lizardJoin the FME Lizard on a quest to discover the Secret of Interoperability. You may encounter hidden enhancements to the FME Desktop interface, along with other treasures, mermaids, and even pirates!

Captain’s Log

Day 52: We’ve been crossing the Sea of Data for a fortnight. Our provisions have diminished to a bag of expired nachos and some freeze-dried sardines. Only the hope of discovering the true Secret of Interoperability keeps us strong.

Day 55: Landed on the shores of the FME Data Inspector. The ability to add background maps revived my crew enough to continue on. We’ll now be able to orient ourselves with ArcGIS Online and MapQuest to back our data inspection.
Day 60: Transform Bay was a treacherous crossing, but my First Mate discovered a new FME Workbench capability just in time to save us: dragging connections between objects from anywhere on the link.

smaller map

Day 62: Attacked by pirates demanding to know about the new transformer decorations. I hastily explained that transformers and feature types that produce features have a left-side decoration, while those that consume have a right-side decoration. Impressed by this, the pirates spared my life. Transformer Decorations
Day 65: Uncovered a secret passage for object selection. Holding the Alt key while dragging a selection box makes the selection grab anything it touches. If I want to change the selection mode permanently, I merely check a box in FME Options.

smaller compass

Day 67: Met a pod of friendly mermaids, who told us a few transformers now have dynamic ports. Thanks to their help, we found this capability for the InlineQuerier, MapNik, and MapText transformers.
Day 71: After a deadly battle with a kraken, we wrested control over auto-connections using the new connection toolbar. These buttons let us remove the auto-connection, or change the input or output port.

smaller magnifying glass

Day 72: We hit a massive storm. If it wasn’t for the abilities given to us by the Shift and Alt keys when dragging transformers, I don’t think we would have made it. Pressing Shift allowed us to hide the pink triangle, and Alt made it swap to the right side.
Day 75: We’re close to the true Secret of Interoperability now. I can feel it. I’ve gained a deep understanding for the new colors on ports. Red clearly meant an attribute value was unset … but the mysterious purple appeared to be witchcraft. Now I understand that a purple arrow means an attribute has been set to a value or expression.

smaller balloon_galleon_1

Day 79: Ran aground on Lizard Island. Just when we thought all was lost, I recalled how FME 2013 added a smart-delete capability so connections between objects are healed if a middle object is deleted. For FME 2014, we discovered pressing shift-delete deletes objects without auto-healing the connection.

Day 80: My trusty map shows that the treasure is here on Lizard Island somewhere. Sure enough, we uncovered an ancient gem during our trek across the land: double-clicking a canvas object brings up its properties. The Secret of Interoperability must be near …
Day 83: We’ve spent three days traipsing through the woods on Lizard Island. The crew is growing restless, but we know we’re close because we stumbled on a clue: right-clicking when in zoom/pan mode resets the cursor to select mode. right-click mouse


Day 84: X marks the spot! We finally reached the location of the treasure. The excitement pulsing through me as I watched my crew dig was greater than anything in my life. Was I about to become the first discoverer of the true Secret of Interoperability? Would all data transformation explorers know my name?

But when we broke open the treasure chest, my hopes were dashed when we found naught but a note:

We have taken the Secret of Interoperability and moved it to Vancouver, Canada. Come get it at the FME International User Conference if you dare. - Dread Pirates D & D

I guess we’ll just have to keep sailing.





About FME Data Inspector FME 2014 FME Desktop Usability Workbench

Tiana Warner

Tiana is a product marketing manager at Safe Software. Her background in computer programming and creative hobbies led her to be one of the main producers of creative content for Safe Software. Tiana spends her free time writing fantasy novels and riding her horse, Bailey.


2 Responses to “The Hidden Treasures of FME 2014”

  1. Eric says:

    I like how creative and useful the FME blogs are.

  2. Some Links to screenshots or pictures cannot be resolved by my browser (IE 8).

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