coordinate system, the tolerance values, and what type of data will be stored.


You can use context menus in ArcCatalog or geoprocessing tools from ArcToolbox to create new tables or feature classes. The main difference between using the wizard and using the geoprocessing tools is when you use the wizard, you add the field names and data types. With geoprocessing tools, you don't create new fields; you can import empty fields from an existing table, but new fields must be defined after the table or feature class is created.