You can share data in a file geodatabase with other people and apply a license that determines the length of time they can use the data or whether they can export feature classes.
For example, if you are a professor and want to provide data to your students for one semester, you can give the students a file geodatabase that contains data that is licensed to expire at the end of the semester. Or, if you hire a contractor to analyze a set of data but you don't want the contractor to export the data, you can provide the contractor with a file geodatabase that is licensed to not allow data exports.
To achieve this, do the following:
- Create a file geodatabase.
- Load the data you want to restrict using a license.
- Designate the file geodatabase as licensed and generate a license definition file.
- Generate a license file.
- Apply the license to an ArcGIS client.
Create a file geodatabase
You will be sending the file geodatabase to someone else, so create one specifically for this purpose. See Create a file geodatabase if you need instructions.
Note the following information about licensed file geodatabases and client releases:
- You can license ArcGIS 10 or later release uncompressed geodatabases using an ArcGIS 10.3 client or newer.
- You can license ArcGIS 10.1 or later release compressed geodatabases using an ArcGIS 10.3 client or newer.
- ArcGIS 10.1 and newer release clients can consume licened file geodatabases, so be sure the person you're sending the file geodatabase to has at least ArcGIS 10.1.
Load restricted-use data
Load all the data to the file geodatabase to which you want to apply time or export restrictions. Be sure you have all the data you want to restrict in the file geodatabase when you apply the license. You can add more data later that is not restricted, but you cannot add more data that is restricted. To apply restrictions to more data later, you must license a new file geodatabase.
There are many ways to load data to a file geodatabase. For information on how to do this, see the topics in Adding datasets and other geodatabase elements.
License the file geodatabase
Run the Generate Licensed File Geodatabase tool or a script that calls the tool to license the file geodatabase you created and populated with data.
The Generate Licensed File Geodatabase tool modifies the file geodatabase to support data licensing and creates a license definition file (*.licdef). The license definition file includes the information required to license data for distribution. You will need this file to generate a license file.
Once licensed, the file geodatabase cannot be unlicensed. Also, the geodatabase's contents cannot be displayed in ArcGIS until a license file (*.sdlic) is created and applied to the client.
Generate a license file
Use the Generate File Geodatabase License tool or a Python script that calls the tool to define and generate a license file.
When defining the license file, you have the option to allow an end user to export the feature classes within the file geodatabase. By default, feature classes cannot be exported with the data license file installed. When defining the license file, you also have the option to set an expiration date for the license file, after which date the file geodatabase's contents can no longer be displayed. This allows a set term for a licensed geodatabase. For example, if you choose to have access expire on April 7th, starting on April 8th, the licensed data will no longer be accessible. By default, no expiration date value is set, which means the data license file will never expire.
Once the license has been generated, any additional data loaded to the file geodatabase will not be licensed. Therefore, if you want to share other data that does not need to be licensed, you can add it now.
Apply the license to the client
Any ArcGIS client that needs to access the licensed data must have the license file installed. You and anyone you send the geodatabase and license file to must configure ArcGIS clients to access the data.
Apply a license to ArcGIS for Desktop
Use ArcGIS Administrator to apply the license for a file geodatabase.
- Start ArcGIS Administrator.
- Open the Data Licenses folder.
- Click Add a license.
- Choose the license (.sdlic) file and click Open.
The license is added to the Data Licenses Information list. You can expand License Information to see the license expiration date, if one exists, and whether the data is licensed for export.
- Click OK.
Apply a license to ArcGIS for Server
There is a licensing tool installed with ArcGIS for Server that you can use to recognize the file geodatabase license.
On a Windows server
Open a command prompt and run the DataLicInstall tool, located at <ArcGIS Server Installation Directory>\Server\bin.
In the following example, the tool is run to apply the proj3.sdlic file found in C:\\data.
On a Linux server
Open a shell command and run the datalicinstall tool, located at <ArcGIS Server Installation Directory>/arcgis/server/tools.
In the following example, the tool is run to apply the proj3.sdlic file found in /usr/data.