Top 5 List for Troubleshooting SDE Connections
Top 5 List for Troubleshooting SDE Connections

With the new release of the Subscription Advantage Pack for Map 2011 that includes the new FDO provider for ArcGIS, I thought I'd take a few minutes to list a few troubleshooting tips for making your connections to SDE databases.

First off, congrats for living on the edge and taking a risk.  By taking on the challenge of leveraging your GIS data in your CAD environment directly from the GIS repository definitely earns you kudos in my book!

Ok, now down to the good stuff.  Here is my Top 5 list for troubleshooting SDE connections from Map:

1) Is your version of SDE supported?  The list below is the supported versions of SDE for Map 2011:

•   ArcSDE 9.1
•   ArcSDE 9.2
•   ArcSDE 9.3
•   ArcSDE 9.3.1 – NEW for 2011!
2)  Wondering what version of AutoCAD Map 3D supports what versions of SDE?
  •  Map 2008 – ArcSDE 9.1*
  •  Map 2009 – supports ArcSDE 9.1 and 9.2
  • Map 2010 - supports ArcSDE 9.1, 9.2, 9.3
  • Map 2011 – supports ArcSDE 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and 9.3.1.
    • Also have the ability to add the new FDO provider for ArcGIS that is part of the Subscription Advantage Pack for Map 2011, this provides access to ArcGIS geodatabases included PGDB, FBDB and SDE geodatabases (32 bit OS option only at this time)

*Note: The FDO Provider for ArcSDE included with AutoCAD Map 3D 2008 can be updated with an open source version that will enable connections to ArcSDE 9.2. Visit the OSGeowebsite to download the provider and installation instructions and see the Autodesk technical white paper FDO Data Access Technology - New FDO Providers at for further information.

3) Are the necessary dll files from the ESRI software copied and pasted into this directory?
C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Map 3D 2010\FDO\bin

Required dll files are:Sde troubleshoot

4) Unsure of server name, instance name, or login credentials?

  • Server name can either be the server name of where the SDE service is running, or the IP address.  If the server name is your desired choice, you will need to
  • Instance name is the port number the SDE service is using, the default is 5151.  Check with your GIS manager if the default does not work, they may have used another port number.
  • Login credentials are set within the SDE database (either Oracle or SDE), you can get this info from your GIS manager.  The username and password are NOT your Windows login credentials!  Don't assume you have a user account set up.

Common error message when you don't have all 3 of these elements correct:

Sde error 

5) Trying to use a Direct Connect to SDE?

Here is an example of the prep work you need to do to make a successful direct connections to SDE using a SQL Server database.  The same process is outlined in the HELP for Map 3D 2011.  Please note that this is NOT an option while using the new FDO provider for ArcGIS as parf of the Map 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack, ONLY with the out-of-the box FDO ArcSDE connection.

1.  Set up connections to the underlying databases.
Install the SQL Native client software on the client machine where you run AutoCAD Map 3D.
Open the SQL Server port (for example, 1433) on the database machine firewall.
Set the target SQL Server database to support remote connect.
Test your connection to the target database using SQL Server Management Studio.

2.  Copy additional DLL files into the fdo\bin directory. Because the connection does not use the separate ArcSDE server process, the client needs additional ArcSDE libraries. These DLL files are available in the ArcSDE SDK.

  • gsrvrsql93.dll
  • sdesqlsrvr93.dll
  • xerces-c_2_7.dll
  • icuuc22.dll
  • icudt22l.dll

3.  Adjust the connection parameters.
Server name: Specify the server name or the IP address.
Instance name: If you use the default instance of MSSQLSERVER, enter sde:sqlserver:. Otherwise, enter sde:sqlserver:\.
User name/password: Specify the user name that is valid for the SQL Server database.
Datastore: Enter the datastore name manually, for example, sde.
Version: Enter the version manually. It defaults to the root version if you do not specify the version.

And finally, here are some known limitations while using the SDE connections within Map -

  • FDO Provider for ArcSDE must abide by limitations of the ArcSDE technology to which it connects.
  • The ArcSDE API does not support the following advanced functionality found in the ArcObjects API and the newer ArcGIS Server API:
    • Advanced geometries, such as Bezier curves and ellipses
    • Relationships
    • Topology
    • Networks
    • Linear referencing
  • If ArcSDE encounters curved segments, it will automatically tessellate them
  • No support for Raster files within an ArcSDE database - Must move Raster files to a windows folder to utilize them in Map 3D, and use the Raster FDO provider

So keep up the great CAD and GIS integration, it's what makes AutoCAD Map 3D such a great tool for CAD and GIS users!