Below is a technical summary of all the new and updated applications, functionality, and formats in FME Desktop 2015. See a general overview of what’s new at, and be sure to join our upcoming webinars that take a closer look into the new FME Desktop and FME Server. Details on what’s great in the new FME Server / FME Cloud will follow in a separate blog post in a couple of weeks.

Download the release and, if you’re looking for something very specific, you can see the detailed “What’s New” documentation at

Officially called FME 2015.0, this release is the dawn of a new naming convention. Scroll down the list to see all the updates to be excited about, or use this table of contents to jump to the section you’re looking for.

FME Workbench

We’ve added several enhancements to FME Workbench, giving you more clarity and ease-of-use when designing your workspaces. See how they work by scrolling through the screenshots and 6-second videos below (and click to enlarge any of them).

New Functionality and Major Updates

Tree-based undo

Add Writer dialog with feature type handling options

Context sensitive naming


Feature type floating toolbar


Auto scroll

Custom transformer export

Duplicate on writer menu

Navigator window children displayed

Order writers by

User Parameters

User parameter types

Named Connections

“Named connections” refers to the ability to define a database or web connection only once, then subsequently use it in your FME Workspaces—saving time and without needing to store the password within the workspace. You can create named connections by going to Tools > FME Options.

Named Database Connections can be created for the following database formats:

Database named connections

Named Web Service Connections can be created for the following web services:

Associated changes include:

Database named connection reader

Minor Updates and GUI Changes


FME 2015 has several new transformers, some that have been deprecated, and many that have been updated. Notably, we’ve added functionality for working with point clouds, and online file storage services like Amazon S3.

For the full list of FME transformers, visit

New Transformers

PDFPageFormatter parameters

* Added back in an FME 2014 Service Pack.

Deprecated Transformers

The following were deprecated in order to be merged into a single HTTPCaller transformer:


Updated Transformers

These transformers were renamed:

These transformers were updated with new parameters for controlling attribute merging:

These transformers were updated to use the new Named Connection functionality:

These transformers were updated to improve their performance:

These transformers were updated to improve their handling of international characters:

The rest of the transformer updates follow, including new parameters, updated parameters, and redesigned dialogs:

These updates were made to ALL transformers:


FME 2015 has several new formats and many that have been updated. Notably, we’ve improved our BIM capabilities with IFC Writing and smoother reading of IFC, Revit, and SketchUp. We’ve also enhanced our support for web mapping services, Excel data, and even extended to a gaming engine with Minecraft. New JDBC support gives users the ability to connect with a wider range of systems, like SAP HANA, Neo4j, and MS SQL Server on Linux.

For the full list of formats supported by FME, visit

Chart of data formats supported by FME from 1996 to 2015.

Chart of formats supported by FME from 1996 to 2015. FME 2015 brings us to 336 formats. Click to enlarge.

New Formats

* Added back in an FME 2014 Service Pack.

Updated Formats






XML formats

Other formats

FME Data Inspector

Overall, the FME 2015 Data Inspector offers more options for background maps, easier interactions with feature information, and the new ability to mark coordinates/text insertion points.


New FME 2015 DI Background maps

Background map reminder

Feature information context menu

Mark coordinates and text insertion points

Other FME Desktop updates

Coordinate Systems

Installer and Licensing


About FME Fme 2015

Mark Ireland

Mark, aka iMark, is the FME Evangelist (est. 2004) and has a passion for FME Training. He likes being able to help people understand and use technology in new and interesting ways. One of his other passions is football (aka. Soccer). He likes both technology and soccer so much that he wrote an article about the two together! Who would’ve thought? (Answer: iMark)


22 Responses to “What’s Great in FME Desktop 2015”

  1. Nic Ranicar says:

    The webinar made mention of updates to the database writers regarding insert/update functionality. Where can I find more information on this?

    • Mark Ireland says:

      Hi Nic,
      The documentation for these formats has been updated to match the new look and feel, so start there. I’ll also try and write an article about these shortly. In brief, the SQL Server based Writers (of which there are many) have been reviewed and standardized with a slightly new look and feel. I’ve put a screenshot here:

      As you’ll see, all of the parameters for setting inserts, updates, overwrites, etc are much clearer now. There is also a text editor for creating a proper WHERE clause. We’re hoping to do the same for Oracle and PostGIS and all the other database formats (not sure when – maybe 2015.1, maybe 2016).

