Debugging Guide for FME Server

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated


If you encounter a problem with FME Server and are unsure how to proceed, this guide will help you to narrow it down. This process should help solve the issue or ensure that you receive a timely solution from technical support.

The following diagram displays the process:


Step 1: Reproduce the Issue

“My workspace fails to run on FME Server!”

Identify the exact process that causes the issue to occur. This may be as simple as running a job or something more complex such as sending a notification. You will need to be able to perform this procedure again in the steps below.

Step 2: Narrow the Focus

“The job seems to fail as the source data cannot be found. It worked on FME Desktop!”

Think about the problem and the different components that you are working with. For example, are you running a job, configuring a subscriber/publisher, or setting up Active Directory? Try to narrow it down to something very specific.

Important Clues:

  • An error appears in a system log file (Job, FME Server, Tomcat)
  • A topic does not trigger
  • The output from an FME Web Service (Eg. Data Download) is empty
  • The jobs are queued and do not run
  • You have just made changes to a configuration file
  • The Web UI is unresponsive
  • The FME Engine Service does not start

Helpful Tips:

  • For web user interface problems, try using a browser’s developer tools to obtain error information.
  • Search the system logs for error messages using the Resources interface:


  • Revert any recent changes to configuration files to ensure that these are the source of the problem.

Once you have an idea of the general area where the problem exists, you can move on to the next step.


Step 3: Test Variables

“I’m going to upload my data to the server and run it again!”

Making small changes and testing is a great way to get to the source of an issue. For example, changing the location of your source data can test if permissions are causing the issue. Below is a simple procedure to use:

Test Procedure:

  1. Locate a variable that can be modified
  2. Make a change to the variable
  3. Run through the reproduction steps that cause the issue to occur
  4. Record the outcome
  5. Repeat (if the outcome is not different)

The following highlights examples for step 1 and step 2 above:


Narrowed Focus Variable Example Change
Job Fails with Error in Log: Cannot Find Data Source Data Location Try upload data to the Server instead
Web UI Contains Errors on Schedules Page REST Try similar functionality via the FME Server REST API
Web UI Unresponsive Firewall Settings Turn off the Firewall and try again
Email Subscriber Failure Email Settings Try a different email account
Login Fails Config Files Revert from Active Directory to Database security to ensure that the system is functional
Directory Watch ‘Modify’ does not trigger File Type Try a different file type and check for ‘Modify’

Try anything that you think may lead to a different outcome!

Once you have made a change that creates a different output, proceed to the next step.

Note: If you were unable to make any changes that resulted in a different outcome and have exhausted every variable, proceed to Step 5: Go Direct to Source.


Step 4: Analyze the Outcome

“The Job completed successfully with local data! It must be related to the network file location!”

This step is designed to either solve the issue or decide what to do next. Here is a flowchart of the process:


When a specific change alters the outcome, it should help you point to a possible root cause for the problem.

Root Cause Examples:

  • Firewall
  • File/Folder Permissions
  • Misconfigured syntax in a config file
  • Password error
  • Incorrect Port used

If the problem is still unresolved after your analysis then please proceed below.

(Optional) Step 5: Go Direct to the Source

It may be possible that the problem is caused by something outside of FME. Try to replicate the same functionality without using any FME software and see if the root cause can be discovered. This is an essential step when working with components such as databases, web applications, complex formats and python scripts.

Going Direct Examples:

Issue Test
Job fails when reading data from a web service Use an HTTP client (eg. Postman) to ensure the Web Service is available and can deliver data
FTP Subscriber fails use an FTP client to access the location
Job fails reading from a Geodatabase Test using Esri software directly on the machine
FME Engine Service does not start using a custom service account Try writing to the FME Server installation directory using Windows tools.

If the issue is still unresolved then proceed to the final step.

(Optional) Step 6: Contact Support

Please complete the following to ensure that you receive timely and correct technical assistance.

Gather the following resources:

  • FME Server log files
  • FME Server version and build number
  • A brief description of your Server setup (express or high availability/high capacity installation)
  • Any supporting materials (Screenshots, video, documents)

If the problem relates to a workspace gather these resources as well:

  • Source and destination datasets, or a small sample of data
  • FME Workspace
  • System Information Report (See here for information on how to generate this report)

Complete this form (attaching your files) in order to submit your issue to technical support.

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