Electric & Gas Utilities

Introducing Utility Network Configurations

With the release of the ArcGIS Utility Network Management Extension, Esri is providing Utility Network Configurations that reduce the time and effort to implement a utility network.  Today Utility Network Configurations are available for:

In the future we plan to make Utility Network Configurations available for electric transmission, sewer, stormwater, and telecommunications.

Always start your implementation with a Utility Network Configuration if one is available for the resource delivered or collected by your network.  If Esri does not currently provide a Utility Network Configuration for your resource, of course you can still implement a utility network. You would just develop your own data model and manually configure a utility network for it.

Utility Network Configurations are designed to be a baseline that enables typical network behavior for the delivery or collection of a resource.  They are not intended to be all-inclusive data models that contain every possible asset that may be included in a physical network.  They are designed to be extendable.  If you have assets that are not included in the baseline, need to support more workflows or integrate with 3rd party systems simply add the additional schema your organization requires.

It is important to understand that you should not modify the baseline provided through a Utility Network Configuration because it may result in unintended network behavior.  Extend to add what is missing and avoid modifying the baseline.

The Utility Network Configurations provided by Esri are available at no additional cost to ArcGIS users and technical support is included through an organization’s Esri Maintenance Program.

What is included in a Utility Network Configuration?

Each Utility Network Configuration includes:

What is an Asset Package?

The Asset Package is a way to model the components of a utility network.  Asset Packages can be used to configure a utility network and as an interchange file to import and export the properties of a utility network.  Use the Utility Network Package Tools to work with Asset Packages.

Asset Packages are stored in a file geodatabase and can include the components that model a utility network as well as data to load into a utility network.

It is important to understand that while Asset Packages can contain data and can be interacted with by ArcGIS clients, they are not an actual utility network.  They are used to configure a utility network.

Asset Packages are designed to be additive when applied to a utility network using the Utility Network Package Tools.  This means you can keep adding additional Asset Packages to your utility network to further configure network behavior or add new schema.  The Utility Network Package Tools will only add new schema from additional Asset Packages.  To modify or delete existing schema in a utility network you would use the Administration toolset in the Utility Network toolbox.

When using a Utility Network Configuration to set up a new utility network, after deploying the Asset Package included with the Utility Network Configuration you can then add additional Asset Packages to further configure the network.  You or an implementation consultant could create the additional add-on Asset Packages.  Vendors of 3rd party systems that integrate with ArcGIS could also supply you Asset Packages to configure your utility network to work with the other system.

If you need to configure a utility network from scratch, such as when there is not a Utility Network Configuration available from Esri for the resource your network distributes or collects, you can start with an empty Asset Package to build your configuration.  This enables you to automate deployment using the Utility Network Package Tools.  Of course you can also configure the utility network manually using the Utility Network toolbox.

What are the benefits of using a Utility Network Configurations?

As stated previously, if there is a Utility Network Configuration available from Esri for the resource your network distributes or collects it should be your starting place.  Below are some of the reasons why.

Accelerated deployment and cost savings

Starting with a  Utility Network Configuration – instead of designing purely custom schema, maps, and workflows – will reduce the amount of time to deploy a utility network resulting in cost savings.

Extendable to meet your needs

Each Utility Network Configuration provides the baseline to get typical real-world network behavior and support the most common GIS workflows and analytics.  Organizations can then add on to the baseline to meet unique network, operational or 3rd party system needs.  You have more flexibility to add what is important to your organization, rather than having to work backward from an overly bloated schema that may not fit your needs.

Community driven

Guidance and feedback from the utility user communities were instrumental in developing each Utility Network Configuration. Esri will continue to curate the Utility Network Configurations just as we have for other data models in the past. Future updates will occur based on enhancements to ArcGIS and feedback from the global ArcGIS utility user communities.

Optimized cartography

The maps included with each Utility Network Configuration contain symbology optimized for use across the platform on desktop, web, and mobile apps.


Esri Technical Support for Utility Network Configurations is included in an organization’s Esri Maintenance Program.  So if you need additional help deploying a Utility Network Configuration contact Esri.

Common industry data model

As the starting place for configuring utility network behavior for electric distribution, gas, and water distribution today and electric transmission, sewer, stormwater, and telecommunications in the future; the Asset Packages included with the Utility Network Configurations are the next generation of common industry data models for utility GIS.  Esri partners can deliver data, workflows, and apps on top of this baseline, extend it to facilitate implementation and provide additional Asset Packages.

Sample data

The sample data provided with each of the Utility Network Configurations enables organizations to get immediate hands-on experience with a fully functional resource specific utility network in their own environment.

About the author

Howard leads the Esri team developing ArcGIS Solutions for water, sewer, stormwater, gas, and district heating.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Next Article

Get the most out of My Favorites

Read this article