What is a direct connection to a geodatabase in PostgreSQL?

A direct connection to a geodatabase is one that is made using the database management system's (DBMS) connection methods and direct-connect drivers in the client application. The connection is made directly from the client to the DBMS without the use of an ArcSDE service. Direct connections are also known as two-tiered connections.

When you use a direct connection to the geodatabase, most of the processes that would have taken place on the server are now going to take place on your client machines. In addition, certain limits that would be enforced by ArcSDE when making a connection through an ArcSDE service, such as password length, are instead enforced by the DBMS.

Some examples of when you would use a direct connection include the following:

You might use an ArcSDE service connection rather than a direct connection to the geodatabase if your desktop machine does not have enough resources to handle the ArcSDE processes. You could have a mixed environment, in which those desktop computers that can manage the ArcSDE processes use a direct connection but those that cannot use an ArcSDE service.

ArcSDE writes error messages to the sdedc_<dbms>.log file. If you have the SDEHOME environment variable set, this file is written to the etc directory in this location. If you have an etc directory in your ArcGIS installation location, the file is written there. If you have neither of these, the log file is written to the temp directory.

What happens when a client application makes a direct connection to the DBMS in which an ArcSDE geodatabase is stored?

The following sequence of events occurs when an ArcSDE client application connects directly to the DBMS.

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