What is ArcGIS Data Interoperability?
ArcGIS Data Interoperability is an extension for ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap that allows you to integrate data from hundreds of sources into your ArcGIS environment. It includes tools for spatial ETL, data validation, data transformation, and workflow automation. Sold by Esri, it is based on FME Desktop, which is developed by Safe Software.
How do I decide which option is right for me?
The short answer is that both options are valid. While there are some differences, as seen in the comparison table below, for the most part, it depends on your preferences.
|ArcGIS Data Interoperability||FME Desktop|
|Graphical authoring environment|
|Direct read into ArcCatalog, ArcMap, ArcScene|
|Integration with ModelBuilder|
|Ability to publish to FME Server and FME Cloud for enterprise automation (scheduling, automations, etc.)|
|Access to FME Hub (hundreds of additional transformers, web connections, templates, and more)|| No for ArcMap version
Yes for ArcGIS Pro version
|Ability to use most up-to-date version (ArcGIS Data Interoperability is typically based on a prior release of FME) - see the current version here.|
|Access to the stream of FME beta releases|
|Access to third-party plugins|
|Requires only a single FME license (i.e. doesn’t use up an Esri license too when only using FME Desktop)|
|Ability to run multiple versions of FME / ArcGIS Data Interoperability on the same machine|
|Operating systems||Windows||Windows, Mac, Linux|
|Language||English||English (+ localized into Japanese, German, French, Spanish, and Chinese)|
View Supported Formats
Compared to the FME Desktop Database Edition (see all editions of FME Desktop), ArcGIS Data Interoperability is missing the following readers/writers.
|Training||Esri Virtual Campus||Free FME Training|
|Technical support provided by||Esri||Safe Software|
Is ArcGIS Data Interoperability the same thing as FME Desktop?
No. While the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension is based on FME Desktop and it similar, it is not exactly the same. Please see the comparison table above for a list of the differences.
If I switch to FME Desktop, will I be able to keep the tools provided by ArcGIS Data Interoperability?
Yes. In addition to all of the added benefits of FME Desktop, you'll still be able to use tools like existing Spatial ETL Tools, Quick Import, Quick Export, and Interoperability Connections. You'll also have the choice to author new workflows using Spatial ETL Tools or standalone via FME Workbench.
How do product updates and new releases work for FME Desktop and ArcGIS Data Interoperability?
FME Desktop and ArcGIS Data Interoperability follow different release cycles. FME has major annual releases, typically in March, as well as several minor releases throughout the year. A new version of ArcGIS Data Interoperability is made available with each new major Esri version and is based on the latest version of FME Desktop available at that time.
Does ArcGIS Data Interoperability contain all FME transformers?
No. Not all transformers are included in the extension. For example, some transformers duplicate functionality already available in ArcGIS and aren’t included as part of the extension. For all transformers, you’ll need to purchase a license of FME Desktop.