Quick Tips for Esri Frequently Asked Questions

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

Does FME support the Geodatabase or SDE formats?

Yes - FME supports Personal, File and Enterprise (or SDE) Geodatabases

Which edition of FME do I need to work with these?

The FME Professional Edition is required for Personal and File Geodatabases


My SDE Geodatabase is sitting on SQL Server/Oracle/etc - do I need the FME Database Edition?

No - you only need the FME Database Edition if you are writing to those databases native spatial tables.

I have installed the trial and the Geodatabase or SDE formats are greyed out?

Check the banner in the bottom bar of FME Workbench. Have you installed 32 bit or 64 bit FME? Or go to Help > About on the toolbar and check if you have installed 32 bit or 64 bit FME.

Also do you have ArcGIS installed and licensed? See the troubleshooting article for more details. 

I'd really like to use the FME 64 bit version?

Then install the Esri 64 bit Background Geoprocessing Module available from Esri or install ArcGIS Pro from Esri.

Warning: if you are using a custom ArcGIS product such as ArcFM from Schnieder Electric then these may not be enabled for 64bit and you may have to stick with FME 32bit.

I have ArcGIS installed and have installed 64 bit FME?

Download and install the 32 bit FME version or install Esri 64 bit Background Geoprocessing Module as mentioned above. Both versions can be installed on the same machine and share the same license file. Just use a different install folder, i.e. c:\apps\FME2016_64bit

I have heard that 64 bit FME is faster?

This is probably true for FME 2016 and higher. We'd recommend FME 64bit if you can use it. Not significantly when working with Geodatabases.

I had heard that SDE30 provides better performance?

SDE30 is a legacy format and we recommend that you install ArcGIS and use the Geodatabase SDE format. For more details please refer to Esri Legacy ArcSDE (SDE30) Deprecation


Can I use FME on LINUX to access my Geodatabase?

To read a File Geodatabase you can use the FME File Geodatabase Open (API) format. This format is available on LINUX. Although in order to modify your Geodatabase, FME needs to access a licensed ArcGIS product which is currently only available on an MS Windows platform. So you need an FME Windows install. Your database could be running on a LINUX machine though.

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