An overview of the Data Management toolbox

The Data Management toolbox provides a rich and varied collection of tools that are used to develop, manage, and maintain feature classes, datasets, layers, and raster data structures.

While the Analysis toolbox is used to solve spatial or statistical questions and the Conversion toolbox is necessary for the conversion of various data formats, the Data Management toolbox lets you perform functions from simple tasks like managing basic structures, such as fields and workspaces, to more complex tasks related to topology and versioning.



Data Comparison

The Data Comparison toolset contains tools to compare one dataset with another dataset to report similarities and differences. You can use these tools to identify changes made to a dataset. These tools are most effective in detecting updates made to existing data in the dataset. When detecting added or deleted data, they are only effective in identifying the first instance of an addition or deletion. The tools can report differences with geometry, tabular values, spatial reference, and field definitions.


The Dataset toolset contains tools for a variety of geodatabase management tasks. Specific database data management tools as well as geodatabase upgrade, management, and maintenance are covered by the tools in this toolset.

Disconnected Editing

The disconnected editing toolset contains tools for performing checkout/check-in replication. Checkout/check-in replication allows remote or mobile users to transfer data from a central database to remote or mobile locations, enabling users to operate independently. This avoids the overhead of a remote database connection while allowing users to maintain connections to other network-based services, such as e-mail.

Distributed Geodatabase

Distributing geodatabases allows organizations to disperse their data as necessary from central servers to regional or local offices, which may be in a connected or disconnected environment. This is achieved through replication of the geodatabase in whole or in part and dispensing these replicas as necessary throughout an organization. As the replicas are updated, changes can be coordinated between the offices through a synchronization process.


Domains offer a way to define a range of values that can be used for multiple attribute fields. Using domains helps ensure data integrity by limiting the choice of values for a particular field. Validation for coded value domains is accomplished by restricting field values found in drop-down lists. Range domains are automatically validated during editing.

Feature Class

The Feature Class toolset provides a set of tools designed to perform basic feature class management including creating, appending, integrating, and updating multiple feature classes.


The Features toolset contains tools to transform features from one geometry type to another and verify correctness of features.


The Fields toolset contains tools that make changes to the fields in the tables of a feature class.

File Geodatabase

The File Geodatabase toolset contains tools that compress and decompress file geodatabase feature classes and tables.


The General toolset contains tools for performing general data management operations. The toolset contains tools for combining feature classes or tables; renaming, copying, or deleting datasets; finding or deleting duplicate or identical records; sorting records; and tools that enhance ModelBuilder functionality.


Tools in the Generalization toolset can be used to aggregate or eliminate features.


The Graph toolset provides tools to create and save graphs. You can use the tools to create various graphs (bar, line, and so forth) and save these as graph files or images.


The Indexes toolset contains tools that add or remove spatial and attribute indexes from feature classes or relationship classes.


Tools in the Joins toolset create a join between a layer and a table view. Joins made with the Add Join tool are temporary and last only for the duration of a session. If you need to preserve the join between sessions, you can create a relationship using the tools in the Relationship Classes toolset.

Layers and Table Views

The Layers and Table Views toolset creates and manipulates layers, layer files, and table views.


The Package toolset provides tools to consolidate, package, and share layers (.lyr) and map documents (.mxd).

Projections and Transformations

The Projections and Transformations toolset contains tools that set the projection of and reproject a dataset.


The Raster toolset contains tools that create and manipulate raster datasets.

Relationship Classes

The Relationship Classes toolset contains tools that create associations between feature classes and between feature classes and tables.


The Subtypes toolset contains tools that manage the subtypes of a feature class or a table.


The Table toolset contains tools that make adjustments to and query the table of a feature class.


The Topology toolset contains tools that manage the topologic relationship among a number of feature classes.


The Versions toolset contains tools that make adjustments to the versions of the data.


The Workspace toolset comprises a set of tools to create the data storage structures used by ArcGIS. These structures include workspace, folder, two types of geodatabases, feature dataset, and an ArcSDE connection file.

Toolsets in the Data Management toolset

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