Esri Legacy ArcSDE (SDE30) Deprecation

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2018.x

As of FME 2022, the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format will be removed from FME. It will not be possible to add the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format or run a workspace containing the Esri Legacy ArcSDE formats.


As Esri has officially retired Esri Legacy ArcSDE, Safe Software is taking steps to phase out the format in FME. Beginning in FME 2018.1 (Build 18509+), we are implementing a warning message in the log for workspaces which contain Esri Legacy ArcSDE formats to raise awareness and encourage users to switch format.

The affected formats include:

  • Esri Legacy ArcSDE (SDE30)
  • Esri Legacy ArcSDE Raster (SDERaster)
  • Esri Legacy ArcSDE Raster Catalog (SDERasterCatalog)
  • Esri Legacy ArcSDE Raster Map (SDERasterMap)
  • ArcSDEQuerier transformer

In FME 2019-2021, the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format is hidden, so that it isn't possible to create new workspaces with the format. However, the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format will still be available if a workspace is run which includes Esri Legacy ArcSDE, and the correct SDE libraries have been installed.
As of FME 2022 and newer, the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format has been removed from FME. This means it will not be possible to add the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format or run a workspace containing the Esri Legacy ArcSDE format.

For a detailed explanation of why this change is occurring, please see the Further Information section below.


Warning Message

The following message will appear in the log when a workspace using the Esri Legacy ArcSDE formats is run in FME 2018.1+ Workbench or Server (Build 18509+):

The Esri Legacy ArcSDE format will be deprecated in FME 2019+. Please consider upgrading to an Esri Geodatabase writer. For more information, see


Log message in FME 2018.1 Build 18509+ when a workspace contains Esri Legacy ArcSDE formats



Safe Software encourages the use of the Esri Geodatabase (ArcSDE Geodatabase) format (Comparison of FME readers and writers for SDE and Geodatabase). It's possible to switch to this format using these steps:

  • Ensure that your ArcSDE feature classes are registered with your Geodatabase.
    • Note: Legacy ArcSDE did support multiple geometry types on the same feature class, so for very old SDE databases, you may have to restructure your data before you can register the tables with your Geodatabase.
  • Update Reader - use Update Reader in the workbench Navigator.


In the Update Reader dialog, select Esri Geodatabase (ArcSDE Geodb) - or equivalent - as the new reader, check the Update Reader option. Set any required parameters like the connection file.



  • Update Writer: To update the writer, you can follow the same steps as above, or you can:
    • Add a new Esri Geodatabase (ArcSDE Geodb) writer and for Feature Class or Table Definition select None (Advanced).
    • Select a feature type from the old SDE writer and switch the writer to the new Geodatabase writer.
    • Select Apply to All...

If switching to Esri Geodatabase (ArcSDE Geodatabase) is not viable, then it is possible to continue to use the Esri Legacy ArcSDE (SDE30) format with ArcGIS 10.2 and FME 2018.1 and older.


Further Information

Esri no longer supports ArcSDE (SDE30) libraries as of ArcGIS 10.2.2. For further information on Esri's deprecation of SDE libraries see this blog & discussion. Also the ArcGIS for Server Product Life Cycle documentation.

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