FME Flow Troubleshooting: Automations

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
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Full Guide: FME Flow Troubleshooting Guide

Automations are used in FME Flow (formerly FME Server) for quickly and easily running workspaces in response to events such as a schedule, modified directory, or simply running it manually. You can build Automation workflows with a simple drag-and-drop interface. Are you encountering issues configuring, creating, editing, or running Automations in FME Flow? Please read below for some common troubleshooting tips, questions and resources.

In 2023, FME Server underwent a name change and is now known as FME Flow. Since this article discusses features present in previous versions of FME, it will refer to both names interchangeably, using the appropriate product name based on the year the feature was introduced. For more information on the rebranding, see our website

Content Overview

Initial Troubleshooting
Common Issues
Resource or Network Directory Updated
Webhook Triggered
SFTP Directory
Other Protocols
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Initial Troubleshooting

  • Has the Automation been started?
  • Have you reviewed our Automations documentation and tutorial articles?
  • Have you checked for any errors in the Automation Log? You can find the Automation Log by viewing the Automation and clicking Menu > View Log File.
  • Does the FME Flow User have permissions to access Automations and any other related Workspaces or Resources?
  • Have you tried restarting the Automation and/or FME Flow?
  • For integrations with external applications like an email server, network directory, or FTP site, have you verified that your FME Flow has permission to access these resources?
  • For triggers and external actions, have you tried validating the parameters?
  • If you are using automation attributes (formerly keys), try routing them to a Log Action to check the correct value is being parsed downstream in your Automation.


Common Issues

“I updated parameters in my workspace but they aren’t appearing in an Automation.”

When a workspace is updated/republished to FME Flow, changes to user parameters are not automatically updated in Automations. This is intentional behaviour. To update the workspace parameters, open the workspace action properties and click “Refresh Parameters”.

“My workspace runs in FME Workbench but not in an FME Flow Automation.”

Check the job log that failed while running in an Automation, and compare the log file with the successful run in FME Workbench. Try running the workspace manually in FME Flow with “Run Workspace”.

Make sure that FME Flow has network access to any web services, databases, and directories used in the workspace. Make sure that all parameters are the same. If needed, mapped drive paths (e.x: C:\) in file parameters should be updated to UNC paths.

“How do I disable the ‘Next Action’ items on the canvas?”

With an Automation open, expand the Menu on the top-left. Click “Hide Guides”.

“I can add a trigger/external action but cannot set the protocol type. If I try to view an existing Automation, nothing is displayed on the canvas.”

There are several possible causes for this issue. Please review the causes and resolutions in the known issue article.

“I added/removed an Automation Writer from a workspace and republished it to FME Flow, but the change isn’t showing in my Automation.”

When adding or removing an Automation Writer from a workspace, the workspace action must be refreshed on the Automation canvas before the Automation Writer’s output port appears/disappears. This can be done by opening the workspace action, and clicking Apply. 

“I’m using an Automation Writer to run downstream jobs multiple times. How do I downscale the completed job messages to just one output?”

The solution to this problem is to use a split-merge block. Please refer to Getting Started with the Split-Merge Block.

“I receive the error "Unable to assemble automation. There was an issue with component "Workspace". Permission to run workspaces in repository "<name>" is required.", but I have access and can run the workspace outside of the Automation."

This may be caused by an FME Flow system database access issue if you have provided your own database server to host it. Some organizations require whitelisting all applications to permit connection to the database server. In this case, we recommend using the Postgres database provided with FME Flow instead.

FME Flow consists of many processes and components. Each requires access to the database and the system share for FME Flow to function correctly. Granting access to every potential component is not recommended and we cannot offer support for this scenario.


Resource or Network Directory Updated

(AKA Directory Watch in FME Server 2021.x and older)

“After entering the path to watch and clicking Validate, I get an error message saying the path is invalid.”

Please ensure that the account running the FME Flow Application Server service has permission to access the specified directory. 

“How can I make the Directory Watch create one event for multiple files?”

The Directory Watch is designed to create one event per detected file. Please review this article for options on how to process multiple files at the same time.

“The path is getting truncated when an event is detected by the Directory Watcher.”

