3 comments on “Feature Class vs Query Layer vs Spatial View

  1. I was the one that previously commented, or asked, about query layer performance. Thanks for generating a quick comparison and posting the numbers. The numbers above generally line up with what I recall seeing right after query layers were introduced in ArcGIS 10.0.

    Looking at 1:10,000 and larger map scales, I would agree that query layers are a bit slower but likely not noticeable given response times are 1/10th of a second or faster. By 1:50,000 and smaller, the query layers are consistently taking 65%-75% longer. With sub-second response times, taking 70% longer might be a worthwhile tradeoff given the flexibilty that query layers offer. Once response times get into the seconds, 70% longer response times are not nearly adequate to say query layers can replace native/old-school spatial views.

    I am trying to think of working with 1:5000 scale maps. I can envision a college campus map, neighborhood map, or even a campground map. Honestly, I don’t see much of anything in that scale in my line of work. I work mostly in the 1:500,000 to 1:5,000,000 scale, and having multiple layers take 70% longer to load through query layers becomes quite problematic. I know some would say there are other options like basemaps when one gets to those scales, but basemaps aren’t also possible given the data or other IT constraints.

    It isn’t uncommon for Esri to retire some tools or functionality before replacements are truly replacements. SDE command line tools is another recent example. I don’t have a problem with Esri moving away from Windows command line tools, but there are still several SDE command line functions that aren’t available through ArcPy yet, even after ArcPy being around for several versions.

  2. This is an interesting read, and something we’d also encountered when moving to 10.1 from 9.3. Our findings were very similar to Trevor’s, and as Joshua mentioned, there are still several things missing from the GP environment compared to command line. Also, why the heck can’t a GP-produced spatial view be registered with the gdb (so you can create metadata)???

    An interesting addition to the mix is comparing the performance of a spatial view created with command line tools against a feature class stored in SDE_binary storage type. In our environment, we found this setup to be even faster than the standalone feature class stored in SQL Server geometry type.

    Hopefully the GUI-ification of command line continues, but we’re not out of the woods yet!

  3. Regarding GUI-fication, my concern is when command line and script-able options are replaced with only a GUI. There is value in having GUIs for managing GIS data, especially for individuals whose primary job isn’t managing spatial data, but I don’t view GUIs as substitutes to command line or script-able options. If I want to list the locks on 15 geodatabases, I don’t want to have to connect to each one in ArcCatalog and going through the Administration tabs.

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