Most of the information required to connect to a database or enterprise geodatabase from ArcGIS is known by you, the geodatabase administrator. You must send this information to people in your organization so they can create database connection files. As an alternative to this, you can create the connection files for them. You can either send these connection files to people who need to connect, and they can put them in their user profiles on their client computers, or you can place them on a centralized server for other people to access.
Some factors to consider before doing this are which login or logins you want used in the connection files, how you will redistribute the files if they change, and how many maps and services may be affected if the file or its location does change. Additionally, be aware that if you create a connection file in ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop or a later release, or using the Create Database Connection tool, previous release ArcGIS clients cannot use the connection file. For those users, you can use the Create ArcSDE Connection File tool to preconfigure a connection file.
The following steps describe how to create a database connection file in ArcGIS Desktop and share it with other users.
- If you are going to place the connection file on a Windows server for all users to access, create the directory on the server, share it, and grant permissions on it.
- Start ArcCatalog.
- Double-click the Database Connections folder in the Catalog tree to expand it.
- Double-click Add Database Connection.
The Database Connection dialog box opens.
- Provide the appropriate connection information as described in Database connections in ArcMap.
- If you are placing the connection file in a shared directory on a server, do the following:
- Open Windows Explorer on the computer where you created the connection file.
- Navigate to Users > <user_name> > AppData > Roaming > ESRI > Desktop<release#> > ArcCatalog.
The file has an extension of .sde.
- Copy the connection file.
- Navigate to the shared directory on the server. Be sure to use a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path to the location.
- Paste the connection file in the shared directory.
- Notify users of the UNC path to the shared directory so they can create a folder connection using this UNC location in ArcGIS Desktop.
- If you are sending the file to users, you can do one of the following:
- Send the file to them in an e-mail with instructions on where to place the file on their computers.
- Place the file in a location from which users can copy the file to their client computers and send them instructions with this location.