FME and Esri ArcGIS Troubleshooting Guide

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

Introduction

Are you encountering issues while using Esri-based formats or platforms with FME? This article discusses common troubleshooting tips, questions, and resources.
 

Initial Troubleshooting Questions

Does FME return an error message?

FME translations will often return an Esri-related error message. Review the FME Workbench log or FME Flow job log for errors or warnings. 

Search this guide using key terms that describe the issue. For example, a particular error message or an ArcObjects code.

If this guide does not list the error, searching our FME Community and Esri support pages can sometimes find more resources. 
 

Can FME access an Esri license?

See the Licensing section for guidance.
 

Are your Esri and FME product versions compatible? 

Make sure you are using supported Esri products for your version of FME. Refer to Notes on FME and Esri Versions and Compatibility.

 

Did the workflow only start failing after an upgrade?

Find the Known Issues article for your installed FME version on the FME Community. For example, Known Issues in FME 2023.x or Workarounds to Known Issues in FME 2019.x. If the issue is undocumented, continue with this troubleshooting guide. Please note that FME will often need to be reconfigured with an Esri license after a new installation.
  

Troubleshooting Topics

The following sections discuss common issues and questions related to Esri-based formats and applications. Always use caution or reach out to your administrator when making any changes to your applications, licenses, or environments. 
 

Licensing

Esri formats are greyed out and inaccessible in FME Workbench.  

If you are unable to access formats from FME, see Geodatabase Formats Missing, Greyed Out or Have Unmet Dependencies
 

Esri translations fail with licensing-related errors in FME Workbench. Examples of errors: 

  • 'Unable to perform licensing related tasks. Please ensure that ArcGIS is correctly installed'

  • 'Failed to Retrieve feature type. This is a 64-bit version of FME…'

  • “...format is unavailable because it has unmet dependencies…”

  • The Product License has not been initialized.

FME will return an error when it fails to obtain the correct Esri license. See ArcGIS Licensing Error: Unable to Perform Licensing Related Tasks for solutions. 

If using ArcGIS Pro, refer to Using ArcGIS Pro with FME Form for configuration and FAQ.
 

I only get licensing-related errors in FME Flow.  

This often indicates that the account running the FME Flow Engine Service does not have access to an appropriate Esri license.

First, become familiar with ‘Using FME Flow with Esri ArcGIS Software’ for all Esri licensing requirements specific to FME Flow. 

Next, use the following checklist to ensure the FME Flow Engines can reach the correct license: 

  1. The FME Flow Engines must be installed on the same machine as the Esri ArcGIS Server license. 
  2. The workspace was published from a version of FME Workbench the same or older than FME Flow. All FME installations are compatible with the Esri product
  3. To troubleshoot, install FME Workbench to the same machine as FME Flow. Run the same workflow in FME Workbench.
If it fails, the Esri license is inaccessible to all FME applications on that machine. This often means the Esri license is inaccessible or a similar machine-wide configuration problem. 
If it succeeds, the license is inaccessible to only the FME Flow Engine service. This often means a configuration problem specific to FME Flow Engines. 

Continue problem-solving using the ‘wrong license’ steps below as a guide.   
 

FME is using the wrong Esri license during a translation.  

Multiple licensed Esri products installed on the same machine may cause licensing conflicts in FME. Use the following checklist to ensure FME can reach the correct license: 

  1. Is the workspace ‘Esri ArcGIS Compatibility’ parameter set to the correct product?
  2. Is the workspace ‘Python Compatibility’ parameter set to a compatible version?
  3. Does the machine have any environment variables or registry keys that force an ArcGIS license? If so, make a copy of them, then remove them. Restart FME. 
  4. Does the machine have ArcGIS Background Geoprocessing installed? If so, remove it if possible. 
  5. Uninstall the Esri product that is interfering with FME. 
  6. If using an ArcGIS Pro license, refer to Using ArcGIS Pro with FME Form for specific configuration steps and FAQ. 

If FME continues to fail with Esri licensing errors, or you are unsure how to verify the checklist, please reach out to Safe Software Support with the results of this checklist. 
 

Geodatabase and ArcSDE

This section lists common issues related to Esri Geodatabase Formats. Skip ahead to the ArcObjects table if the FME translation log contains a specific ArcOjects code.
 

