4.9.9. General

The following sections cover more general functionalities and usage information for the impexp command-line tool. Abbreviated options

The impexp tool can recognize abbreviated option names. This way you can avoid typing long options such as --gltf-draco-compression from the export-vis command. To abbreviate an option, simply specify the initial letter(s) of the first component of its name and optionally of one or more subsequent components. The name “components” are separated by - dash characters or by case if the option name uses camelCase.

For example, the option --gltf-draco-compression has three components. Valid abbreviations for this option name are listed below.

Table 4.30 Examples of valid option name abbreviations
--glt, --gDC, --g-d-c, --g-dra, --g-com, --gCom, …

However, not all of the valid abbreviations shown in Table 4.30 are also allowed and would work when provided on the command line. The reason is that abbreviations must be unambiguous and may not match multiple options.

For example, the export-vis command also offers the option --gltf-version. The abbreviation --glt would match both --gltf-draco-compression and --gltf-version and, thus, is not allowed. The impexp tool aborts with an error message in case of ambiguous abbreviations. Double dash

To explicitly separate command-line options from the list of positional parameters, you can use two double dashes -- without any characters attached as delimiter. For example, consider the following command to import the CityGML file my_city.gml into the 3D City Database.

$ impexp import -H localhost -d citydb_v4 -u citydb_user -p my_city.gml

The -p option of the import command specifies the password to use when connecting to the 3DCityDB. The option can either take a value or be empty. In the latter case, the user is prompted for the password. In the above example, the intention of the user was to leave the password option empty. However, the impexp will use the filename my_city.gml as value for -p instead. The reason is that the filename is a positional parameter and cannot be distinguished from the option value of -p in this example.

To solve this issue, simply separate the filename parameter from the options using two dashes.

$ impexp import -H localhost -d citydb_v4 -u citydb_user -p -- my_city.gml

Reordering the options is also a valid solution for this example.

$ impexp import -H localhost -d citydb_v4 -p -u citydb_user my_city.gml Using @-files

When creating a command line with lots of options or with long arguments for options, you might run into system limitations on the length of the command line. Argument files (@-files) are a way to overcome this problem. Argument files are files that themselves contain arguments to the command. You can provide one or more argument files on the command line by simply prefixing their filenames with the character @. The content of each @-file is automatically expanded into the argument list.

The options within an @-file can be space-separated or newline-separated. If the value of an option contains embedded whitespace, put the whole value in double " or single ' quotes. Within quoted values, embedded quotes must be escaped with a backslash \ and backslashes themselves need to be escaped with another backslash if they are part of the value. You can also split long option values on multiple lines by escaping each line break with a backslash. Multi-line options are typically only required to increase the readability of the @-file. Lines starting with # are comments and are ignored.

The following example shows a simple @-file containing options to be used with the export command.

# This line is a comment and is ignored.
--bbox=13.3508824,52.4799281,13.3578297,52.4862805,4326 -g 3,4

Line 1 is a comment and is ignored. Line 2 contains a single option, whereas two options separated by a space are put on line 3. Lines 4 and 5 illustrate that you can also put an option and its value on separate lines.

To use an argument file on the command line, use the @ character followed by a relative or absolute path to the file. If the path contains spaces, such as C:\Program Files, you can put the entire path into double quotes "C:\\Program Files". Note that all backslashes in the quoted path must be escaped in this case. To avoid escaping, you can also use C:\Program" "Files instead. If the file does not exist, or cannot be read, then the argument will be treated literally, and not removed. Of course, you can specify multiple @-files on the same command line.

For example, assume the above argument file exists at /home/foo/args. An export command using this argument file can be invoked like shown below.

$ impexp export -H localhost -d citydb_v4 -u citydb_user -p my_password \
                @/home/foo/args -o my_city.gml

The content of the @-file is automatically expanded into the argument list of the above command in the background.

$ impexp export -H localhost -d citydb_v4 -u citydb_user -p my_password \
                --log-level=debug \
                --bbox=13.3508824,52.4799281,13.3578297,52.4862805,4326 -g 3,4 \
                --type-name Building \
                -o my_city.gml


The argument file may itself contain additional @-file arguments. Any such arguments will be processed recursively.


Argument files are also a nice way to create templates for different purposes. For example, you can specify separate files for different logging options such as “full logging” (using the debug log level and an additional log file) and “minimum logging” (only error log level without a log file). Depending on the use case and scenario, you can simply pick one or the other, even programmatically.