Using CASE tools and UML to create a geodatabase schema

One strategy for creating a geodatabase is to employ UML to design the schema and the CASE tools subsystem of ArcGIS to generate feature datasets, feature classes, tables, and other items. UML is a standard developed by the Object Management Group (OMG) for expressing object-oriented analysis and design decisions. Many refer to this as a tool for modeling "software artifacts" (see

Generally, UML is much more handy at object-oriented software design and in documenting the design of a database management system (DBMS) table schema. UML is not as useful at helping to design geographic elements in your geodatabase. See A note about UML design for more information.

  1. With Microsoft Visio or Rational Software Corporation's Rational Rose, design a geodatabase in UML and export it to an XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) file or Microsoft Repository.
  2. Add the Schema wizard to ArcCatalog.
  3. Generate a geodatabase schema from the XMI file or Microsoft Repository with the Schema wizard.
  4. Once you have generated the schema, you can modify it with tools in ArcCatalog if needed.
  5. Once the schema is ready, you can load data into it.