Working with Databases & Data Warehouses and FME

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated


Databases are critical to most organizations, applications, and systems.  From typical text attributes to digital files, to spatial data and geometry,  databases store all sorts of data in a structured manner, typically in multiple and often related tables.  For a high-level overview of how FME can help you with Databases, see our website.


Database Terminology

Database: a collection of related data, often organized and structured into multiple tables/feature types.

Database Connections: provide a convenient and secure way to store and reuse connection parameters to a database service.

Field: the columns/attributes in a table that represents a particular piece of information for a record object (i.e. salary, address, name, etc.).

Foreign Key: an attribute/field that isn’t the primary key, that links one table to another table’s primary key (enabling relationships and joins).

Primary Key: one or more attributes/fields that identifies a unique feature/row in a table.

Record: the rows/features in a table that represents an object which can have associated attributes (fields/columns).

Schema: the definition of the database and table structures.  In FME the schema definition describes the attributes and datatype and any constraints related to a feature type/table.

Table: a collection of rows and columns in which data is organized and stored.  In FME a table is represented by a feature type.



Getting Started Articles

Tutorial: Getting Started with Cloud Databases

Tutorial: Getting Started with Microsoft SQL Server

Tutorial: Getting Started with Oracle

FAQ: Database Connections on FME Server
​​​​​​​How to Connect FME Cloud to an External Database
Making Database and Web Connections Public

Intermediate Articles

Tutorial: Updating Databases

An Introduction to Incremental Database Updates 
Merging or Joining Spreadsheet or Database Data

Advanced Articles

Before completing the following articles be sure to work through the Getting Started Articles first.
​​​​​​​Tutorial: Let the Database Do the Work

​​​​​​​Single edits PostgreSQL: Push data from the database to an application in real-time
​​​​​​​Bulk edits PostgreSQL: Push data from the database to an application in real-time
​​​​​​​Connecting to Snowflake using Keypair Authentication

Format Documentation

Amazon Aurora Reader/Writer
​​​​​​​JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) Reader/Writer
​​​​​​​Microsoft SQL Server & Azure SQL Database Reader/Writer
​​​​​​​MongoDB3 Reader/Writer
​​​​​​​Oracle Non-Spatial Reader/Writer
​​​​​​​PostgreSQL Reader/Writer
SAP HANA Reader/Writer 
​​​​​​​Snowflake Reader/Writer 
​​​​​​​SpatiaLite Reader/Writer

​​​​​​​Top Questions and Answers

How do database connection passwords get saved in workbenches?
​​​​​​​How to use LIKE query in FeatureReader on a PostGIS database
​​​​​​​Merging geometry from a database table
​​​​​​​Prioritize the Writing of Data to a database

Additional Resources


7 Spatial Databases for Your Enterprise (in 2021)
​​​​​​​A Beginner’s Guide to… Bulk Database Updates with FME
​​​​​​​Geodatabase vs. Geospatial Database: What’s the Difference?
​​​​​​​JDBC: The Swiss Army Knife of Database Formats
​​​​​​​NoSQL Databases: Exploring What’s Possible with FME
​​​​​​​Spatial Data in the Cloud: Part 1, Cloud-Native Relational Databases
​​​​​​​Spatial Data in the Cloud – Part 2, NoSQL Databases
​​​​​​​Why Excel is Not a Database


A Database for Every Occasion
​​​​​​​Database Comparison and ArcMap Data Driven Pages
​​​​​​​FME in Maintaining Spatial Data Infrastructure Database Updates
​​​​​​​Keeping a Common Address Database “Common” Using FME
​​​​​​​Managing a Spatial Data Warehouse with FME
​​​​​​​Optimizing Database Integrations


Connect Your Data (Even Geospatial!) to Snowflake 
​​​​​​​Esri Geodatabases and FME Desktop 


Creating Dynamic FME Workspaces – Database Demo [5:30]
FME Tutorials: Converting to PostGIS: Writing to an Existing Table [5:18]
How to Perform Spatial Queries on a Database [3:48]
Loading Data In and Out of Snowflake (1/3) - How to Set Up A Snowflake Database Connection [2:16]


Back to FME School - Day 1: Your Data and FME [2:13:18]
​​​​​​​Database Tips & Tricks: Strategies for Detecting and Handling Schema Drift [1:11:22]
​​​​​​​Dive in with Databases – FME Summer Camp [34:35]
​​​​​​​Let Your Database Do the Work - Technical Webinar Part 1 [1:00:34]​​​​​​​
Let Your Database Do the Work - Technical Webinar Part 2


FME and Oracle Troubleshooting Guide
​​​​​​​FME and SQL Server Troubleshooting Guide
​​​​​​​FME Server Troubleshooting: Connections (Web and Database)
​​​​​​​Issues connecting to Snowflake with FME

Known Issues

For a list of Known Issues, see the following articles: 2021.x2020.x2019.x2018.x2017.x


Can’t find what you are looking for? Search our Community for a related question or post your question in our Forums or contact Support.

Was this article helpful?



Please sign in to leave a comment.