For those of you who work with feature data in both AutoCAD and ArcGIS applications, check out the latest installment of the no-cost plug-in ArcGIS for AutoCAD. The CAD team added support for ArcGIS image and feature services. This release also delivers a long requested enhancement to be able to edit and extract geodatabase features from within an AutoCAD session.
You can edit geodatabase features using standard AutoCAD commands, and then push your changes back to the source enterprise geodatabase – provided that you have write permissions. The plug-in manages the data using AutoCAD drawing layers that it creates on the fly and tracks the changes. Any AutoCAD object that is a valid geometry type within the data extent of the service and placed on these layers is accepted as a member of the feature class. When you are finished editing, you can then synchronize your changes with the feature service.
You can also extract ArcGIS features outright from a service and disconnect them permanently from the feature service. This can be useful if all you need is to export the features to your AutoCAD drawing.
The plug-in includes access to several ArcGIS online locator services. The Locate tool accepts single-line input similar to other Internet locator services and adds an AutoCAD point entity to the drawing at its known coordinate location. The point features are created as members of the feature class ESRI_Locations which makes zooming to them a simple matter of opening the attribute table viewer and using the Zoom to Selected Features tool.