Trimble Business Center

Tip #146: Manage GIS Connections

By Erin Johnson posted 04-02-2021 14:08

  

Good morning TBC’ers! Are you eager to learn more about GIS workflows in TBC after last week’s tip on working with GIS data sources? Well, today I will show you how to establish a connection to a GIS data source with the GIS Connection Manager. A user can specify a connection name for easy referencing when using other GIS commands that require the connection. One or more GIS data connections can be stored in your VCE project, allowing them to be reused when required and shared through project templates. 

 

TBC allows you to connect with any of the following types of GIS data sources by using software components called providers:

  • ArcGIS Enterprise Geodatabase Provider: This provider uses Esri ArcObjects to connect to and manage the downloading of schema and uploading of features from and to an ArcGIS enterprise geodatabase or file geodatabase. 
  • File Geodatabase Provider: This provider manages the downloading of schema and uploading of features from and to file geodatabases. 
  • Shapefile Provider: This provider manages the downloading of schema and uploading of features from and to shapefiles. 
 

To set up a new GIS data source connection in TBC, follow these steps:

 
1. Navigate to the GIS Ribbon, and select GIS Connection Manager under Connection:

 
2. Click the New button:

 
3. In the Connection name field, enter a reference name for the connection that you can select when using the Get GIS Schema command or Write Features to GIS command:

 
4. In the Data source type drop-down list, select the source type to which you want to connect. For today’s example, I will select File geodatabase provider, and leave the Use feature name instead of alias box unchecked:

  

Here is more information on the workflows for the three types of data sources that you can upload: 

 
  • ArcGIS Enterprise Geodatabase Provider: Check or uncheck the Use feature name instead of alias check box to select to use either GIS feature class names (checked) or feature class aliases (unchecked) for the creation of corresponding feature codes in the Feature Definition file. Aliases tend to be more descriptive than names, but they can be very long, or identical for different feature classes. Names are always unique.I. Click the Connect button. II. Then, in the Select a Geodatabase dialog, do either of the following:A. To connect to an ArcGIS Enterprise geodatabase, locate the geodatabase connection (.sde) in the Database Connections folder and click ConnectB. To connect to a file geodatabase, locate the geodatabase file (.gdb) in the Folder Connections folder and click Connect. Properties for the connection are displayed in the Properties list. 

      Notes

      • To connect to an ArcGIS Enterprise geodatabase, you must first create a connection (.sde) to it in ArcGIS for desktop. See the ArcGIS documentation for additional information.
      • Connections to data source types other than ArcGIS Enterprise geodatabase and file geodatabase are not supported.
      • The Select a Geodatabase dialog is a standard ArcGIS dialog over which TBC has only limited control; exercise care when using this dialog.
      • See your ArcGIS user documentation to determine which versions of the product are supported on the various versions of the Windows operating system.
       
      • File Geodatabase Provider: Check or uncheck the Use feature name instead of alias check box to select to use either GIS feature class names (checked) or feature class aliases (unchecked) for the creation of corresponding feature codes in the Feature Definition file. Aliases tend to be more descriptive than names, but they can be very long, or identical for different feature classes. Names are always unique. I. Click the Connect button.II. Then, in the Browse for Folder dialog, select the folder containing the file geodatabase you want to include in the connection and click OK. The file geodatabase path is displayed in the Properties list. 

      Note

      • The ArcGIS Enterprise geodatabase provider and the file geodatabase provider do not support the updating of non-simple feature types in geodatabases, such as feature classes involved in geometric networks and topologies. In addition, the file geodatabase provider does not feature classes involved in relationship classes.
       
      • Shapefile ProviderI. Click the Connect button.II. Then, in the Open dialog, select one or more shapefiles that you want to include in the connection and click Open. Properties for the connection are displayed in the Properties list.

      Notes:

      • To avoid serious errors when writing data to, or reading data from, the GIS data source, the coordinate system specified in your TBC project must match the coordinate system specified in the GIS data source. Or, you must specify a resolution if there is a mismatch.
      • TBC attempts to find a Trimble coordinate system that exactly matches the coordinate system specified in the GIS data source (which is typically in OGC WKT format). If an exact match cannot be found, an Error dialog displays stating that a new coordinate system will be constructed based on available parameters in the GIS coordinate system.
      • If the Trimble coordinate system matching the GIS coordinate system (or constructed for it based on available parameters) does not match the coordinate system currently specified in the project, the GIS Coordinate System Mapping dialog displays. Use it to specify whether to (1) change the project coordinate system to match the GIS coordinate system and not transform grid coordinates, (2) keep both coordinate systems and transform the grid coordinates, or (3) consider the project and GIS coordinate systems to be the same and not transform coordinates. Click OK after making your selection.
      • If the GIS data source includes multiple coordinate systems, you are prompted to either use the first one found or cancel the connection.
      • Feature coordinate elevations will be used when writing features to GIS connections with 3D coordinates. 
       
      5.  The new file geodatabase path is displayed under Properties after the GIS data source connection is made:

       
      6. When you are done, click Close.
       

      You are now ready to download (get) a GIS schema containing feature definitions from the selected GIS data source and upload (write) processed feature data matching the schema to the GIS data source. 

       

      To change the name of an existing GIS data source connection, follow these steps:

      1. Open the GIS Connection Manager command pane.
      2. In the Connections list, select the connection you want to edit.
      3. In the Name field, enter edits as necessary.
      4. When you are done, click Close
       

      To remove a GIS data source connection, follow these steps:

      1. Open the GIS Connection Manager command pane.
      2. In the Connection list, select the connection you want to remove. 
      3. Click Remove.
      4. When you are done, click Close
       

      I hope this tip comes in handy next time you integrate your GIS & TBC workflows! 

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