Show Me the Edits!

May 2, 2012 — Dennise Ramirez

When people repeat the famous movie quote “Show me the money,” they either want to know how much they will get paid for something or want to see evidence that something is valuable or worth paying for. Our tool provides the latter.

I’m sure at some point you have wished to see edits of versions that were posted some time ago, but you cannot because they no longer exist in your system and would require you to restore a backup of your database, refer to a snap shot (usually pdf format) of the version right before it was posted or hope that nobody else made edits in that area, and use SDE.Default to analyze it.

We have come up with a solution which involves the All Edits Report tool. If you have been reading our articles you will probably think “Here they go again with the All Edits Report tool,” but if this is your first time, you should feel special as not only do you get to learn about our tool, but also see the enhancements we have incorporated.

What does the tool do?


This tool provides users the ability to track edits that were made within a version in the Geodatabase. It accomplishes this by analyzing the version before it gets posted to create a textual and graphical report of all edits (additions, changes and deletions) that have occurred within the version

What is new?


We thought saving your edits was a good idea, but the ability to load those edits at a later time (after the version has been posted and deleted) and to be able to see them graphically is an even better idea. You are probably thinking “how is this functionality useful to our utility?” Well… it is useful in many ways! Here are a few:


  • You can load the edits of a version that no longer exists in your system and visualize them as if you were in the original version.
  • Rather than creating a snap shot or pdf of the version before it gets posted to Default, you can simply load it at any time.
  • Have you ever had a case where features were magically deleted from your database and you do not know who did it? Now you do, because every edit is saved to the database.
  • Would you like to know how many versions were posted on a given day by X user? A simple search query will give you those results.

What changes do I have to do to my database in order to have this tool?

The tool requires three tables and three feature classes. The information stored in the tables ranges from version ID all the way to attribute information, and the information stored in the feature classes is shape information along with an ID to link it back to the tables.



Feature Classes:


The feature classes and tables that the All Edits Report tool uses do not need to be versioned.


How does the tool work?


In order for the tool to work, there must be reports saved in the database. Assuming there are reports, the tool retrieves records based on the user’s search criteria and allows them to select a particular version to load its edits (textual and graphical.)

The example on the right shows records where the Report Date equals January 18th, 2012 and ignores Version Name, Owner and Create Date values.

From the results, the user can select a version (i.e. SN_370) and click on the OK button to load all edits. The following window comes up:


If you are familiar with the All Edits Tool, you might be wondering why the “Run QAQC”, “Save to DB” and “Edit Selected” buttons are disabled? Well… we are loading edits of a version that is no longer active in your system, therefore there is no need for those buttons. But, the rest of the functionality is there and more importantly… you can see the edits.


Visualize an individual edit:


View attributes:


Export to a text file:


Once you have reviewed the version, you can load another version from the results criteria or change your criteria to retrieve new records. The edits have been shown!

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Dennise Ramirez

Dennise Ramirez moved to the US from Bolivia to attend college at the University of Colorado. Since graduating, she has worked with many leading GIS utility firms including Kema, Miner & Miner, and Enspiria Solutions, where she has focused on custom development initiatives both inside and related to Esri GIS. Read more

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