ArcSDE Libraries required for the Esri Legacy ArcSDE reader/writer

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME does not formally support SDE30 beyond ArcGIS 10.2. However, some users have found using ArcGIS Pro libraries is still successful. As Esri no longer officially supports the libraries, we cannot guarantee the results of this workaround. The article applies to FME Desktop 2018.x or earlier. For more details please refer to Esri Legacy ArcSDE (SDE30) Deprecation



FME (FME Desktop or FME Server Engine) is failing to locate the libraries required by the Esri Legacy ArcSDE reader/writer to access an ArcSDE install. The error message which is returned is:



The "Esri ArcSDE" format is unavailable because it has unmet dependencies.
Please check that FME and the installed ArcSDE client libraries are both 32 bit
OR both 64 bit. Then refer to this article Geodatabase Formats Missing, Greyed Out or Have Unmet Dependencies for more details
and contact if the problem persists.



Errors in FME Workbench log file:

2012-07-26 11:46:23|   0.3|  0.0|INFORM|LD_LIBRARY_PATH is '/apps/emap1/fme/fmecore:/apps/emap1/oracle/product/11.2.0/client_1/lib:/usr/java/jre1.6.0_33/lib/amd64/server:/usr/java/jre1.6.0_33/lib/amd64:/usr/java/jre1.6.0_33/../lib/amd64:/usr/lib:/lib:/apps/emap1/oracle/product/11.2.0/client_1/lib:/apps/emap1/fme/fmepython27/lib'
2012-07-26 11:46:23|   0.3|  0.0|WARN  |DLL '/apps/emap1/fme/plugins/' was found but could not be loaded. Ensure that all the dependent modules exist for this DLL
2012-07-26 11:46:23|   0.3|  0.0|ERROR |Module 'SDE30' is unavailable for use with this FME edition



This issue may be caused when the SDE SDK has not been installed or is not available on the client machine.



This can be an issue if you have ArcGIS Desktop installed on the same machine as a 64-bit FME. ArcGIS Desktop is a 32-bit program and has 32-bit libraries with the same names as the required 64-bit libraries. When FME is attempting to find the .dlls that it needs, it first searches the directory defined via the ArcGISHOME or AGSDESKTOPJAVA environment variables.

However, this will be pointing to the 32-bit location.

Then it searches the directory defined via the SDEHOME environment variable and finally the FME Install directory that occurs first in the PATH environment variable.

The same issue arises if you have a 32-bit FME installed and no ArcGIS Desktop product. The required libraries are not available and FME cannot load them.



64 bit SDE libraries do not exist or are not set to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH



To correct this issue the SDE libraries must be installed correctly.


You can get the libraries from your ArcSDE install.

As of ArcSDE 10.1 FME requires the following libraries:

  • sde.dll,
  • sg.dll,
  • pe.dll,
  • xereces-c_3_1.dll,
  • icuuc44.dll,
  • icudt44.dll
  • and two direct connect libraries related to the database client that you are using. e.g. gsrvrora11g100.dll and sdeora10gsrvr100.dll for an Oracle 11g client.


64-bit FME

If you are running 64-bit FME then do one of the following:

Option 1) Install the full ArcSDE SDK and check that an SDEHOME environment variable is set - pointing to the folder that contains the ArcSDE bin folder.


Option 2) Put these 64-bit .dlls in the bin folder of the SDEHOME directory - SDEHOME should point to the folder containing the ArcSDE bin folder.

Option 3) Put these 64-bit .dlls in a new directory, in a bin folder, and add an SDEHOME environment variable pointing to this new location - it has to be pointing to the folder that contains the bin folder, which contains the .dlls

Option 4) Put these 64-bit .dlls directly in the FME_HOME folder - and check that this installation directory is the first one referenced in the PATH variable - this is the least recommended solution as a new FME installation may remove these files.




NOTE: For FME Server configuration the dll's would be placed in <drive>:/<install folder>\FME Server\Server\fme. Example: C:\Program Files\FME Server\Server\fme


32-bit FME

If you are running 32-bit FME then do one of the following:

Option 1) Install ArcGIS for Desktop.
Option 2) Install ArcGIS Explorer.
Option 3) Copy files and create an environment variable:

  • Install the 32 bit ArcSDE SDK - as of ArcGIS 10.1 this is no longer available however FME will work with the 10.0 ArcSDE SDK
  • Put these 32-bit .dlls in a new directory and add an SDEHOME environment variable pointing to this new location - it has to be pointing to the folder that contains the folder that contains the .dlls




You can get the libraries from your ArcSDE install. FME requires at least:,, and

Then do the following:

  • Set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to point to the location of these .so files.


As with Windows, if you are using a 2 tier (Direct Connection) to connect to your ArcSDE database you will also need the additional direct connect libraries for the database that you are accessing. These need to be put into the same location.


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