Creating versions and setting permissions

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.

You can create a new version, derived from an existing version, with ArcCatalog or ArcMap. When you create a version, you specify its name, an optional description, and the version's permission. As the owner of the version, you can change these properties or delete a version at any time.

(For a definition of a version, see Understanding versioning.)

You set the permission of a version to protect it from being edited or viewed by users other than the version owner. You can set one of three permissions on a version:

When setting the permissions of versions, consider your version workflow strategy along with the needs of the various users working within that framework. You should use version permissions along with dataset permissions to control access to the data.

When setting permissions, pay particular attention to how you'll safeguard the DEFAULT version. The DEFAULT version is the ancestor of every other version in a geodatabase, and usually represents the published version of a geodatabase. Any feature or rows that are deleted from the DEFAULT version, even though they are recorded in the version delta files, cannot be restored unless the dataset is unregistered as versioned (assuming the database has not been compressed beforehand). Unregistering a dataset as versioned will restore the dataset to its configuration at the last database compression; however, all uncompressed edits will be lost. Given that, it is essential to safeguard DEFAULT to prevent accidental alterations or corruption.

There are three ways you can protect the DEFAULT version:

To read an example scenario of creating versions and setting permissions on the versions, see Version creation and permissions example.


To create a version or set its permissions, an ArcEditor or ArcInfo license is required.

  1. Open the Version Manager dialog box using one of the following methods:
    • In the Catalog tree, right-click a connection to the geodatabase and click Versions.
    • In ArcMap, click the Version Manager button on the Versioning toolbar.

    The Version Manager dialog box opens.

  2. To create a new version, right-click the version from which you want to derive the new version and click New.

    This will open the New Version dialog box.

  3. Type a name for the new version.

    The length of the version name is limited to 62 characters.

  4. Type a description of the version (optional).

    You can use the version description to provide additional information regarding the version's purpose. The size limit on the description is 62 characters.

  5. Choose the desired permission level for the version: Private, Public, or Protected.
  6. Click OK to create the new version.