FME Desktop Tour and Examples

Learn the basics in 15 minutes. No download required.

Welcome

FME Workbench

Readers, Writers, and Transformers

FME Data Inspector

Example 1

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Example 2

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Example 3

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Next Steps

Welcome!

If you're curious about FME Desktop and want a quick peek at how it works - you're in the right spot!

Tour of FME Desktop

(4 min)

Meet FME Workbench and FME Data Inspector and get to know some of the core FME terms.

Starter Examples

(10 min)

Find out how to build your first workspace, with three simple examples (with animated GIFs).

Free Training Info

(1 min)

Learn about free instructor-led online training and where to find all of our tutorials.

FME Workbench

Everything starts in FME Workbench, the authoring environment where you configure and run your workspace. A workspace is the name of the workflow that you design on the canvas. It generally includes at least one reader to pull data into the workspace, transformers to manipulate data, and at least one writer to output data.

  1. Navigator: Provides a list and definition of all workspace objects including data, feature types, transformers, and specific parameters.
  2. Transformer Gallery: Contains 450+ transformers which can be added to the canvas to restructure features between source and destination data.
  3. Canvas: Build your workspace by adding readers, writers, and transformers in this area.
  4. Help: Displays documentation related to the selected workspace object, e.g. transformer help.
  5. Translation Log: As a workspace runs, this pane updates to indicate current status and end result.

Two datasets are combined, creating a CSV file containing information about which drinking fountains are maintained by Parks.

Readers, Writers, and Transformers

Reader (left): A reader is like an input. It brings data into an FME workspace to get worked on.

Transformer (center): A transformer is a tool that is used to modify the content and structure of data.

Writer (right): A writer is like an output. It sends the product of your workspace to its final destination and format.

Readers, writers, and transformers are the key ingredients to building an FME workspace. As you add them to the canvas, you’ll need to link them together by connecting output ports to input ports. Once everything’s connected and properly configured, press the run workspace button. This will cause the data to travel along the connecting lines from left to right, following the logic you created. In this example the Tester transformer has been used to filter a list of parks into dog parks and regular parks.

FME Data Inspector

FME Data Inspector is a viewing application that allows you to inspect data – before, after and during translation. Most users create workflows in FME Workbench before viewing the results in FME Data Inspector. Different options allow you to inspect your data in 2D mode, 3D mode, and in a table view.

  1. Display Control: Shows a list of open datasets and their feature types and includes the ability to show or hide individual components of the dataset.
  2. View: Displays a single dataset, or multiple datasets at the same time.
  3. Table View: Displays attribute information about the feature.
  4. Feature Information: Displays information about a queried feature including feature type, coordinate system, attributes and geometry details.

A city map highlighting dog parks has been visualized, allowing for a thorough inspection of data quality.

Your tour is complete! Click next to see FME in action with three simple examples

Convert an Excel Spreadsheet to CAD Spatial Features

In this exercise, we'll convert tabular data from a Microsoft Excel file into AutoCAD point geometry. Click Next to get started.

Step 1: Add a Reader

Before you begin, please copy the data URL to your clipboard:

http://demos.fmeserver.com/getting-started/Bees.xlsx

Click Add Reader icon on the toolbar above.

Start typing Microsoft Excel into the Format field, alternatively if you leave this blank, FME will guess the format based on your dataset.

Paste the data URL into the Dataset field. FME will automatically download this sample data from the web when you run this workspace, then click OK to add the reader.

Step 2: Add a Writer

Click Add Writer icon on the toolbar above.

In the Format textbox, begin typing DWG, and set the destination format to Autodesk AutoCAD DWG/DXF.

Choose an output location and name it Bees.dwg. Click OK.

Step 3: Connect the Reader and Writer

Drag a connection line from the Reader feature type to the Writer feature type.

Congrats! You now have a working FME Workspace that does an Excel to DWG conversion. Now let's add a Transformer to modify the data.

Step 4: Add a Transformer

Click anywhere on the canvas and begin typing VertexCreator, click enter or double-click on the name to add this Transformer to your workspace.

Connect it between your Reader and Writer feature types, by dragging the transformer to the connection line until the green triangle snaps to the line.

Step 5: Edit Transformer Parameters

Double-click the VertexCreator to open its parameters.

Use the down arrows on the right to set the X Value to the Longitude attribute and the Y Value to the Latitude attribute. Click OK.

Step 6: Run Workspace

Ready to roll! Click the Run icon in the toolbar. The number of features being translated will appear on the connection lines, and a Translation Log will appear.

Step 7: Inspect Output

Click on the Bees Writer to make the Popup Menu appear, click on the magnifying glass to Inspect the data. This will open the FME Data Inspector.

Click a point to see its attribute information in the Feature Information pane.

You Did It!

Well done. You've turned simple spreadsheet rows into spatial features. Told you it was easy! Ready to show off with a more complex exercise?

Convert AutoCAD to GIS

In this exercise, we'll convert CAD (.dwg) to GIS (.shp), and turn the CAD layer names into a GIS attribute. Click Next to get started.

