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Create a desktop or workgroup geodatabase

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

Database server administrators can use the New Geodatabase command on the database server context menu in ArcGIS for Desktop to create a geodatabase on a database server.

Creating a geodatabase creates a database on the SQL Server Express instance and creates a geodatabase in the dbo schema in the database.

Follow these steps to create a desktop or workgroup geodatabase on a database server:

  1. Log in as a server administrator, start ArcMap, and open the Catalog window.
  2. In the Catalog tree, right-click the database server on which you want to create a geodatabase.
  3. Click New Geodatabase.
  4. Type a name for the new geodatabase in the Geodatabase name text box.

    The name must begin with a letter, cannot contain spaces or special characters (such as *, &, !, %, ., +, or -), and has a maximum length of 31 characters when combined with your server name.

  5. If you want to change the database file location, specify the new location in the Geodatabase file text box by clicking the ellipsis button (...) and browsing to the location.
  6. Type the size of the new geodatabase in the Initial Size text box.
  7. Choose MB or GB from the Units drop-down menu, or use the default size of 100 MB.

    Regardless of the initial size, the geodatabase grows as it needs to, up to 10 GB.


    The initial size of the geodatabase cannot be smaller than that of the model database in the SQL Server Express instance. The model database is the system template for all new databases. The size of the model database determines the minimum size of any database created in that SQL Server Express instance. If you attempt to create a geodatabase smaller than this minimum size, database creation fails and the following error message is returned:

    Error creating this geodatabase
    CREATE DATABASE failed. 
    Primary file must be at least <size of model> to accommodate a copy 
    of the model database.

  8. Click OK.

A progress bar displays while the database file and geodatabase schema are created. When complete, the new geodatabase appears on the Contents tab and in the Catalog tree.