ArcGIS 10 and AutoCAD Map 3D 2012: drop ArcSDE and all the dll dependancies!

Another big topic: accessing ArcGIS Server 10 with AutoCAD Map 3D. Usually you will see demos and blog posts on how to move the dlls of the ArcGIS Runtime or Map install into the FDO folder of AutoCAD Map 3D so you can use ArcSDE.

What if you usually connect ArcMap with Direct Connect and don’t even want to use SDE?
What if you only have Map 3D and don’t want to buy the ArcGIS runtime?

In this video, I show the traditional ArcSDE way of connecting to ArcGIS 10 server, and then I show how you can set up your ArcGIS data so that it can be viewed AND edited by 3rd party products such as AutoCAD Map 3D 2012.

14 Responses to “ArcGIS 10 and AutoCAD Map 3D 2012: drop ArcSDE and all the dll dependancies!”

  1. 1 Paul
    February 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for the tip this can be a great benefit. I wanted to bring up a caveat. If you are in an editing environment where your SDE data is versioned, this method can have unexpected results. For instance, if AutoCAD is used to directly edit in the base table while the same feature is edited in a version before the AutoCAD edit is saved, the AutoCAD edit will be lost when the version edit is compressed back to the base table.

  2. February 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks for that note. It is true if you are using Versioning that this will bypass that process. Be careful in that case.

  3. 3 Nicole Jung
    August 1, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Hi Gordon, Thanks as usual you do great work! do you know if this works on 2011? using a 64 bit machine?

  4. August 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Definitely, it is just pointing to the native database, so those ESRI 32/64bit issues go away when you expose the native geometries in the table.

  5. 5 Andrew
    June 27, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Hi Gordon,
    What about creating new data with regards to object ID’s they automaticly update in ArcGIS but not in AutoCAD and and if you manually enter them in AutoCAD ArcGIS does not recognise this. Also arc/curves they don’t seem to be supported properly. When drawn in one software and displayed in the other (if they show at all) converts arc’s to segmented lines. That has been the outcome from my testing, would that be accurate or is there a way to make it work? Cheers

  6. June 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Yes, ironically, ArcGIS does not support arcs very well.


  7. 7 Rudy
    August 14, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I’ve tried this but editing in AutoCad i’m receiving the following error:
    It seems the objectid is not generated.

    Feature was not saved in the target feature source.
    3=RDBMS: [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Cannot insert the value NULL into column ‘OBJECTID’, table ‘vmPro.mapbase.BUILDINGPOLYGON’; column does not allow nulls. INSERT fails.
    1=Failed to execute Fdo command.
    Failed to insert feature.
    mapbase:BUILDINGPOLYGON (), Rev#
    Failed to save edit set.
    Rollback failed for all feature sources.
    Failed to insert feature.
    Failed to execute Fdo command.
    RDBMS: [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Cannot insert the value NULL into column ‘OBJECTID’, table ‘vmPro.mapbase.BUILDINGPOLYGON’; column does not allow nulls. INSERT fails.
    Failed to save edit set.

  8. August 14, 2013 at 11:29 am

    It sounds like there is a constraint on that column.make sure you have typed something in that field before check in…

  9. 9 Rudy
    August 21, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I’ve folowed the process to change to edit in SQL Server Spatial. All i’ve done is to draw a polygon and press check in. It still seems that SDE is still managing the new Feature Class.

  10. 10 Gary
    November 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I’m kind of late to the party here, but this is very relevant to where we are at right now where I work. As of ArcGIS 10.1, GEOMETRY is now the default geometry storage type for SDE data in Sql Server, so much of this shouldn’t even be required anymore. The problem I see though is that when connecting with the Sql Server Spatial FDO provider I can’t theme out point and line feature classes in Map 3D, the style manager is treating all layers as if they are polygon features. Do you know of any way around this.

  11. November 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Gary.
    You should be able to choose Points, Lines or Polygons depending on the data in SQL Server.


  12. 12 Gary
    November 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    If you look at 2:18 of our video you will see that the continents_direct data is showing up in Map’s Display Manager with styles for point, line and polygon, even though it is a polygon only feature class. Try going through the same procedure with either a point or line feature class and see if you are still able to theme it out. I can’t.

  13. November 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Ah yes,
    when data coming from SQL Server or Oracle does not have the FDO Metadata to let Map 3D know what the data type is, AutoCAD Map 3D gives you all 3 types even though it might just be polygon or polyline.

    You can change how it looks in the legend – In Display Manager > Style Button.

    Uncheck the “Show in Layer List” to hide the non-types – for example, the points.

  14. 14 Gary
    November 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Oh #*^$, I’ve never noticed before the slider on the right that lets me scroll down to theme out the point and line styles, so all I was seeing was polygons. My bad, sorry for having wasted your time here. And thanks for the blog, I love your posts.

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Gordon Luckett

Arrow Geomatics Inc's Gordon Luckett


gordon dot luckett at arrowgeo dot com 1-519-837-9500 (Arrow Geomatics Inc.)

Checkout MapGuide Guy’s Youtube Channel



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