Having InfoAsset Planner stored as an enterprise database can make it more powerful in terms of multi-user editing and accessibility. However, this added power comes with additional complexity to review and consider.
Considering an Enterprise Database
There are certainly pros and cons to implementing enterprise which organizations should consider before deciding the direction they want to proceed. For more information, please contact Innovyze Support.
Things to consider include:
- InfoAsset Planner significantly alters enterprise feature classes - If the enterprise database is your database of record, know that InfoAsset Planner will need to add fields to any InfoAsset Planner facilities and will add many InfoAsset Planner specific tables.
- Users still will have to periodically run other InfoAsset Planner tools to bring model up-to-date - The facilities may stay up-to-date automatically since they are in an enterprise database, but the InfoAsset Planner COFs, LOFs, Risk tables, rehab planning results, etc. will have to be rerun in order to update the analysis results.
- InfoAsset Planner will likely not have many users needing access - Many times, InfoAsset Planner is used on a project-by-project basis and is not meant to be accessed by everyone at the same time. So the enterprise multi-user functionality may not be fully necessary.
- InfoAsset Planner does not need to be ‘real-time’ more of a project based software - Many users update InfoAsset Planner yearly, quarterly, or perhaps monthly, but typical users do not need up to the second suggested rehab actions and risk analysis. You run InfoAsset Planner, your plan your proposed rehab projects, you execute those projects, and then rerun InfoAsset Planner 3 months later to get the next batch of suggested work.
These are certainly some items to consider. Enterprise database implementation is certainly powerful and convenient though so the below steps explain how to implement.
Implementing InfoAsset Planner as an Enterprise Database
Creating an Enterprise Project Database
- Open a blank ArcMap document. Once ArcMap is open, make sure your InfoAsset Planner Extension is turned on (Customize > Extensions) and that your InfoAsset Planner toolbar is visible.
- Click Create New Database
- When specifying the project settings, select the Enterprise Geodatabase (ArcSDE) radio button.
Note: This option will only be available if you have access to a Standard/ArcEditor ArcGIS license or higher. With Basic or ArcView licenses, this option will be unavailable and greyed out.
- Click on the ellipsis and select a valid ArcSDE Connection File.
Note: InfoAsset Planner will NOT check whether this enterprise connection is already an InfoAsset Planner project database or not. If it is already an InfoAsset Planner database, additional, empty IMIC tables will be created within the connection. Because of this, it is recommended that users examine the ArcSDE Connection File before creating an InfoAsset Planner project database in that location.
- Alternatively, users can also add a new ArcSDE Connection File, select a particular database, and create new, default InfoAsset Planner feature classes and tables within this database.
Note: It is best to create database using the Database authentication option, not Windows. See FAQ's at the end for more details.
- After selecting an ArcSDE Connection File, click Add.
- Back in the main window, check the coordinate system option. Set the Coordinate System for the created InfoAsset Planner feature classes if not already populated.
- Finally, give the InfoAsset Planner project database a description and decide whether you want to use short table names. The Create InfoAsset Planner DB using short table names option should be checked if your database management system only allows table names up to 30 characters.
- For Oracle database management systems, you must check this option. Oracle databases do not allow greater than 30 characters for table names. So, all the newly created IMIC tables must have their names adjusted to be less than 30 characters.
- Click Create to create your new InfoAsset Planner project database within your ArcSDE Connection File.
- Note that this newly created enterprise geodatabase will only contain the empty, default InfoAsset Planner feature classes and tables. You will still have to use InfoAsset Planner, ArcMap, or ArcCatalog to import feature classes into your InfoAsset Planner project database and connect external feature classes and tables.
Opening an Enterprise InfoAsset Planner Project Database
- Instead of converting an ArcSDE Connection File into a new, default InfoAsset Planner project database, users can select the Open Database
With this option, InfoAsset Planner will only add the empty IMIC tables and will not create empty feature classes. Instead, the Facility and Asset Type Manager can be opened directly to utilize the currently existing feature classes as the InfoAsset Planner Facility Types. option to create a more customized project database.
- After selecting Open Database, users can select a system database, the InfoAsset Planner category, and any geodatabase – either personal, file, or enterprise.
- If an InfoAsset Planner project database is selected, it will open in the Table of Contents and in the map display.
- If a geodatabase is selected which is not yet an InfoAsset Planner database, users will be prompted to either create the default feature classes within this project database or open the facility layer mapping form. By selecting this option, users will be able to map their own custom feature classes to InfoAsset Planner’s built in Facility Types.
- After mapping your feature classes and fields to the InfoAsset Planner facility types, the InfoAsset Planner project will open in ArcMap.
Note: Nothing about this option is truly any different from opening a personal or file geodatabase. The same rules and series of steps that apply to opening personal and file geodatabases as InfoAsset Planner project databases, apply to enterprise geodatabases.
