Esri Geodatabase (ArcSDE Geodb) Reader Parameters

About Database Connections

Database formats include a Database Connection parameter that defines and stores authentication information. For general information about sharing database connections, please see Using Database Connections. Using Database Connections.

Note that Database Connection parameters differ slightly, depending on context and/or database format.


From the Connection parameter in a database format, you can do one of the following:

  • Select an existing, previously defined connection. See the section Reusing a Database Connection in Using Database Connections
  • Select Add Database Connection to define a new connection. See database-specific parameters below, as well as the section Adding a Database Connection in a Workspace in Using Database Connections. The new connection can be made visible only to the current user, or can be shared among multiple users.
Note about SQL View Editing: The SQLExecutor transformer supports File Geodatabase, Mobile Geodatabase, and ArcSDE Geodatabase formats. However, the SQL queries it is capable of performing are limited. If running the SQL fails, FME will try to recognize the SQL as a view statement of one of the following forms:
CREATE VIEW viewname AS querydescription;
CREATE OR REPLACE viewname AS querydescription;
DROP VIEW viewname;

If any of these case-insensitive queries is identified, the geodatabase will call custom view calls to delete or create views as requested.

Database Connection

Connection File

This parameter identifies the pathname of a connection file to be used to connect to an Enterprise Geodatabase.

A connection file provides the necessary information to connect to the SDE server, such as the server name or the username.

The connection file must have an .sde extension and be properly formatted (as defined by Esri). Connection files can be created in ArcCatalog.



Schema Attributes

Additional Attributes to Expose

Use this parameter to expose Format Attributes in FME Workbench when you create a workspace:

  • In a dynamic scenario, it means these attributes can be passed to the output dataset at runtime.
  • In a non-dynamic scenario, this parameter allows you to expose additional attributes on multiple feature types. Click the browse button to view the available format attributes (which are different for each format) for the reader.

Search Envelope

A search envelope (also known as a bounding box) is a rectangular area that defines a geographic area. In FME, the easiest way to define a search envelope is to use search envelope parameters.

Defining a search envelope is the most efficient method of selecting an area of interest because FME will read only the data that is necessary – it does not have to read an entire dataset. Search Envelope parameters apply to both vector and raster datasets and can be particularly efficient if the source format has a spatial index.

Most FME readers have parameters to define the search envelope of data that is being read:

Screenshot with blank search envelope min and max x and y parameters

The parameters include the x and y coordinates of the bounding box as well as a parameter that defines the coordinate system.

How to Define the Bounding Box

Using the minimum and maximum x and y parameters, define a bounding box that will be used to filter the input features. Only features that intersect with the bounding box are returned. Note that the bounding box intersection is not a full geometry intersection (based on spatial relationships) that would be returned by a transformer like the SpatialFilter.

Note  If all four coordinates of the search envelope are left at 0, the search envelope will be disabled even if this option is checked.

Search Envelope Coordinate System

Specifies the coordinate system of the search envelope if it is different than the coordinate system of the data. The coordinate system associated with the data to be read must always be set if this parameter is set.

If this parameter is set, the minimum and maximum points of the search envelope are reprojected from the Search Envelope Coordinate System to the reader’s coordinate system prior to applying the envelope.

Clip to Search Envelope

The underlying function for Use Search Envelope is an intersection; however, when Clip to Search Envelope is checked, a clipping operation is also performed.

  • When left unchecked (set to No), features that overlap the boundary will be included in their full (unclipped) form.
  • When checked (set to Yes), this option instructs FME to clip features to the exact envelope boundary. FME removes any portions of imported features being read that are outside the search envelope.

Clip to Search Envelope: No

Clip to Search Envelope: Yes

Any features that cross the search envelope boundary will be read, including the portion that lies outside of the boundary.

Any features that cross the search envelope boundary will be clipped at the boundary, and only the portion that lies inside the boundary will be read.

The search envelope includes the bounding box and the extent of the raster.

The search envelope includes only the area within the bounding box.

The raster size will still match the bounding box, but the area without data will be filled with Nodata values to represent the absence of data, if the source raster has them.

Raster Nodata may be a single value across all bands, a single value per band, or a separate alpha or transparency band that indicates the lack of data values (this is more common in images than other types of rasters).


Persistent Connection

When enabled, the database connection persists for the duration of an FME session.

For example, it may be desirable to maintain a connection when running a batch of 100 workspaces on the same database connection, which saves the processing time required to make and break a database connection.

FME considers the database connection to be the same when the database name, the username, and password are the same.