Copying a geodatabase using geodatabase XML workspaces

You can use geodatabase XML workspace documents to copy and move a geodatabase. This option creates a readable XML document of the geodatabase contents.


The resulting geodatabase XML document can be huge when you copy both the data as well as the schema. Generally, this alternative is not recommended for copying geodatabase data. Alternatives for making a geodatabase copy include the use of the Copy tool and the Extract Data Wizard in ArcMap to copy subsets of the information.

XML workspace documents are very useful for copying geodatabase schemas (empty geodatabases) from one type to another.

Learn more about copying a schema using XML workspaces

For information on geodatabase XML, refer to this link for a white paper on geodatabase XML.


    To copy a geodatabase schema using an XML workspace document, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Catalog tree, right-click the geodatabase that you want to copy and point to point to Export, then click XML Workspace Document.
  2. On the first panel of the wizard, click Data to copy all the geodatabase contents.
  3. Specify the path and name of the new export file to create.
    • If you specify the path and name by typing it into the text box, give the file an .xml, .zip, or .z extension to specify the file type.
    • If you specify the path and name by browsing to a folder with the Save As dialog box, specify the file type in the Save As dialog box.
  4. If the data you are exporting has metadata that you want to export, check the Export Metadata check box.

  5. Click Next to preview the geodatabase contents to be exported to the XML document.

    This panel lists all the datasets to be copied.

    If you leave a box checked for a feature class in a network, topology, or terrain, all the feature classes participating in the network, topology, or terrain are copied.

  6. Uncheck the Include check boxes for the feature classes, tables, or relationship classes that you do not want to export.
  7. Click Summary to review a list of the extraction contents and other optional settings.
  8. Click Finish to export the geodatabase.

This produces an XML document in the location you specified in the Export XML Workspace Document wizard. You can use this document to move the data to another geodatabase by importing the XML document to the geodatabase.

Related Topics