A quick tour of data management
GIS data management involves creating, storing, and editing data.
The primary data storage mechanism in ArcGIS is the geodatabase. You can create and edit various data types, such as feature classes, raster data, and tables, in one of three types of geodatabases: personal, file, or ArcSDE. Each of the data types can be part of extended data types, such as geometric networks and topologies.
In addition, there are other data storage options available to use with ArcGIS, such as coverages, CAD files, netCDF files, shapefiles, and TIN surface models. Some of these data types can be edited using ArcGIS software, others can only be viewed.
ArcGIS Desktop offers two interfaces to manage your data: ArcCatalog or the Catalog window in ArcMap.