Before you create a geodatabase, you must decide what kind of geodatabase you need. There are three kinds of geodatabases from which to choose:
- A file geodatabase stores datasets in a folder of files on your computer. Each dataset is held as a file and can be up to 1 TB in size (and you can optionally configure a file geodatabase to store much larger datasets). File geodatabases can be used across platforms and can be compressed and encrypted for read-only, secure use.
- A personal geodatabase stores its datasets in a Microsoft Access .mdb file on disk. The storage sizes of personal geodatabases are effectively limited to between 250 and 500 MB for the entire geodatabase and are only supported on Windows. Users often need larger storage for their datasets, so they choose file or ArcSDE geodatabases.
- An enterprise geodatabase, sometimes also referred to as a multuser geodatabase, stores datasets in a number of optional DBMSs including the following:
- IBM DB2
- IBM Informix
- Microsoft SQL Server
If you want to use historical archives in your geodatabase, replicate your data, access simple data using SQL, or concurrently edit data without locking it, you need to use enterprise geodatabases.
Learn more about the Types of geodatabases