ArcPad AXF files
An ArcPad AXF file can be thought of as a shapefile in a relational database. It's a Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition relational database, stored as a single file, that is made up of the following component types:
- Feature tables, which contain all of the data for the feature class, including the geometry and attribute data. A feature table is the equivalent of a shapefile. The feature table stores the feature's geometry, attributes, and projection metadata—data that is stored in a shapefile's SHP, SHX, DBF, and PRJ files.
- Feature layers, which can be thought of as a representation of the feature data. A feature layer is 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.
- 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:
- Customizations for each feature layer, including custom forms and scripts.
- Coordinate system metadata.
- Spatial and attribute indexes, which are automatically maintained.
When customizing forms, scripts, and so on, you interact with ArcPad AXF files via the various ArcPad Studio dialog boxes (for example, Form Editor, Script Editor, or Tree View). You can also interact with the ArcPad AXF file's tables directly using Structured Query Language (SQL) queries in the SQL command execution dialog box. All data in ArcPad AXF files is stored using Unicode character encoding, eliminating the need to specify a codepage for AXF files.
Create ArcPad AXF files
ArcPad AXF files can be created using one of the following tools included with the ArcPad Data Manager extension for ArcGIS:
- Get Data For ArcPad tool in ArcMap
- ArcPad tools for ArcToolbox
These tools allow you to create ArcPad AXF files from selected geodatabase feature layers. The tools automatically read the geodatabase schema, including any relationship classes, and use the schema to construct the resultant ArcPad AXF file. ArcPad AXF files can only be created when layers are checked out from a geodatabase, and they are always created when layers are checked out from a geodatabase using the ArcPad Data Manager. ArcPad AXF files can also be created programmatically using ArcObjects code or geoprocessing scripts.
Load ArcPad AXF files
ArcPad automatically loads layer customizations in ArcPad AXF files when the associated ArcPad AXF layers are loaded.