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Importing a feature class having representations using ‘Import XML Workspace Document’ from SDE Geodatabase to a file/SDE Geodatabase returns an error – “Import xml data failed. The operation was attempted on an empty geometry”.

Last Published: February 27, 2015 ArcGIS for Desktop
Bug ID Number BUG-000084709
SubmittedJanuary 23, 2015
Last ModifiedMay 5, 2023
Applies toArcGIS for Desktop
Version found10.3
StatusWill Not Be Addressed


Attempting to migrate data to the Local Government geodatabase, or importing a feature class with representations from an SDE geodatabase to a file/SDE geodatabase using the Import XML Workspace Document tool returns the following error:

Import XML data failed. The operation was attempted on an empty geometry.

The domain for the representation is successfully imported to the geodatabase, but importing the feature class fails.


This error occurs when importing an XML with feature class representations from an Oracle geodatabase.


Use the Copy tool in the Data Management Tools toolbox to move the data. Refer to ArcMap: Copying feature datasets, classes, and table to another geodatabase for more information on how to do this.

Users with ArcGIS Desktop 10.6 and newer may encounter an issue where the Copy/Paste method drops representations. This is a bug and is documented in BUG-000084709. To circumvent this issue, downgrade and use ArcGIS Desktop 10.5.1.

Steps to Reproduce

Bug ID: BUG-000084709


  • ArcGIS for Desktop

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