Overview of ArcPad Exchange Format (AXF)
An ArcPad AXF file is a single file that is made up of multiple components, as shown below:
- Feature Layers, which can be thought of as a representation of the feature data. A feature layer can be considered as the equivalent of an ArcPad Layer Definition (.APL) file associated with a shapefile. The feature layer defines the symbology, forms, layer name, layer folder (for grouping), and layer icon for a feature table. There can be multiple feature layers defined for a single feature table.
- Feature Tables, which contain all of the data for the feature class, including the geometry and attribute data. A feature table can be considered as the equivalent of a shapefile. The feature table stores the feature’s geometry, attributes, and projection meta data—data that is stored in a shapefile’s SHP, SHX, DBF, and PRJ files.
- Data Tables, which are data tables that have no spatial component (for example, related tables and coded value domains).
- Files, which include any external file used by the ArcPad AXF file (for example, script files).
- Properties of the ArcPad AXF file (for example, the date and time when the ArcPad AXF file was created).
The AXF file can also store the following:
- Customization for each feature layer, including custom forms and scripts
- Coordinate system meta data
- Spatial and attribute indexes, which are automatically maintained
- Icons for feature layers
- Data rules, such as subtypes, coded value domains, and range domains
- Relationships between feature tables and data tables
An ArcPad AXF file is a Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition relational database. The Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition runtime needs to be installed on your device in order for ArcPad to recognize and use an ArcPad AXF file. The runtime is automatically installed together with ArcPad on the PC, but needs to be interactively installed on Windows Mobile devices via the ArcPad Deployment Manager. All data in ArcPad AXF files is stored using Unicode character encoding, eliminating the need to specify a codepage for AXF files.