Esri ArcGIS Layer Reader

Note: To use FME’s Esri ArcGIS® Layer (ArcObjects) Reader, you must also install a compatible version of Esri ArcGIS. The bit version must be the same for FME and ArcGIS.

The ArcGIS Layer reader modules allow FME to read Esri Layer files and feature classes viewable in Esri ArcCatalog® and ArcMap®.


Since the ArcGIS Layer Reader is based on the same technology as FME’s Geodatabase Reader, any spatial feature that the Geodatabase Reader supports is also supported by the ArcGIS Layer Reader.

The ArcGIS Layer reader does not read (non-spatial) tables.

With FME’s ArcGIS Extension or the Esri ArcGIS Data Interoperability Extension installed, it is possible to read FME feature classes for formats that Esri does not natively support. An FME feature class is simply an FME feature type, that, where applicable, has been split geometry type (i.e., point, line, polygon, text, null).

Reader Dataset

A single Esri layer/feature class from which data is to be read. The value for an Esri layer is simply the layer file. The value for a feature class is the Esri path to the file/database containing the feature class plus the name of the feature class. The Esri path is displayed in the Location toolbar within Esri ArcCatalog.

The FME dataset selector has been enhanced for the ArcGIS Layer reader to use Esri’s layer/feature class picker. Using this selector will greatly simplify the process of selecting a dataset.


Esri Layer:

ARCGIS_LAYER_DATASET “C:\data\runways.lyr”

Feature Class within a Personal Geodatabase:

ARCGIS_LAYER_DATASET “C:\data\airport.mdb\runways”

Feature Class within an Enterprise Geodatabase:

ARCGIS_LAYER_DATASET “Database Connections\esri92.sde\JOE.runways”

FME Feature Class within a MIF/MID file (requires ArcGIS to be extended by FME):

ARCGIS_LAYER_DATASET “C:\data\mif\usa.mif\usa Line”

FME Community

Notes on FME and Esri Versions and Compatibility

FME and Esri ArcGIS Troubleshooting Guide