ESRI ArcObjects

Driver short name


Build dependencies

ESRI ArcObjects


This driver is considered for removal in GDAL 3.5. You are invited to convert any dataset in that format to another more common one. If you need this driver in future GDAL versions, create a ticket at (look first for an existing one first) to explain how critical it is for you (but the GDAL project may still remove it). To enable use of the deprecated driver the GDAL_ENABLE_DEPRECATED_DRIVER_AO configuration option / environment variable must be set to YES.


The OGR ArcObjects driver provides read-only access to ArcObjects based datasources. Since it uses the ESRI SDK, it has the requirement of needing an ESRI license to run. Nevertheless, this also means that the driver has full knowledge of ESRI abstractions. Among these, you have:

  • GeoDatabases:

    • Personal GeoDatabase (.mdb)

    • File GeoDatabase (.gdb)

    • Enterprise GeoDatabase (.sde).

  • ESRI Shapefiles

Although it has not been extended to do this yet (there hasn’t been a need), it can potentially also support the following GeoDatabase Abstractions

  • Annotation and Dimension feature classes

  • Relationship Classes

  • Networks (GN and ND)

  • Topologies

  • Terrains

  • Representations

  • Parcel Fabrics

You can try those above and they may work - but they have not been tested. Note the abstractions above cannot be supported with the Open FileGeoDatabase API.


  • An ArcView license or ArcEngine license (or higher) - Required to run.

  • The ESRI libraries installed. This typically happens if you have ArcEngine or ArcGIS Desktop or Server installed - Required to compile. Note that this code should also compile using the ArcEngine *nix SDKs, however I do not have access to these and thus I have not tried it myself


Prefix the Datasource with “AO:”

Read from FileGDB and load into PostGIS:

ogr2ogr -overwrite -skipfailures -f "PostgreSQL" PG:"host=myhost user=myuser dbname=mydb password=mypass" AO:"C:\somefolder\BigFileGDB.gdb" "MyFeatureClass"

Get detailed info of Personal GeoDatabase:

ogrinfo -al AO:"C:\somefolder\PersonalGDB.mdb"

Get detailed info of Enterprise GeoDatabase (.sde contains target version to connect to):

ogrinfo -al AO:"C:\somefolder\MySDEConnection.sde"

Building Notes

Read the GDAL Windows Building example for Plugins. You will find a similar section in nmake.opt for ArcObjects. After you are done, go to the $gdal_source_root/ogr/ogrsf_frmts/arcobjects* folder and execute:

nmake /f plugin
nmake /f plugin-install

Known Issues

Date and blob fields have not been implemented. It is probably just a few lines of code, I just have not had time (or need) to do it.