This scenario most often occurs when monitoring an FME Flow network-based resource, but the resource’s UNC path is missing the last backslash. Please read the known issue article for more information.


"I keep getting warnings saying 'An error occurred building file path with Shared Resource macro for path: <path>  Using resolved file path instead.'"

When the Resource or Network Directory Updated trigger receives an incoming event, by design it will try to reference a shared resource macro when sending the file path information, such as $(FME_SHAREDRESOURCE_DATA) rather than the complete UNC path, such as \\<FMEFlowSystemShare>\Resources\Data. 

If it cannot find a resource macro that matches the incoming file path, it will print the warning. It couldn’t build the path using a macro and instead will use the fully resolved path. It is safe to ignore this warning, but if you do not want it to be printed at all you will need to set up a network resource that points to \\file084\ (and any level of subfolder). Follow our documentation for instructions on how to set this up.


Webhook Triggered

“My Automation isn’t receiving webhook requests.”

Please verify that your FME Flow is either publicly available or accessible in your network by the application that is making requests to the webhook trigger.

JMS Message Received

“The JMS Message trigger/external action is returning an error saying ‘Unable to find provider named com.sun.jndi.fscontext.RefFSContextFactory’.”

Please ensure that you’ve provided the necessary libraries to the FME Flow Core and restarted FME Flow. Follow our documentation on Configuring FME Flow as a JMS Client.

“The JMS Message trigger/external action is returning an error saying ‘Invalid - Failed to find JMS object named “<connection_factory_name>”.’”

Verify that the connection factory is spelled properly. Please check the following:

  • If you’re using a bindings file to connect to your message broker, verify that the account running FME Flow services has permission to access the bindings file directory specified in the Provider URL. 
  • Verify that the path to the bindings file is correct.
  • Check that the bindings file is named exactly “.bindings”, since a named bindings file is invalid (i.e: <name>.bindings).


SFTP Directory External Action

"When validating the action, I get the error 'Invalid - Known hosts file not specified'"

The most simple way to resolve this is to upload the known_hosts file to a Resource folder on FME Flow and then click the ellipses (...) next to the 'Path to Known Hosts' to select the file.

If you want to reference the known_hosts file outside of FME Flow, please confirm that:

  • The slashes in the path are correct for your operating system. For Windows, they must be \, for Linux they must be /
  • FME Flow can access the known_hosts file. By default, the file is stored in the .ssh folder as part of a user's profile in both Windows and Linux, so FME Flow will likely not be able to access the location. Copy the known_hosts file to a different location and confirm that:
    • In Windows, the Service Account running the FME Flow services can read the file.
    • In Linux, the user running the FMEServer process can read the file - permission to the file must be granted to 'others' or the ownership changed to the fmeserver user.


"When validating the action, I get the error 'Invalid - UnknownHostKey'"

FME Flow found the known_hosts file, but cannot find the public key for the SFTP server you are trying to connect to within the file.

  • Confirm that you have added the key to the known_hosts file using the ssh-keyscan command as per the documentation
  • Open the known_hosts file in a text editor and confirm that there is an entry for the SFTP server's hostname
  • Try using the IP address of the SFTP server as the hostname when adding the key using the ssh-keyscan command
  • If there are no readable hostnames in the known_hosts file, then they are likely hashed. This is an option in Linux and known_hosts file entries may be hashed when connecting to the SFTP server for the first time outside of FME Flow. Make sure to add the public key to the known_hosts file using the ssh-keyscan command as per the documentation so that FME Flow can find the hostname entered in the SFTP Directory action configuration.


"When validating the action, I get the error 'Invalid - Algorithm negotiation failed'" 

FME Flow is using an algorithm not currently supported by the SFTP server. If you have access to modify the SFTP server, you can try adding the following entry to the end of the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file and then restarting the SSH server:



Other Protocols

For issues related to Schedules and Emails in Automations, please review the dedicated Schedules and Email troubleshooting guides.


Are you still experiencing issues?

Please consider posting to the FME Community Q&A if you are still experiencing issues that are not addressed in this article. There are also different support channels available.


Have ideas on how to improve this?

You can add ideas or product suggestions to our Ideas Exchange.

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