How do the different Geodatabase/SDE formats compare in FME?

See Comparison of FME readers and writers for SDE and Geodatabase for an overview of Esri formats and their requirements in FME. 
 

I am unable to access any Esri formats from FME. 

This often means FME is unable to access a valid Esri license. See the licensing section.
 

FME is very slow to read or write to a Geodatabase.

See Improving Performance when Working with Esri Geodatabases and Improving the Speed of Translations Using the Geodatabase Writer for guidance.  

 

An FME workspace containing a Geodatabase is very slow to open and edit.

See 'Do Not Resolve Domains and Subtypes'.
 

Truncating a Geodatabase table is very slow.

See 'Why is FME slow to truncate my SDE/Geodatabase table?'.
 

FME fails to write annotations to a Geodatabase.

See ‘Geodatabase Troubleshooting’ for general advice on using annotations. 

For other issues related to annotations, see ‘Incorrect Annotations When Writing From One Geodatabase to Another’ and ‘Setting FONT SIZE explicitly in Geodatabase Annotations’. 
 

“An unsupported Esri field type was encountered. The Geodatabase Reader/Writer does not know to which Geodatabase field type to map this Esri field type”

See 'Unsupported Esri Field Type Error (GlobalID)'. 
 

The FME translation is successful but features are not loaded to ArcSDE.

See 'Maximum Number of Grids Per Feature Exceeded (FME Log Error: ORA-20092)'.
 

How do I connect to an ArcSDE Geodb?

A Database Connection is required to connect to Esri Geodatabase (ArcSDE Geodb)

See ‘How do I connect to my ArcSDE Geodatabase using Direct Connect?’ to configure a direct connection in FME. 

Be aware of Esri’s recommendations for version compatibility between ArcGIS Client and geodatabase compatibility
 

I can’t connect to my ArcSDE Geodb via Oracle. 

See ‘Issues connecting to SDE Geodatabase (Oracle)’ for troubleshooting steps.
 

ArcObjects Errors

When an FME workflow containing an Esri-based format fails, an ArcObjects error code and message will often be recorded to the translation log. 

The following table lists common ArcObjects errors. If you receive an error not listed, searching our FME Community and Esri support pages can sometimes provide more resources. 
 

ArcObjects Error Code ArcObjects Error Message FME Error Solution

-2147220952

{}

Unable to retrieve the Workspace object from the WorkspaceName object.

Or

‘GetLastError is: 127’

Errors with FME 64-bit & ArcGIS Background Geoprocessing

-2147155646

DBMS table not found[ORA-00942: table or view does not exist][DBO.XYZZY][STATE_ID = 0]

An error occurred while attempting to create the feature class 'FEATURECLASSNAME’

Esri ArcObjects Error Number '-2147155646': Invalid Attribute Names 

-2147220985

An invalid SQL statement was used.

An error occurred while attempting to open an insert cursor on the table

Or

Cannot create a table with a duplicate column.

Or

Provider error `(156) Incorrect syntax near the keyword 'AND'

Esri ArcObjects Error Number '-2147155646': Invalid Attribute Names
-2147216072 Underlying DBMS error[ORA-29859: error occurred in the execution of ODCIINDEXTRUNCATE routine ORA-03291: Invalid truncate option - missing STORAGE keyword ORA-06512: at "SDE.ST_DOMAIN_METHODS", line 1681 ] An error occurred while trying to truncate table/feature class '...' Error truncating geodatabase table (Oracle errors ORA-29859 ORA-06512) 
-2147216894 The spatial index grid size is invalid An error occurred while flushing the cursor for the table/feature class '...' Known Issue: Writing to File Geodatabase results in Spatial Index error
-2147216057 An error occurred while attempting to open the table, feature class or relationship class 'SDEUSER.AddressPoints SDEUSER.CellSignals SDEUSER.DrinkingFountains' Invalid parameter value passed to function Known Issue: FeatureReader cannot read Feature Types from a Parameter Type Choice (Multiple)
-2147220655   The table was not found. 
Or
Could not open File Geodatabase table ...
Known Issue: FeatureReader cannot read Feature Types from a Parameter Type Choice (Multiple) 
-2147220109

