When loading data into a geodatabase using either the 'feature class to feature class' or 'table to table' tools, metadata from the source feature class or table isn't transferred to the new feature class or table.
Metadata transfer is not a part of the functionality of the 'feature class to feature class' and 'table to table' geoprocessing tools.
Solution or Workaround
While metadata transfer is not a part of the 'feature class to feature class' and 'table to table' geoprocessing tools, it IS a part of the Copy Features and Copy Rows functionality. Therefore, if the metadata is a critical part of the data, it is recommended that CopyFeatures and/or CopyRows be used to load data into a geodatabase.
Entire FeatureClass -> Use CopyFeatures
FeatureClass subset -> Use MakeFeatureLayer with a query and then CopyFeatures
Entire Table -> Use CopyRows
Table subset -> Use MakeTableView with a query and then CopyRows
If it has been confirmed that the input and output are the same or nearly the same, the metadata can be transfered manually by exporting and importing metadata using the functionality provided by ArcCatalog. Alternatively, use the ArcGIS 8x Geodatabase Conversion Tools to transfer the data to a geodatabase; these tools continue to be available in ArcCatalog 9.0 and they do preserve metadata.
- Manual Procedure
To transfer metadata manually, first verify that the metadata toolbar is available in ArcCatalog by right-clicking near the toolbars, then checking Metadata in the toolbar list.
Use the export button on the Metadata toolbar to export the metadata from the source feature class or table to an XML file.
To prevent the loss of any metadata and to allow the metadata to be imported again, use the 'XML' exporter.
Select the new feature class or table and import the metadata using the import button on the Metadata toolbar.
If the 'XML' exporter was used, import the metadata using the 'XML' importer.
- Tools Procedure
To use the ArcGIS 8.x conversion tools, click Tools > Customize in ArcCatalog. In the Customize dialog box, click the Commands tab, then click 'ArcGIS 8.x GDB Conversion Tools' in the Categories list on the left.
Drag the conversion tool to be used; for example, the 'Geodatabase to Geodatabase' tool, from the Commands list on the right and drop it onto a toolbar. Close the Customize window. Select the data to convert in ArcCatalog, then click the tool.