FME Flow Troubleshooting: Database Connections

Sanae Mendoza
Sanae Mendoza
  • Updated

Full Guide: FME Flow Troubleshooting Guide

Are you encountering issues connecting a database to FME Flow (formerly FME Server)?

Many workspaces that are run from FME Flow require you to connect and authenticate to a database. FME Flow allows you to securely upload, store and reference your own authentication parameters with Database Connections. And just like in FME Workbench, connections to databases are safely stored as self-contained objects. Once uploaded to FME Flow, the Database Connections page provides a convenient and secure management hub. 

Note that Database and Web Connections previously shared the same article. We have since broken the article into separate articles so we could expand on each topic as well as it would be easier to find via search. Please navigate to FME Flow Troubleshooting: Web Connections article for information about Web Connections and Web Services. 

In 2023, FME Server underwent a name change and is now known as FME Flow. Since this article discusses features present in previous versions of FME, it will refer to both names interchangeably, using the appropriate product name based on the year the feature was introduced. For more information on the rebranding, see our website

Content Overview

General Troubleshooting


Getting Started

If you're looking for general information about database connections, this page is a great place to start: 


Common Issues  

"Some users are unauthorized to use connections”

Often, this comes down to user permissions to connections and resources. Please review FME Flow Connections Runtime Error: Unauthorized request by user due to lack of proper permissions for possible causes and how to resolve the error.

“After upgrading FME Flow, my database connection stopped working” 

See our known issues in FME 2024.x, 2023.x, 2022.x, or 2021.x.

"Users need to share their database connections on FME Flow" 

The solution for sharing connections often begins with desktop connection management. Once workspaces are uploaded, they can easily share connections by referencing the same named connection. Consult Making Database and Web Connections Public for best practices.


“My database connection works in FME Workbench, but fails in FME Flow” 

The account that runs the FME Engine Service needs to be a user that can authenticate against the database. Thus, the account should be changed from the default Local System. Have you changed the account that runs the FME Engine service?


“My SQL Server database is failing to connect” 

Are you seeing errors that reference the client, driver, or provider? Start with the troubleshooting guide for common problems related to SQL Server database connections in Failed to Connect using SQL Server 2012 Native Client.

Next, consult the general FME and SQL Server Troubleshooting Guide.

“I have both the Oracle Client and FME installed, but my jobs still result in error” 

Please refer to our step-by-step instructions for setting up the Oracle Instant Client for use with FME on Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X operating systems

Next, consult the general FME and Oracle Troubleshooting Guide.

“Where should I store SDE connection files on FME Flow?”

If you are frequently using SDE connection files, there are two recommended options: 

  1. Store the SDE Connection file on a File Server accessible by UNC, otherwise known as a network share.
  2. Store the SDE Connection file to a folder in FME Flow. 

For a discussion of each option, review steveatsafe’s post on this community question, SDE Connection files and FME Flow  

“With OS authentication turned on, FME Flow can’t connect to my SDE GeoDatabase”

Check that the account running the FME Flow Engine service is a user that can access ArcGIS Server.  

For more on using Esri and FME Flow, consult our article Using FME Flow with Esri ArcGIS Software. The general FME and Esri ArcGIS Troubleshooting Guide may also be helpful. 


“My SQL Server database connection uses Windows Authentication and works on FME Form, but I receive access errors on FME Flow”

To use Windows Authentication on FME Flow, the services must be running under a Windows service account that has access to the SQL Server database. Please see Running System Services Under Different Accounts.


Additional Resources

Are you still experiencing issues? 

Please consider posting to the FME Community Q&A if you are still experiencing issues that are not addressed in this article. There are also different support channels available.

Have ideas on how to improve this? 

You can add ideas or product suggestions to our Ideas Exchange.

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