Using the Parameter Manager

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2021.0


In FME 2021.0, we have introduced a new way to manage and work with user parameters in FME Desktop. The new Parameter Manager allows you to see all of your parameters in a single window, as well as create new ones, reorder, as well as group them. For information on creating parameters in FME 2020 and older, please see Introduction to Published Parameter

Note: Support for groups in FME Server will be coming in a future release. For now, parameters within groups appear as ungrouped parameters. 

Parameter Manager Overview

The left-hand side of the Parameter Manager is where all of your created parameters are shown, as well as options to add new ones, copy and paste, reorder and delete. 

The right-hand side is the parameters for the newly created or selected parameter. This side is similar to how you would have created or edited parameters in the past (2020.2 or older), with some slight modifications in wording. 

Comparison of 2020.2 and 2021.0 Parameters

Overall, the user parameters will function the same, and the end-user will have the same experience, but now as a user parameter author, you will have a few more options to fine-tune your parameters. 

  • The Type is selected in the + drop-down menu. 
  • Name is now called the Parameter Identifier; this is the name you will see when you select parameters through transformers or readers/writers. 
  • The Prompt is still the same; this is what is displayed to the user when the workspace is run, as well as on the left-hand side of the Parameter Manager. 
  • Published and private parameters are still the same and are controlled by selecting/deselecting the Published option.
  • Optional has now been renamed to Required. Any Required parameters will be indicated by a red asterisk * next to the prompt. 
  • Attribute Assignment is now controlled by a check box called Disable Attribute Assignment; this is the same as previously setting the Attribute Assignment to Off. 
  • Default values are still handled the same. 
  • With the new Parameter Manager, for certain parameter types, additional configurations have been added to increase parameter functionality. For the Text parameter type, there are additional text configurations such as allowing an Arithmetic Expression or what format the text input would be in, such as plain text, python, java, etc. 



Step-by-step Instructions

Now that we’ve seen the features of the new Parameter Manager let’s walk through an example where we create  Yes/No, Attribute Selection, Coordinate System and Output Folder parameters, as well as a group (which is a new feature). 


1. Open Template Workspace
In FME Workbench, open the ParametersManager-Begin.fmwt template workspace. This workspace reads in a dataset containing parks. Then filters based on Dog Parks, then the park area is calculated, and labels are created for the output. 
2. Add a Yes/No Parameter
In the Navigation pane, right-click on User Parameters, then select Manage User Parameters. 

In the top-left corner of the Parameter Manager, click on the green plus sign to open the parameter type drop-down, then select Yes/No. The Yes/No parameter outputs YES or NO values in uppercase, so if you are doing a direct match with this parameter, be sure to match the case. 

On the right-hand side of the Parameter Manager, enter the following parameter properties:

  • Parameter Identifier: DOGPARKS
  • Prompt: Select dog parks?
  • Published: Enabled
  • Required: Disabled
  • Disable Attribute Assignment: Enabled


3. Create Label Parameter
While still in the Parameter Manager, create an Attribute Name parameter. This parameter will be used in the LabelPointReplacer to select which attribute to use for the label. 

On the right-hand side, enter the following parameter properties:

  • Parameter Identifier: LABELNAME
  • Prompt: Select which attribute to use as a label:
  • Published: Enabled
  • Required: Disabled
  • Disable Attribute Assignment: Disabled 
  • Attribute Name Configuration: Select Single
  • Default Attribute: (Leave this blank, we will come back to this later)


4. Assign Parameters
Click OK to close the Parameter Manager. Now we will assign our DOGPARKS user parameter in our Tester. Open the Tester, for Dog Parks = NO, click on the drop-down arrow for the Right Value, then expand User Parameter and select DOGPARKS. Now when the workspace is run, the user will select whether or not they want to include dog parks. 

Open up the LabelPointReplacer transformer and click the drop-down arrow next to Label. Expand User Parameter and select LABELNAME. Now when the workspace is run, the user can select which attribute they want to be labeled. 

 5. Set Default Value for LABELNAME
When we created the LABELNAME parameter, we left the default value blank. We did this because there were no attributes associated with the parameter yet because we had not applied the parameter anywhere. Now that the LabelPointReplacer uses the LABELNAME parameter, we can assign it a default value. 

Open the Parameter Manager, then select the LABELNAME parameter. When you reopen the parameter, you will notice a warning has appeared. This indicates that the parameter has been used somewhere in the workspace, and changing the parameter could change the workspace’s output. 

In this case, we can ignore the warning as we are only setting the default value. Change the Default Value to ParkName. 

6. Create a Group
With the new Parameter Manager, we have the option to create groups, which enables more visual appearance options such as collapsing a group and enabling/disabling a group. Add a new group from the green plus sign in the top-left of the Parameter Manager. On the right side, enter the following parameter properties:

  • Parameter Identifier: OUTPUT
  • Prompt: Output Parameters
  • Published: Enabled
  • Group Box Configuration: Collapsable
    • Collapsed State: Closed


7. Create Output Parameters for Group
Now that we’ve created our group, we can add parameters to it. You can also move existing parameters into a group. To add a parameter directly into a group, you can either select the group and then click on the green plus sign, or click on the plus sign from within the group. 
Add a Coordinate System parameter. Then enter the following parameter properties:

  • Parameter Identifier: COORDSYS
  • Prompt: Select a Coordinate System
  • Published: Enabled
  • Required: Disabled
  • Disable Attribute Assignment: Enabled
  • Default Value: UTM83-10


8. Add an Output Folder Parameter
We need to add one more parameter, we want the user to be able to select where they want their output files to be saved. Add a File/URL parameter into the group. On the right-hand side enter the following parameter properties:

  • Parameter Identifier: OUTPUTFOLDER
  • Prompt: Select an Output Location
  • Published: Enabled
  • Required: Disabled
  • Disable Attribute Assignment: Enabled
  • Items to Select: Folders
    • Access Mode: Write
  • Default Value: (Select somewhere on your computer as the default) 


9. Preview Parameters
You can preview how your parameters will appear to the user within the Parameter Manager. Click on the Preview button at the bottom. 
You can see the parameters within the group are hidden by default and need to be expanded to be viewed. 

10. Apply Output Parameters
One final step before we can run the workspace is to apply the output parameters we created. Click OK to close the Parameter Manager. In the Navigator pane, expand the Parameters [MITAB] writer. Right-click on the Destination MapInfo Folder and select Link to User Parameter. 

Then in the Set to User Parameter dialog, select OUTPUTFOLDER and click OK. The file will now be saved to wherever the user selects as the output folder when the workspace is run. If the user doesn’t select an output folder, the default will be used, which was set up in the Parameter Manager. 

Repeat the process with the Coordinate System for the Parameter [MITAB] writer. Set it to the COORDSYS parameter. 

Finally, set the Destination CSV Folder to the OUTPUTFOLDER parameter for the Output [CSV2] writer. 

11. Run Workspace with Prompt
Now we can run the workspace and ensure that all our parameters work correctly. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the Run button and enable Prompt for User Parameters.

Then click the Run button. The user will be prompted to enter values for the parameters. 

Depending on if Dog Parks were selected, you should have either 73 or 7 features written out to the folder of your choice or the default folder. 

Data Attribution

The data used here originates from open data made available by the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. It contains information licensed under the Open Government License - Vancouver.

Was this article helpful?



Please sign in to leave a comment.