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Should the shp2sde command load metadata from an associated XML file into ArcSDE?
The metadata for an ArcSDE feature class is stored in a table called SDE.GDB_USERMETADATA. The only application that can write to the Geodatabase (GDB) tables are applications written with ArcObjects, such as ArcCatalog. The shp2sde command is not an ArcObjects application and therefore is not Geodatabase aware, thus will not write the metadata contained in the XML file to the Geodatabase.