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DBMS and Geometry Storage Options

ArcSDE manages the physical storage of geometry for features using standard data types provided by the host DBMS. Some DBMS' have spatial data types, while others provide standard binary or binary large object (BLOB) storage types. ArcSDE geometry storage is dependent on the capabilities of your DBMS. No matter what geometry storage type you use, an ArcSDE client application does not need to know what the geometry storage type is. In the case of Oracle, you can use any combination of available storage methods. You may choose to store a point layer as Oracle Spatial geometry types and a polygon layer as binary. The decision on how to store your geometry will be based on the DBMS you use and other requirements specific to your implementation.

The topic "Geometry storage parameters and keywords" in the ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Desktop help describes how to define geometry storage types offered by the DBMS. Additional information in the help systems can be found on geometry storage in the topics "About geometry storage types", "ArcSDE Compressed Binary storage", "The OGC Well-Known Binary representation for geometry", "The Oracle Spatial geometry and raster types", and "The ST_Geometry storage type".

This table summarizes the DBMS and geometry storage options available.
IBM DB2 Spatial Extender - Geometry Type ST_Geometry*
Informix Spatial DataBlade - Geometry Type ST_Geometry*
Microsoft SQL Server Binary Schema Image
  Well-Known Binary Schema Image
  Microsoft Geometry Type Geometry
  Microsoft Geography Type Geography
Oracle Binary Schema BLOB
  Binary Schema Long Raw
  Well-Known Binary Schema BLOB
  Oracle Spatial - Geometry Type SDO_GEOMETRY
  Spatial Type - Geometry Type ST_Geometry*
PostgreSQL Spatial Type - Geometry Type ST_Geometry*
  PostGIS - Geometry Type Geometry
*ST_GEOMETRY is a super class of several subclasses (e.g.: ST_Polygon)

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