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Metabase Import and Export

Updated: August 22, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 with SP1

The metabase import and export feature enables administrators to create an export file, named MetaBase.xml by default, which contains specifically selected elements of a metabase configuration file. This export file can later be imported into the metabase configuration file of the same computer, or to another computer running Windows Server 2003. For more information about procedures for performing metabase import and export, see Metabase Import and Export in IIS 6.0.

Additionally, you can use the metabase export feature to create a metabase template, which can be used to configure multiple computers with the same IIS configuration settings, excluding machine-specific and system-specific information. For more information about metabase templates, see Restoring a Section of the Metabase.

Metabase export does not replace the functionality of metabase backup. You use metabase backup to create a backup file of the entire metabase configuration and schema, which can be restored only in its entirety (including encrypted properties). Metabase export does not export the metabase schema.

noteNote
Neither metabase backup nor export can be used to save or copy content files, scripts, or binaries. To back up your entire server — including content files, scripts, and binaries — use Windows Backup. To simply copy these files to a new location, use Windows Explorer or the Windows xcopy command. Remember to reregister any components that you copy to a new computer.

Specifying Metabase Elements for Import or Export

You can import and export the following metabase elements:

  • All Web site configurations or a single site configuration

  • All FTP site configurations or a single FTP site configuration

  • All SMTP site configurations or a single SMTP site configuration

  • All NNTP site configurations or a single NNTP site configuration

  • An IIS application configuration

  • A directory, virtual directory, or file configuration properties

  • All application pool configurations or a single application pool configuration

Importing and Exporting a Metabase Element

To import or export a metabase element, you can use any of the following:

  • IIS Manager

  • The Iiscnfg.vbs tool that is included with IIS

  • A custom script that uses the Export method of the WMI provider for IIS or the Export method of the ADSI provider for IIS

  • A custom application that uses ABO

Regardless of whether you use a programmatic interface, a script, or IIS Manager to import and export metabase elements, there are specific choices you must make. The following list outlines both the required and optional steps needed to import and export a metabase element. The inheritance and merge options are discussed after the list. When a metabase element is exported, IIS creates an XML file that contains the exported element.

Before exporting a metabase element

  1. Select a metabase element to export.

  2. Specify the name and location of the XML file to contain the exported element.

  3. Optionally choose to export inherited properties.

  4. Optionally choose to export lower-level child keys recursively (recommended).

  5. Optionally encrypt the export file with a password that you provide (recommended).

Before importing a metabase element

  1. Specify a metabase export file to import.

  2. Specify an element within the export file to import.

  3. Optionally choose to import inherited properties.

  4. The export file must contain inherited properties for this option to be available.

  5. Optionally choose to import lower-level child keys recursively.

  6. The export file must contain lower-level child keys for this option to be available.

  7. Specify the password, if any, that was used to encrypt the export file.

  8. Optionally choose to merge the settings from the export file into the metabase configuration.

  9. If you intend to import a metabase element to another computer, you must first change the machine-specific and system-specific information in the export file.

Setting Inherit and Merge Flags

If you set the inherit flag during a metabase export, inheritable properties that are applicable to the metabase element are saved as part of the export file. If the inherit flag is set during an import operation, these inheritable properties are imported into the metabase.

The behavior of importing inheritable properties differs, depending on whether the merge flag is used along with the inherit flag.

For example:

  • If you import a metabase element by using the inherit flag without the merge flag, inheritable properties are imported into the metabase, unless the property already exists at the same location in MetaBase.xml. (If the value of an imported property differs between the export file and the MetaBase.xml file, the value of the property in the MetaBase.xml file remains unchanged.)

  • If you import a metabase element by using the inherit flag with the merge flag, inherited properties are imported into the metabase and the value of the properties that already exist at the same location in MetaBase.xml are overwritten. (If the value of an imported property differs between the export file and the MetaBase.xml file, the value of the property in the MetaBase.xml file is overwritten with the value from the export file.)

ImportantImportant
Inherited properties in the destination metabase affect the configuration of all sites. Use caution when you import a metabase element without using the inherit flag. To avoid unintended changes to other sites, import to a unique location that has no child nodes.

Exporting Lower-Level Child keys

When specifying a metabase element to export, you can optionally export lower-level child keys. If an element is exported by using this option, you can optionally import the element and all recursive child keys.

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