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Client and geodatabase compatibility

You can access geodatabases using ArcGIS client software including the following:

  • ArcGIS Pro (supports connecting to file, mobile, and enterprise geodatabases)
  • ArcGIS Server services (support connecting to file and enterprise geodatabases)

Geodatabase and ArcGIS releases

You do not have to keep your geodatabase and ArcGIS clients at the same release, but it is recommended that you do so. Geodatabases and client software are designed to work together, and if you let one get too many releases away from the other, you risk encountering problems or unexpected behavior.

This is especially true when you use a mix of client versions at your site. A newer client can create newer dataset types in the geodatabase that older clients cannot access. For enterprise geodatabases, waiting too long between geodatabase upgrades may mean you have to upgrade the underlying database more than once before you can upgrade the geodatabase.

The geodatabase version for an enterprise geodatabase is stored in a system table and is available to the geodatabase administrator from the Database Properties dialog box. The version indicates what client version you used to create or upgrade the geodatabase. This geodatabase version is primarily used by Esri Support to troubleshoot issues; it does not entirely reflect the functionality available to you, because a lot of geodatabase functionality is implemented in the clients that access the geodatabase and not in the geodatabase itself.

The version for file geodatabases has not changed since 10.1. The version for mobile geodatabases has not changed since ArcGIS Pro 2.7.

The following rules apply for compatibility:

  • Use supported versions of ArcGIS for your clients and geodatabase.
  • You must store your enterprise geodatabase in a database release that is supported for both the geodatabase and ArcGIS release you use. The database client you install on the ArcGIS client machine must also be supported for your ArcGIS release. See the following pages for more information about supported database and database client releases. Use the Other versions drop-down list to see information for older software releases and other operating systems.
  • ArcGIS clients also include the API for that client. Therefore, the same mixed release rules apply when accessing the geodatabase using API.
  • When you use clients that connect to an ArcGIS Server service, such as ArcGIS Field Maps or ArcGIS Survey123, ArcGIS Server is actually the client to the geodatabase. For these cases, make sure your ArcGIS Server and geodatabase versions are compatible.
  • Older ArcGIS clients can open, query, edit, and save data in newer release geodatabases, but they cannot open datasets that participate in newer functionality. You will encounter the following error messages when you try to access a newer type of dataset from an older ArcGIS client:

    The version of the Geodatabase client is incompatible with the dataset and cannot open it.

    Failed to add data, unsupported data type.

  • To connect from a newer ArcGIS client to an older release enterprise geodatabase, apply the latest patch to the geodatabase for its release if one exists.
  • If you use geodatabase replication, the child replica geodatabase must be the same geodatabase release as or a later release than the parent replica geodatabase.
  • See Utility network compatibility in the ArcGIS Pro help for information about utility network and ArcGIS client compatibility.
  • The following datasets created or upgraded using ArcGIS Pro 3.0 and later or ArcGIS Server 11.0 and later cannot be used in ArcGIS Pro 2.9 and earlier or ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1 and earlier:
    • Annotation datasets
    • Dimensions
  • You cannot use catalog datasets in ArcGIS Pro 3.0 and earlier or ArcGIS Enterprise 11.0 and earlier.
  • Starting with ArcGIS Pro 3.2 and ArcGIS Enterprise 11.2, catalog datasets have a new internal version number. That has the following implications:
    • The catalog datasets you create in ArcGIS Pro 3.2 and subsequent releases or the catalog datasets you create using the tools installed with ArcGIS Server 11.2 and subsequent releases cannot be used with earlier software releases.
    • To use tools in ArcGIS Pro 3.3 or ArcGIS Server 11.3 to add items or add portal items to a catalog dataset you created in ArcGIS Pro 3.1 or ArcGIS Server 11.1, you must upgrade the catalog dataset.
    • You cannot access upgraded catalog datasets in ArcGIS Pro 3.1 or earlier or ArcGIS Enterprise 11.1 or earlier.
  • 11.2.0 is the minimum enterprise geodatabase version to support oriented imagery layers. You cannot use oriented imagery layers in ArcGIS Pro 3.1 and earlier or ArcGIS Enterprise 11.1 and earlier.
  • 11.2.0 is the minimum enterprise geodatabase version to support 64-bit object IDs, big integers, date only, time only, and timestamp with offset data types. Not all data types are supported in all database management systems. See the data type page for the database type you are using.
  • You cannot create, paste, or import tables or feature classes containing date only, time only, timestamp offset, big integer, or 64-bit object ID fields into a file geodatabase version earlier than 10.0.

When to upgrade a geodatabase

You must upgrade your geodatabase if any of the following is true:

  • The client release you are using cannot connect to the geodatabase release you want to use. For enterprise geodatabases, the client release you use may not be able to connect to the database management system version you use, and you need to upgrade the database, database client, and the geodatabase to connect from a newer client.
  • You need functionality that is available only if you use a newer release of the geodatabase. Check each version of What's new in ArcGIS Pro for information about new functionality and dataset types in the geodatabase. Also check the compatibility rules in the section above. Be aware that when you create or upgrade certain types of datasets, such as a parcel fabric or a network dataset, older clients may not be able to access the dataset.
  • Your enterprise geodatabase contains branch versioned data, and you have not already applied any of the Branch Versioning General patches and upgraded.

For more information about geodatabase upgrades, see the upgrade topics for the type of geodatabase you are using:

File geodatabases

Upgrade a file geodatabase

Geodatabases in Db2

Upgrade a geodatabase in Db2

Geodatabases in Oracle

Upgrade a geodatabase in Oracle

Geodatabases in PostgreSQL

Upgrade a geodatabase in PostgreSQL

Geodatabases in SAP HANA

Upgrade a geodatabase in SAP HANA

Geodatabases in SQL Server

Upgrade a geodatabase in SQL Server