The Metabase server object is a representation of the data you'd find within the Internet Service Manager. This is where you can create/modify delete web site, virtual directories, ftp sites/settings, etc...Basically almost everything you do within ISM is stored within the Metabase.
People use it as part of their application release management process (application updates) or when they're auto-provisioning a new web server. It is not used very often by people who are using the product for straight systems administration.
Do you know of any freely available material which would enable me to understand ftp site creation for example. A couple of our clients have expressed an interesting in automating tasks related to this so it would be nice to go back to them with more info.
None that I'm aware of off the top of my head, but a quick search on Google produced this URL:
One of the more common things to do is to take a snapshot of the entire Metabase (you'll have to choose each of the children of the root as I don't believe we let you select "Metabase" as a whole), make the change that customers are requesting (creating ftp sites, modifying virtual directories, etc.) and then auditing against the snapshot to see what was impacted.
Once you delve into the structure it'll become somewhat obvious how they relate to object you see within Internet Service Manager.
Thats great Tim, thanks!