How to Convert from Esri Mobile Geodatabases

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2021.1


As of FME 2021.1, we support converting from Esri Mobile Geodatabases into any format supported by FME. In addition, we also support converting to Esri Mobile Geodatabases. Esri Mobile Geodatabases are ArcGIS Pro geodatabases that are stored in a single file inside a folder within a SQLite database. 

In this tutorial, we will explore one approach for reading any format of data and writing it to a geodatabase using an XML workspace document as a template.


  • FME Desktop 2021.1+
  • Licensed ArcGIS Pro 2.8+ on the same machine as FME Desktop

Step-by-step Instructions

1. Add an Esri Mobile Geodatabase Reader
Open a blank workspace in FME Workbench. Add a reader to the canvas and set it to the Esri Mobile Geodatabase format, then browse to the Vancouver.geodatabase dataset, which you can download from this article under the Files section in the top-right corner. Then click on Parameters. 

In the parameters dialog, click on the ellipsis next to Tables and select:
  • main.Neighborhoods
  • main.Parcels
  • main.VancouverLandBoundary


Click OK three times to finish adding the reader. 

2. Add Esri Shapefile Writer
Add an Esri Shapefile writer to the canvas and browse to a folder to save the shapefile. Leave the Shapefile Definition as Copy from Reader, then click OK. 

 In the Select Feature Type dialog, click Select All and click OK. 

3. Connect Reader and Writer Feature Types
Connect the reader feature types to their associated writer feature types. 

4. Modify Output Attributes
Since we are writing out to shapefile, there is a maximum attribute character limit, so we will need to modify a few attributes. 

Add an AttributeManager between each of the connections (three in total). If you click on the connection line before typing AttributeManager, it will automatically connect. 

In the AttributeManager connected to Neighborhoods, change the st_area(SHAPE) attribute to st_area and then change st_perimeter(SHAPE) to st_perim.

Change the same two attributes for the AttributeManager connected to Parcels. 

Finally, for the AttributeManager connected to VancouverLandBoundary, change the following:
Input AttributeOutput Attribute

5. Modify Writer Feature Types
One final step before we can run the workspace is to modify the writer feature types. Open the main.Neighborhoods writer feature type. Remove main. from the Shapefile Name. 

Then switch to the User Attributes tab and change the Attribute Definition to Automatic. Click OK. 

After clicking OK, all of the attributes on the writer feature type should have a green arrow, which means they are mapped correctly. 

Repeat this step with the main.Parcels and main.VancouverLandBoundary writer feature types. 

6. Run the Workspace and Inspect Output
Run the workspace, then inspect the output using Visual Preview or Esri ArcMap or ArcPro.

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.

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