Converting Local Project Databases to Enterprise Databases
- If you have a local project database you’d like to export to an enterprise database, there is a built in InfoAsset Planner tool to do just this. Open the InfoAsset Planner project, click the InfoAsset Planner drop-down box and select Export InfoAsset Planner Project Database.
- The following window will now be displayed. Users can select the type of database they’d like to export the currently opened InfoAsset Planner project to. This list of database types includes personal geodatabases, file geodatabases, and enterprise geodatabases accessed via ArcSDE. Specify the third option to convert your local project database to access via ArcSDE.
- Now click the ellipsis
- The last option asks users to Export the InfoAsset Planner DB using short table names. Users should check this box only if Oracle is their database management system. Oracle databases do not allow features with names longer than 30 characters so some items may have to have their names shortened.
Note: When features have their names shortened, some of the name is lost and replaced with randomized characters to maintain a unique ID. Therefore, it is important that users make the first three characters and/or the last seven characters in their ID’s unique. These characters will be maintained as InfoAsset Planner shortens names to fit the 30 characters limit.
- Once all these options have been set, click Next. The following window will appear showing all items within the current InfoAsset Planner project. Users can select which feature classes and tables they would like to export to an enterprise database.
Note: The most important items to export to enterprise are ssOutput, Stand-alone Tables, and Stand-alone Feature Classes. These are the features which separate the database from being an ordinary geodatabase and instead an InfoAsset Planner project database. Users may export the Sewer/Water Features and Sewer/Water_Network items as well, but they may also want to remap these to current enterprise features instead. If users are planning on maintaining these features within an enterprise database, there is no need to export additional copies into the database. Instead users can remap these features after the rest of the project database is exported.
- After selecting, the desired features to export, click Export. InfoAsset Planner will then export the specified feature classes/tables to the set location. It may take some time for InfoAsset Planner to run through the list. Successfully exported features will be indicated with a green checkmark.
Note: Users can check/uncheck features while InfoAsset Planner is exporting.
- InfoAsset Planner will prompt user when export is complete. Click OK and close the export window.
- Users can now verify that the export was done successfully using ArcCatalog. A new map document (.mxd) can now be created and linked to the enterprise database or the old map document can be updated to pull feature classes and tables from the enterprise location instead of the local copy.
Q: In general, do InfoAsset Planner enterprise databases function any differently compared to databases?
A: Not really. The only items which differentiate InfoAsset Planner databases of any type from standard geodatabases are the IMIC tables within the project database which the InfoAsset Planner program is designed to read. In general, the same database management system and enterprise rules apply to an InfoAsset Planner project geodatabase as any other geodatabase stored via ArcSDE.
Q: Is InfoAsset Planner functionality limited by using an enterprise database as the project database?
A: No, InfoAsset Planner should function the same way regardless of whether the project database is local or accessed via ArcSDE.
Q: Are there any added benefits in InfoAsset Planner when using an enterprise accessed database?
A: Other than being able have InfoAsset Planner connected directly to your organizations enterprise data, not really. InfoAsset Planner possesses the same functionalities regardless of the project database location.
Q: Do InfoAsset Planner tables such as my CoFs, LoFs, and Risk analyses update automatically since they are connected to ArcSDE?
A: No, these tables will not update unless you rerun the specified InfoAsset Planner analysis. Any enterprise feature classes/tables connected to these CoFs or LoFs will update according to your enterprise specifications, but the CoF/LoF tables themselves will not update until they are rerun.
For example, say a user has a CoF based on the proximity of gravity mains to interstates. The interstate feature class is updated due to a recent construction project. This update is now reflected in the Table of Contents, map display and attribute table for the interstate feature class, but the CoF has not changed yet. If the InfoAsset Planner user reruns the CoF, now the CoF will read the new interstate information and update to the latest changes.
Q: Does InfoAsset Planner run slower with enterprise project databases?
A: Possibly, but hopefully not! The speed of InfoAsset Planner depends largely on ArcGIS; the faster ArcGIS can work, the faster InfoAsset Planner should run as well. If you have noticed ArcGIS running slower as an enterprise geodatabase compared to local databases, chances are InfoAsset Planner will run slower as well. Regardless, enterprise InfoAsset Planner project databases should be faster and more efficient then trying to share a file geodatabase via a network.
Q: Can InfoAsset Planner use Windows authentication when creating an enterprise connection?
A: No, Windows authentication will carry over the username and special characters when creating and naming the tables in your new InfoAsset Planner enterprise database. This causes 2 issues; (1) InfoAsset Planner can’t handle the special characters and (2) if another user logs into that database they won’t be able to see the tables since they are linked to the first user.
An alternative is to use database authentication. This removes the special characters and allows for all windows users to read the database.