      The functionality is pretty much the same, just reorganized. I think the only differences are in what happens when the intent is ambiguous. For example, what happens if a feature is flagged as an INSERT, but has an fme_where clause set on it. Or what about an UPDATE that has no where clause. Before we were a bit inconsistent. Some formats would drop the features, others would do a different action. So now we’re trying to harmonize those behaviours. Again, this should all have been updated in the documentation (R+W Manual), so that’s something to check out.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Ajeet Singh says:

    Hi Mark,

    Does GeoPackage database writer supports spatial indexing ? I am trying to create some GeoPackage tables from .TAB.


  3. Dale says:

    Okay, the technical team got back to me with details. GeoPackage does indeed support and have spatial indexes (spec is here The implementation in FME 2015.0, however, does not make use of these. It is our plan to engage them in FME 2016.

    Because GeoPackage is just a convention on top of SQLite, it would be possible to create them manually using SQL statements (using FME’s SQLExecutor or your SQLite SQL tool of choice), but it is a bit involved (if this OGR code from the GDAL 2.0 trunk is any indication — — check out CreateSpatialIndex).

    So perhaps the best play Ajeet is to file a case with and then we can advise once an FME 2016 beta is available that has the index creation baked in. Shouldn’t be more than a few months out (though we are gated on the finalization of GDAL 2.0 for this).

  4. Garry Pugh says:

    FME 2015.0 workbench looks great, but I don’t seem to have the httpcaller in my transformer list – and still have all the ones that were going to be deprecated. Can you advise.

    • Mark Ireland says:

      Hi Garry,
      That is odd. I can’t really think of a reason why that should be. Perhaps you could contact support ( and ask them to take a look? But as long as the file “[fme install]\transformers\fmesuite.fmx” contains an entry for HTTPCaller (it’s line 51100 in my version) then I can’t see why it wouldn’t be there.

      Are you on a Windows OS? Linux? Or Mac?


      • Garry Pugh says:

        Thanks Mark, checked it out and the fmesuite.fmx appears to be the one from my previous 2014 install, it did not get upgraded. I just run the install over the top of the old one and it normally does an upgrade (that was what I did with the 2013-14 upgrade), should I have done a removal before re-install. I have logged a ticket on the support site anyway, and am running Windows 8. Everything else is working fine, just looks like I don’t have the new transformers. Thanks for your help – will let you know what support says.

        • Mark Ireland says:

          Normally when you install in an existing FME installation, you will be prompted whether to uninstall that one first. I wonder why you didn’t get that. Anyway, yes, please do let me know what the support team say, but I suspect they will just tell you to uninstall and then reinstall.

          • Garry Pugh says:

            You are correct, they advised to uninstall and re-install and recommended to always uninstall first. I now have all the new transformers. As to why I didn’t get the message – we utilise SCCM to deploy out to staff a silent install, previously we were able to just push the new version, looks like this time I will have to tell it to remove the previous version.


  5. Lassi Tani says:

    In my opinion this is the best and biggest release ever from Safe. You guys rock! I especially like new FeatureReader. Makes my work a lot easier :).

  6. Stacey says:

    I watched the webinar with a colleague and we both remember something being mentioned about capitalising uder attribute names possibly from the reader but can’t find that section in the webinar again or anything else about it. Can you point us in the right direction?

    • Mark Ireland says:

      Hi Stacey – I can’t recall that either, but you may find either the BulkAttributeRenamer or StringCaseChanger transformers of use.

      • Stacey says:

        The bulk attribute renamer is spot on. Must have been in one of the workspaces used in the demo, we just haven’t come across it before. Thanks for you help Mark.

        I must say the 2015 upgrade is the best yet!

  7. Renato Salvaleon says:

    Is there a sample of a workspace that uses the PDFPageFormater already?


  8. Rudolph Vogt says:

    Hi Mark,

    How can you update multiple writers of the same type for example i want to update the format parameter for all of them to Truncate Table First = Y.

    If you select 1 – press enter and properties are displayed, but you cannot do it for multiple selections

    Multiple Properties editor will be nice

    Great that the drag and drop from ArcGis is working again !!!!


  9. Rudolph Vogt says:

    Hi Mark,

    tx – that did the job

  10. Daniel Brenner says:

    I am relatively new to FME Data Inspector 2015.1. I just went through the Getting Started with FME Desktop and have one Big Question:

    WHAT IN THE WORLD do I have to do to DISABLE Feature Information?

    Every single time I clicked on/ID’d a feature, I got Feature Information no matter what. If I wanted to see the real data about a layer, I still got Feature Information. If I went to a layer’s Data Window, I couldn’t dock it against the map.

    The worst part of all was that every time I thought I had it disabled it still showed up.

    Daniel Brenner

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