Benefits of Using a Connection

Named tables that use JDBC databases, GeoPackage files, TAB files, or shapefiles as their data source leverage connections in Spectrum Spatial.

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

In older versions of the product, for TAB and shapefiles, named tables were created with in-line references to their data sources. An in-line reference had the full path, so a named connection was not used.

Spectrum Spatial Manager and the Map Uploader do not create in-line references. If such tables exist, they will work with the spatial feature and mapping services.

If a named table with an in-line reference exists, you cannot modify it. We recommend deleting it and replacing it with a named table that uses a named connection. The benefits of doing so are:

  • You can easily modify a named table to use another data source if needed without needing to update any of the applications or dataflows that use this table. The table will start using the data from the new data source.
  • 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.