Transport case unload/load vs. XML export/import

Discussion created by Michael_Lowry on Jun 21, 2016
Latest reply on Feb 16, 2018 by joel_wiesmann_automic

Two approaches to moving objects between AE systems

Transport case

  1. Select objects, e.g. via the Transport Case in the User Interface or the TransportObject API class.
  2. Unload objects using AE DB Unload program, ucybdbun.
  3. Change objects using AE DB Change program, ucybchng.
  4. Load objects using AE DB Load program, ucybdbld.


  1. Select objects, e.g., in the User Interface or using the FolderList API class.
  2. Export objects to XML file, e.g., via the Export function in the User Interface or the ExportObject API class.
  3. Change objects in XML file, e.g., using XSLT.
  4. Import objects from XML file, e.g., via the Import function in the User Interface or the ImportObject API class.

Pros & Cons of each approach






DB Unload/Load

  • Faster, because it goes straight to the database.
  • Does not put an additional load on the Automation Engine
  • Recommended by Automic for making mass changes.
  • No maximum file size.
  • No simultaneous unloads.
  • Transport case file format not backward-compatible.
  • No official documentation of transport case file format. (Unofficial documentation is available.)
  • Not all object attributes can be changed.
  • Loading objects into a different target folder is not straightforward.
  • ucybchng is not always reliable.
  • Bypassing the AE might be less safe.



XML Export/Import

  • Simultaneous exports.
  • XML file format largely backward-compatible.
  • Easy to specify new target folder.
  • Fully documented, human-readable XML schema:
    • Change any object attribute.
    • Validate objects’ compliance with standards & conventions.
    • Present a side-by-side comparison of original & changed XML prior to deployment.
  • Easier to integrate with enterprise applications using Java APIs (e.g.,ExportObject & ImportObject).
  • Going through the AE might be safer.
  • No reliance on ucybchng.
  • Slower, because it goes through the AE server.
  • Puts a higher load on the AE (DWPs).
  • No vendor-supported way of changing exported XML files.
  • Automic no longer publishes documentation of the XML schema.
  • Maximum file size for imports: 30 MB.
  • Not recommended by Automic for making mass changes.


Original post

Our current system for promoting batches between staging environments is based on the transport case mechanism. For a while now, we have been looking into the possibility of moving away from this approach, and switching to an approach based on XML. Before we put too much effort into this transition, I thought it wise to ask the broader community for input.


  1. Has anyone switched from using the transport case to XML for batch deployments? How did it go? What did you learn?
  2. Has anyone performed benchmarks to compare the relative performance of the two approaches, and to measure the load each places on the AE/DB?
  3. How might it be possible to mitigate the disadvantages of the XML approach?