FME Workbench essentials
FME Workbench is a visual workflow editor used for developing data transformation tools. When the Data Interoperability extension is enabled, you can use it to create spatial ETL tools and custom formats.
FME Workbench Help
FME Workbench includes a stand-alone help system that provides detailed information about FME readers and writers and transformers and context-sensitive help for settings and interfaces.
- For help with a particular setting, click the context-sensitive help button (?) and click the setting on the dialog box.
- To open Workbench Help, click Help > Windows > Workbench Help from the main menu.
- For information about a format reader or writer, click the source or destination object on the canvas and press F1.
- For information about a transformer, click the transformer object on the canvas and press F1.
Starting FME Workbench
There are three ways to start FME Workbench:
- Right-click a toolbox and click New > Spatial ETL Tool.
- Right-click an existing spatial ETL tool and click Edit from the shortcut menu.
- Double-click Add Interoperability Connection in the Catalog window and create a new custom format.
FME Workbench can only be used in its capacity as part of the Data Interoperability extension. It cannot be started outside of ArcGIS by clicking the workbench.exe file.
The workspace canvas
Starting FME Workbench opens the main window and workspace canvas. The canvas displays the data sources, connections, transformers, and destination features that define your spatial ETL tool. By default, you work from left to right beginning with the source data objects, directing dataflow using connectors to link outputs to inputs, and terminating the flow at the destination features.
- Use the right-click shortcut menu for datasets, transformers, and connectors. Each menu is context sensitive and provides quick access to commands that are common to typical workflows.
- To select multiple objects, hold the CTRL key down while clicking, or click and drag the pointer.
- Use the F2 key to rename attributes.
- Use the DELETE key to delete any object.
Navigator is an explorer window that displays your workspace in a tree view. It provides a visual status of your parameters and offers immediate access to editing dialog boxes. To edit parameters, right-click the parameter and click Edit Parameter from the shortcut menu.
To open the Navigator window from the main menu, click View > Windows > Navigator.
Transformer Gallery is an explorer window that enables you to browse for transformers by category or search for them by entering one or more keywords that describe a name or function. To add a transformer to your workspace, double-click or drag the transformer onto the canvas.
To open the Transformer window from the main menu, click View > Windows > Transformer Gallery.
The Log pane is a text window that displays detailed information about your translation during runtime. Use it to trace errors and warnings and to document the execution of your spatial ETL tool. When the translation is finished, you can search for specific text strings, copy and paste the contents to other text files, or save all the information to a log (.log) file.
To configure FME Workbench to generate a (.log) file each time you run a translation, click Tools > FME Options, click Runtime on the navigation menu, then check the Save log to file check box.
FME Workbench uses color to provide visual cues about the current state of your transformers and connections.
Transformers display three possible color states on the Properties button. The button is located on the top right corner of every transformer.
The same color as the transformer with an ellipsis (…)
You can use the transformer with its existing parameters.
Yellow with an ellipsis (…)
The transformer contains default settings, but you have not yet accepted them. You can use the transformer in this state, but your workspace may produce unexpected results.
Red with an exclamation point (!)
One of the mandatory fields is blank.
Connectors display three possible color states at each endpoint.
Input arrow is green.
The connection is set.
Input arrow is red.
The port has no input. This is not an error. A port with no input can be intentional and a valid design. However, it is good practice to verify red arrows to avoid unexpected errors when running the translation.
Output arrow is yellow.
The port will not generate output when running the translation.