Benefits of Using a Connection

Named tables that use JDBC databases, GeoPackage files, TAB files, or shapefiles as their datasource can leverage connections in Spectrum Spatial. For TAB and shapefiles, this was not the case in older versions of the product; instead, named tables were created with inline references to their datasources.

An inline reference is a direct reference that specifies the full path to the TAB or shapefile that serves as the table’s datasource: D:\Spectrum Spatial\Data\tabfiles\

A connection-based reference specifies the location of the datasource relative to the path defined in the connection; for example, MySpatialData + \tabfiles\ where MySpatialData is a connection that points to D:\Spectrum Spatial\Data.

Named tables with inline references should be updated to use connections. You are not required to add connections to these types of tables, but there are benefits to doing so:
  • You can easily modify a named table to use another datasource if needed without needing to update any of the applications or dataflows that use this table. The table will simply start using the data from the new datasource.
  • You can physically move your data (files and folders) then make a single change to the connection to make your resources still work. For example, you have your data in D:\Spatial Data, which is the source folder for your connection. Under this folder, you have several other folders that contain TAB files for which you have named tables. If you move the data to E:\Spectrum\Spatial Data, all of your named tables will break. To fix them, you only need to edit the connection to change the source folder from D:\Spatial Data to E:\Spectrum\Spatial Data.
  • You can edit a named table in Spectrum Spatial™ Manager if it uses a connection.