 
  FileGDB compression is not installed
Or 
Could not open File Geodatabase table ...
Esri File Geodatabase (API) Error (-2147220109): Compression Not Installed
-2147220936 The coordinates or measures are out of bounds. An error occurred while attempting to add a shape to a feature buffer. Esri ArcObjects Error Number '-2147220936': Coordinates Out of Bounds 
-2147220936 ArcGIS product not specified. You must first bind to an ArcGIS version prior to using any ArcGIS components.   ArcObjects Error message unrelated to ArcObjects Error number in FME Log 
-2147216556 ArcObjects has not yet been initialized An error occurred while attempting to open an insert cursor on the table Esri ArcObjects Error Number '-2147216556': Versioned Geodatabase 
-2147216072 Underlying DBMS
error
Could not open the Enterprise Geodatabase. Could not open the Enterprise Geodatabase. The error number from ArcObjects is: '-2147216072'. Underlying DBMS error[ORA-12637
-2147155559 Failure to access the DBMS server Could not open the Enterprise Geodatabase. Could not open the Enterprise Geodatabase. The error number from ArcObjects is: '-2147216072'. Underlying DBMS error[ORA-12637] 

 


File Geodb Open API

The Esri Geodatabase (File Geodatabase Open API) format is based on Esri’s non-ArcObjects API. This format does not require Esri licensing to use. 
 

What are the limitations of the Open API File Geodatabase? 

The Open API File Geodb has less functionality compared to licensed Geodatabase formats. See the Esri Geodatabase (File Geodb Open API) Reader/Writer documentation for an overview.
 

Geodatabase API Errors 

The File Geodatabase Open API format returns Geodatabase API errors instead of ArcObjects errors. Geodatabase API errors are fewer and less descriptive. 

The following table lists examples of some known Geodatabase API errors. If you receive an error code outside of this list, searching the FME Community and Esri support resources can sometimes provide more resources. 
 

Geodatabase API Error Error Message Solution
-2147024809 Invalid function arguments Esri File Geodatabase (API) Error (-2147024809): Invalid Function Arguments  
-2147220965 This release of the GeoDatabase is either invalid or out of date. Esri File Geodatabase (API) Error (-2147220965): Geodatabase is Either Invalid or Out of Date
-2147220109 FileGDB compression is not installed.  Esri File Geodatabase (API) Error (-2147024809): Invalid Function Arguments

 

Shapefile 

This section refers to common issues encountered while using Esri Shapefile Reader/Writer. See Esri Shapefile Troubleshooting documentation for FAQ. 
 

The Shapefile Writer splits my dataset over multiple files OR the translation fails when it reaches 2GB. 

Shapefile files are limited to 2GB in size. In FME 2019.2 or newer, the Split Dataset into 2GB parameter is in the documentation. In older versions of FME, datasets exceeding this limit will fail to write. 
 

The Shapefile Reader misreads the width of the Number field.

See FME seems to misread the width of Number fields when reading a shapefile dataset.
 

Hosted Feature Services

This section refers to common issues encountered while using Esri’s hosted Feature Services with ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Portal, or ArcGIS Server. See ‘Getting Started with ArcGIS Online and Portal’ for tutorials and resources. 
 

FME is slow to perform large updates on hosted feature services. 

Workflow design is critical for efficient web-based workflows. See Using Append to Write Big Data to ArcGIS Online in FME for workarounds.
 

Writing to an existing feature service fails with an unknown error, such as:

  • Encountered an unexpected error. The error code from the server was '500'

  • The error code from the server was '500' and the message was: 'You do not have permissions to access this resource or perform this operation'. Details: '[]'

  • “addResults' error for a feature in 'DataTypes'. The error code from the server was '10500' and the message was: 'Database error has occurred.'

This may be caused by a mismatch between incoming data and the feature service's existing schema. See common errors writing to existing feature services mismatched schema/data types for solutions. 

 

Esri ArcGIS Online Feature Service

FME fails to connect to ArcGIS Online. 

See How to Create an ArcGIS Online Web Connection (OAuth 2.0) for instructions. 

See ArcGIS Online Web Connection Troubleshooting for common issues. 
 

FME can connect to ArcGIS Online, but workflows that use Feature Services return errors.  

