Direct-connect compatibility between clients and ArcSDE geodatabases in Informix

Which client and ArcSDE geodatabase versions are compatible for direct connections depends on the releases being used. The following is a table that summarizes which clients and geodatabases are interoperable when using a direct connection to the database:

9 geodatabase

9.1 geodatabase

9.2 geodatabase

9.3.x geodatabase

10 geodatabase

9 client


9.1 client


9.2 SP 1–4 clients


9.2 SP5+ client



Additional drivers must be installed.

9.3.x client


10 client



Compatibility between client and geodatabase versions

Older clients connecting to newer geodatabases

The only scenario in which older clients can connect to newer geodatabases is when using ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 5 (SP5) or later 9.2 SP release clients to ArcSDE 9.3 or 9.3.1 geodatabases. Files are available from the Patches and Service Packs page, which you must install to allow direct connections from ArcGIS 9.2 SP5 or later 9.2 SP release clients to ArcSDE 9.3 or 9.3.1 geodatabases.


Connections from a previous version client to a version 10 geodatabase are not supported.

Newer clients connecting to older geodatabases

Connecting from newer clients to older release geodatabases allows you to use the geodatabase without having to upgrade the geodatabase at the same time the clients are upgraded. It also allows you to have mixed client installations at your site. For example, if one department uses a custom application that has not been updated to work with 10, you can keep the geodatabase at the 9.3 release, keep this group of users on a 9.3 client release, and upgrade the clients for the rest of the agency. Be aware, though, that the 10 clients cannot use 10 functionality until the geodatabase has been upgraded to 10.

With ArcGIS 9.3 and 9.3.1, the direct-connect drivers that allow you to make a direct connection from ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Server, or an ArcIMS 9.3 client to a previous release ArcSDE geodatabase are installed separately. The installation file for the necessary direct-connect drivers is in the GDBDirectConnect folder on your client installation media. On Windows, it can be executed from the installation dialog box.

ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, and ArcGIS Server 10 include all the direct-connect drivers for you to connect to an ArcSDE 9.2, 9.3, or 10 geodatabase.

Rules for mixed release connections

Keep the following in mind when deciding whether to use mixed release connections: