While Artifactory is running, it saves its configuration (and changes to it) to the artifactory.config.latest.xml file and the Database. When Artifactory starts, it searches for the former and, if it doesn't find it, it will load its configuration from the latter. This mechanism allows Artifactory's configuration to be edited (and later imported), which is particularly helpful if, for any reason, the config descriptor is missing or has become corrupted.
If you create a file and name it artifactory.config.import.xml, on startup Artifactory will backup artifactory.config.latest.xml by renaming it artifactory.config.<timestamp>.xml and then loading the configuration found in artifactory.config.import.xml, and renaming it artifactory.config.bootstrap.xml, which only serves as a backup for the imported configuration. Thereafter, as per its normal functions, any new Artifactory configurations will be saved to artifactory.config.latest.xml and the database.
Should you wish to change the configuration, you'll need to make a copy of artifactory.config.latest.xml, name it artifactory.config.import.xml, and then apply tour configuration adjustments within that new file. Thereafter, upon your next restart, Artifactory will load the configuration containing the changes you have made.
NOTE: We do not recommend making frequent manual changes to the configuration file because importing any changes will require you to restart Artifactory. Furthermore, keeping manual changes to a minimum will help you to avoid potential corruption issues.
To execute configuration alterations without using Artifactory's UI, you may use the Artifactory REST API, which allows you to make changes without the need to edit the Artifactory descriptor file.