See Esri ArcGIS Online (AGOL) Feature Service Troubleshooting for common workflow issues. 
 

Esri ArcGIS Portal Feature Service

FME fails to connect to ArcGIS Portal. 

See How to Create an ArcGIS Enterprise Portal Web Connection (OAuth 2.0) for instructions.
 

The ArcGIS Portal Web Connection token expires prematurely. 

ArcGIS Portal administrators can configure the refresh token expiry. Refer to Specify the maximum token expiration time for instruction.
 

FME can connect to ArcGIS Portal, but workflows that use Feature Services return errors.  

See Esri ArcGIS Portal Feature Service Troubleshooting for common workflow issues. 
 

Cannot create an Enterprise Webhook with an FME Flow Automation Webhook URL: Exception: PKIX path building failed

Ensure that your FME Flow SSL certificate has been imported into your ArcGIS Portal following the instructions from Esri.

 

Esri ArcGIS Server Feature Service

FME can connect to ArcGIS Server, but workflows that use the Feature Services fail.  

See Esri ArcGIS Server Feature Service Troubleshooting for common issues. 
 

ArcGIS Data Interoperability Extension

This section refers to issues encountered with ArcGIS Data Interoperability Extension.

 

What are the equivalent versions of FME and Esri Data Interoperability?

See Version of FME equivalent to the Esri Data Interoperability Version for details.

 

ArcPy

This section refers to issues encountered with Esri’s Python package, ArcPy, with FME. See ‘Using Arcpy for FME Feature Processing’ for tutorials and resources. 
 

FME translations fail with ‘no module named ArcPy’ or ‘ A compatible ArcGIS application could not be found or is not licensed for Python Compatibility’   

See No Module Named ArcPy: Importing Esri's ArcPy for Use with FME for more information and solutions.
 

“The workspace has Python Compatibility set to 'Esri ArcGIS Python 3.6+', which requires an appropriate version of ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Server. If ArcGIS is not required by this workspace, then update Python Compatibility to a non-Esri-ArcGIS Python. Otherwise, please install the required ArcGIS product.”

Check the workspace’s Python Compatibility setting in FME Workbench. If the compatibility is appropriate, this often indicates a licensing problem
 

ArcPy only fails in FME Flow translations. 

FME Flow must have access to an appropriate Esri license in order to use ArcPy. See licensing. 
 

FME translations fail with “Python Exception <ExecuteError>: Failed to execute. Parameters are not valid. ERROR 000824: The tool is not licensed. Failed to execute ({modulename}).”

See Using arcpy results in "The tool is not licensed" error message for more information and solutions.
 

An FME 2023+ workspace fails to load ArcPy. 

See FME 2023 Workspace fails to load ArcPy with ArcGIS Pro 2.6/ArcGIS Server 10.8.1 or prior for more information and solutions. 
 

In FME 2022+, ArcPy scripts fail with “The loaded plugin's FMEPluginCapabilities 'LogCount_func' has changed the process locale to 'English_United States.1252' which is incompatible with FME 'English_United States.utf8' locale”.  

See Executing Python scripts that change locale will result in unexpected errors in FME 2022.0 for more information and solutions. 
 

Deprecations

This section lists some relevant Esri deprecations. For a full list of items deprecated by Safe Software, see FME Deprecations
 

Esri Legacy ArcSDE (SDE30)

In FME 2018.1 or newer, the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format is no longer supported. For more information, see Esri Legacy ArcSDE (SDE30) Deprecation.

If you encounter an error while using Esri Legacy ArcSDE, the following known issues may be relevant: 

 

Esri Personal Geodatabase (Personal Geodb)

In FME 2022.0 or newer, the Esri Personal Geodatabase format is no longer supported. For more information, see Using Esri Personal Geodatabases in FME 2022
 

FME Integration Console

In FME 2022.0 or newer, the FME Integration Console is no longer supported. For more information, see FME Integration Console Deprecation.  
 

Esri ArcGIS Python 2.7

In FME 2022.0 or newer, Esri ArcGIS Python 2.7 is no longer supported. For more information, see Python 2.7 Deprecation.
 

Request Technical Support

If you were not able to resolve the issue and need further technical support, please submit a case with the Safe Software Support team.

 

Additional Resources

 

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