Exercise 3: Attach, create a backup of, and upgrade a geodatabase

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.

Complexity: Beginner Data Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data Setup Goal: Attach a geodatabase to a database server, create a backup it, then upgrade the geodatabase to match the ArcGIS Desktop release.

It is possible to move geodatabases by detaching them from one database server, copying them to a new location, and attaching them to a different database server. This could be useful for such things as delivering data to a consultant or client; setting up a new database server on a new computer and moving your geodatabases; or moving data through different stages of a project, with each stage being completed by a different person or department in your organization.

For this exercise, assume a consultant has done the initial data creation for you and has sent you the database file so you can attach it to your database server and edit it. In this case, the consultant used an older release of ArcGIS to create the geodatabase. Therefore, after you attach the geodatabase, you will make a backup of it, then upgrade it.

Attaching an existing geodatabase

You will attach a geodatabase, buildings, to your database server. This geodatabase contains data for different types of buildings on Osokopf Island.

There are two different versions of the buildings geodatabase: one for SQL Server 2005 Express and one for SQL Server 2008 Express. Be sure to attach the correct version of the geodatabase to your instance of SQL Server Express.

  1. Start ArcMap, open the Catalog window, then expand the Database Servers node in the Catalog tree.
  2. In the Catalog tree, right-click the database server and click Attach.
  3. In the Attach Geodatabase dialog box, click the ellipsis button (...).
  4. Browse to the DatabaseServers tutorial folder (C:\ArcGIS\ArcTutor\DatabaseServers).
  5. Choose the database file.
    • If you are using SQL Server 2005 Express, choose buildings05.mdf and click OK.
    • If you are using SQL Server 2008 Express, choose buildings08.mdf and click OK.
  6. Click OK on the Attach Geodatabase dialog box.

The buildings geodatabase is now listed under the database server in the Catalog tree.

As indicated, the buildings geodatabase already contains data. However, this geodatabase is an older release. Therefore, before you work with the data, create a backup of the geodatabase, then upgrade it.

Making a backup of the new geodatabase

Before you upgrade the geodatabase or make any edits to it, you should create a backup of it. That way, if you decide you need the geodatabase back in its original state, you will have a backup file.

  1. In the Catalog window, right-click the buildings geodatabase, point to Administration, then click Backup.
  2. Type buildings_bu1 in the Backup name text box.
  3. You could back up the geodatabase to the default location but, instead, back up the geodatabase to your tutorial folder, DatabaseServers. Type the path in the Backup to folder text box.

    For example, type c:\ArcGIS\ArcTutor\DatabaseServers.

  4. In the Description text box, type Initial state of buildings geodatabase.
  5. Click OK.

This has created an image of the geodatabase and its contents as they were at the time of the backup. The backup images that are created are full copies of the database. When you run subsequent backups, you can create a new backup file or overwrite the old one.

Geodatabase backups should be created after changes are made in the geodatabase. That way, if the geodatabase gets corrupted or accidentally deleted, you won’t lose all your edits. Or if erroneous edits are made, you can go back to the state of the data as it existed at the last backup.

Upgrading the buildings geodatabase

This geodatabase was created with ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1. If you are performing this tutorial using an ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 or 9.3.1 client, you do not have to upgrade.

If you are connecting with an ArcGIS Desktop 10 or later release client, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click the buildings geodatabase in the Catalog window and click Properties.
  2. Click the General tab of the Geodatabase Properties dialog box.
  3. Click the Upgrade Geodatabase button to open the Geodatabase Upgrade geoprocessing tool.
  4. The Input geodatabase text box is automatically populated with the geodatabase connection information.
  5. Leave both the Perform Pre-requisite check and Upgrade geodatabase options checked.
  6. Click OK to start the upgrade.

    The progress window opens. Messages are displayed as the tool performs the checks and the upgrade. If the upgrade fails, review these messages to discover why. A log file is also created in the system TEMP directory. The file is GDBUpgrade<n>.log. The <n> indicates the unique ID of the upgrade operation.

  7. When the upgrade completes successfully, close the dialog box.

    Notice that the description under the Upgrade Status section of the General tab has changed, and the Upgrade Geodatabase button is inactive.

  8. TipTip:

    If the status information does not update, close the Geodatabase Properties dialog box and reopen it.

  9. Click OK to close the Geodatabase Properties dialog box.

You have attached a geodatabase to the database server, made a backup copy of it, and upgraded it to the current release. Now you can add users to the database server and grant them permissions.