XMI Import and Export

What is XMI?

XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) is an open standard file format that enables the interchange of model information between models and tools.

XMI is based on XML, and is defined by the OMG. Enterprise Architect uses XMI as a method of importing and exporting model specifications between different UML packages, Enterprise Architect projects and other tools that support XMI.

Enterprise Architect supports the XMI 1.1, 1.2 and 2.1 specifications, but does not fully support the older 1.0 specification. When importing or exporting to XMI 1.0, some loss of data occurs due to the limitations of XMI 1.0. XMI 1.1 has support for UML 1.3, whereas XMI 2.1 has support for UML 2.0 and UML 2.1.

With XMI, model details can be exchanged between different UML tools and other tools that are capable of using XMI. Limited support for export to Rational Rose is provided using the Rose version of the XMI 1.1 specification, as implemented by Unisys for Rational products.

Packages can be exported from and imported into Enterprise Architect models. This greatly improves the flexibility and robustness of Enterprise Architect models by enabling Analysts and Modelers to externalize model elements in XMI for version control, distributed development, post processing and transferring packages between models. When performing Enterprise Architect-to-Enterprise Architect transfers, ensure that the XMI version selected is 1.1 or 2.1.

XMI Tasks

Tasks you might perform in importing and exporting XMI include:

For further information on XMI, including specifications, see the OMG XML/XMI Technology topic.


When you import an XML file over an existing package, ALL information in the current package is deleted first. Before you import the XML file, please make sure you do not have important changes that you do not want to lose.


  • XMI 2.1 exported by Enterprise Architect 7.0 (or later) might not be correctly imported into earlier versions of Enterprise Architect.
  • When you select to apply a DTD during an XMI 1.1 export, the UML_EA.DTD file is written to the output directory into which the XML files are written (unless the UML_EA.DTD file is already present in the directory). No error is generated if the UML_EA.DTD file is not present in this directory during the XMI export.
    However, an error does occur if you are importing an XMI 1.1 file that has been exported with the UML_EA.DTD file, and the UML_EA.DTD file is not present in the same directory as the XMI file.