Step 1: Add a Reader

Before you begin please copy the data URL to your clipboard:

http://demos.fmeserver.com/getting-started/VancouverStreets.dwg

Click the Add Reader icon on the toolbar above.

Set the format to Autodesk AutoCAD DWG/DXF.

Paste the following URL into the Dataset field. FME will automatically download this sample data from the web when you run this workspace.

Click OK. On the Select Feature Types dialog, uncheck the 0 layer (the AutoCAD default layer), and click OK to read the remainder.

Step 2: Add a Writer

Click Add Writer icon on the toolbar above.

Set the Format to Esri Shapefile, choose an output folder, and change the Shapefile Definition to Manual... so you can manually define the output GIS feature class. Click OK.

In the Feature Type Properties dialog, set the Shapefile Name to VancouverStreets. Click OK.

Step 3: Add a Transformer

Click anywhere on the canvas and begin typing FeatureTypeExtractor. Add this Transformer to your workspace. It extracts the feature type name, i.e. the CAD layer name.

Drag connection lines from all the Reader feature types to the Transformer, and from the Transformer to the Writer feature type.

Step 4: Modify Transformer Parameters

Lookin' good! This workflow reads AutoCAD data, takes note of the layer name, and writes to Esri Shapefile. Now we need to do something with that layer name.

Double-click the FeatureTypeExtractor to open its parameters. Set the Destination Attribute to road_type. Click OK.

Step 5: Modify Destination Attributes

Double-click the Writer feature type, VancouverStreets, to open its parameters. In the User Attributes tab, choose Automatic. Note how the road_type attribute from the transformer is automatically copied to the schema definition. Click OK.

Step 6: Run Workspace

The moment of truth! Click the Run icon in the toolbar. The number of features being translated will appear on the connection lines.

Step 7: Inspect Output

Select the Writer feature type, VancouverStreets, and choose Inspect. This will open the FME Data Inspector.

Click a line to see its attribute information in the Feature Information pane. Note the road_type attribute.

You Did It!

Well done. You've converted CAD to GIS without losing important information, and that's something to be proud of. Ready for more? Try another exercise.

Import JSON Data and Send an Email

In this exercise, we'll pull JSON from the web, decipher it, then send an Email to brag about how great you are at using FME and inspire your friends. Click Next to get started.

Step 1: Add a Reader

Before you begin please copy the data URL to your clipboard:

http://fme.ly/Email

Click Add Reader icon on the toolbar above.

Set the Format to JSON (JavaScript Object Notation).

Paste the data URL into the dataset field. This URL points to a JSON feed. Click OK.

Step 2: Add a Transformer

Select the Reader feature type (JSON Feature) and begin typing AttributeCreator. Add this Transformer to your workspace. Note how it automatically connects when an object is selected.

This Transformer allows you to create new attributes based on existing attributes and list attributes.

Step 3: Modify Transformer Parameters

Double-click the AttributeCreator to open its parameters.

In the first row under New Attribute, enter quote, then under Attribute Value, click on the box to the right with a down arrow and choose Attribute Value select inspirationalQuotes{}.quote. In the proceeding dialog enter your favorite number from 0 to 5. This will retrieve that element in the list. In the next row enter name and choose inspirationalQuotes{}.name. Then choose the same number you chose in the above row. Click OK.

Step 4: Add Another Transformer

Add an Emailer Transformer to your workspace. Can you guess what it does? It sends an email when your workspace runs!

(If you do not have an Email account, complete these steps using a Logger Transformer. This will write the message to the Translation Log below.)

Step 5: Build your Email

Open the Emailer parameters. Enter your personal email address in the From box, and then enter your friend's email in the To box (It's okay to send yourself the email, everyone could use a little inspiration!).

Then for the Subject type Inspirational Quote, for the Body, click on the ... to open a text editor. Under FME Feature Attributes, double click quote and name to add the quote and the author.

For the Email Service, select Gmail, if you don't have a Gmail account, look up the SMTP connection information for your domain or just connect a Logger to the Rejected Port. For Gmail users, click the box next to Gmail Connection and click Add Web Connection and then proceeed to log in to your Gmail Account using OAuth. Click OK to close the parameters.

Step 6: Run Workspace

Let's email some JSON! Click the Run icon in the toolbar.

(If using the Logger, your email will appear in the Translation Log window below.)

You Did It!

Well done. You've imported JSON data from the web, processed it, and sent it out in an email. Your inspired friends will be so jealous. Ready to try another exercise, visit the FME Knowledge Base for more tutorials:

https://knowledge.safe.com/page/tutorials

Next Steps: Free FME Training!

We want to help you learn FME, so all of the online training provided directly by Safe Software is free of charge.

On-Demand Training

Watch videos as our FME Certified Trainers take you through our course exercises.

Live Online Training

Take our full FME Desktop course free of charge, complete with virtual machine and live Q&A.

Tutorials

Access a range of getting started tutorials in our Knowledge Center.