ArcSDE CAD Client #8
I tend to think of myself as relatively handy. I have a neighbor who was born with just one hand. Its amazing to see him sweeping his driveway and pounding nails in fences, etc… He told me once, while we were contemplating the responsibilities of homeownership, “I can do anything… I just can’t do everything!” I’ve used this adage recently to relieve myself of the burden of auto care. I hate fixing cars. (Personally, I think cars are barbaric; useful, but barbaric… they need to be completely re-thought.) Understanding them and repairing them is something I could learn, and it could save me some money, but this year I just gave up. I am better at other things. I will save in other areas; I’ll target other projects and not try to do everything.
The workflow for editing ArcSDE features in CAD Client is restricted to non-geodatabase layers. In organization implementing both ArcGIS and CAD Client with ArcSDE there has to be a designated editor and a designated viewer, or there has to be a second tier of workflow to manage the conversion between ArcSDE simple feature layers and ArcSDE enterprise geodatabase layers.
ArcSDE CAD Client was developed before the invent of the ArcSDE enterprise geodatabase. It was not architected to understand the geodatabase. Other vendors in the market space have developed “CAD Client” editors of geodatabases by embedding ArcObjects code and using the disconnected editing capability to successfully edit enterprise geodatabase features managed by ArcSDE from within AutoCAD and Microstation. I will devote a future BLOG post to those applications. You can view the simple features of an ArcSDE enterprise geodatabase layer, but they are read/only. (Similar to the Autodesk Map ArcSDE solution)
To me there are two logical workflows that would benefit from ArcSDE CAD Client editing. One is where the data is completely managed and edited using CAD Client and only viewed by other ArcSDE GIS client software. The other is similar, where one is using ArcSDE CAD Client solely as an drawing entity repository for base mapping in CAD without regard for GIS; other than access, such as serving the CAD data to the web using and ArcIMS application.
In these workflows the data is free to be edited by CAD Client, but would be read/only to other applications. With these restrictions I have the ability to take advantage of the CAD BLOB so that I STORE, RETRIEVE and EDIT the CAD versions of the data stored in ArcSDE. The process of editing in ArcSDE involves enabling database links in the SETTINGS then retrieving data using a RETRIEVE template and then pairing that with a STORE template to define what information and how you want it to be updated when and if you choose to store your edits.
When I check out data from ArcSDE for editing, an area lock is created on the ArcSDE layer for the geographic extents of the extracted data to avoid editing conflicts. I use all the tools of CAD to make changes to the retrieved entities. The retrieved entities are really just a copy or snapshot of the data in ArcSDE. At the end of my editing session I can choose to retain or reject the changes, additions and deletions I may have made. ArcSDE CAD Client editing sessions are connected editing. I must be logged into ArcSDE during the edit session and make my changes during that session. ArcSDE CAD Client does not support disconnected editing. ArcSDE CAD Client is also a read/only client to ArcSDE for Coverages.