Query Layers @ ArcGIS 10

With the growing popularity and prominence of spatial database types in commercial databases there is an increasing amount of spatial data that exists directly in a database. At ArcGIS 10 the team wanted to provide ArcGIS users with more open access to their geographic information. To address this, Query Layers functionality was added to give users direct access to this information without requiring them to export the information into a geodatabase.


Query Layers from a functional standpoint are very simple: write a query, get a layer. A Query Layer is just a layer or stand alone table in ArcGIS that is defined by a SQL query. Any valid SQL can be used to generate the query as long as the result set returned by the query conforms to ArcGIS data modeling standards (standards such as one shape field, one spatial reference, etc…). The Query Layers functionality supports access to any of the databases supported by ArcGIS (Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, DB2 and Informix) and any of the spatial types available for those database platforms.


The bottom line is incorporating geographic information into GIS projects is now quick and simple, independent of where that information is stored. For more information on Query Layers, take a look at:


Query Layer Documentation 


Query Layer Demo



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  1. royjackson says:

    This is going to be great! No more spatial view command line pain with the SDE service!!

  2. richardw says:

    Will this support views (as well as tables) with unique integer not null id + single SQL Server 2008 geography/geometry fields?

  3. brentardenpierce says:

    >Will this support views (as well as tables) with unique integer not null id + single SQL Server 2008 geography/geometry fields?

    Yes this will support both view and table objects in the database. If the result set defined by the query layer contains a spatial type field we will use the values in this field as features in ArcGIS. On SQL Server 2008 both Geometry and Geography spatial types are supported.

    Hope this helps,

  4. amire says:

    Will I be able to add sdo_geometry (oracle spatial geometry) by code. without letting the client to connect directly to the DB.

    I want to get the sdo_geometry from a web service. is it going to be possible?

  5. brentardenpierce says:


    You will be able to use this feature to add a layer to ArcMap which has a native SDO_Geometry column storing spatial information for the feature. This map document can then be published as an ArcGIS Server map service. In this way sdo_geometry information will be exposed through a web service.

    Programatically, you can use Arcobjects to connect to the Oracle database and create a ITable, IFeatureClass or ICursor/IFeatureCursor based on a SQL Query.

    In either case, to issue the query against the database the client will always need to make a connection to the database first.

    Hope this helps,

  6. dblanchett says:

    Are there any plans to allow for editable query layers in a future release? I am specifically interested in SQL Server.

  7. Kennethxu says:

    Hi dblanchet,

    for editing SQL Server spatial data within ArcMap, you can use ST-Links QMap, or some other third party tools. QMap is a free tool that have been using by many people within ArcGIS User community.

  8. sarals61 says:

    Are query layers supported in a arcgis server map service on linux?

  9. abenvin03 says:

    Will query layers support annotation?

  10. lask11 says:

    How about editable query layers for Oracle Spatial?