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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

FME 2014 release offers more speed, graphics and formats

January 24th, 2014 by Susan Smith

In a discussion with Dale Lutz of Safe Software he talked about the latest version of FME, FME 2014.

“For every user we try hard to make the whole experience of using the product more effective and smooth, and that comes down to making use of streamed real estate,” said Lutz.

This has involved changing the interface out to new technology that is faster, with a nicer graphical look, and FME now works on the Mac as well as Linux.

“A lot of web developers work on Macs, and many want to work with spatial data, and in Europe especially there is a lot of interest in Linux, and they are happy to be able to use it directly. This isn’t a big commercial opportunity but many university people are Mac or Linux.”

FME’s data inspection tool added background maps,  that can see what the data is before it is translated. It can add maps from ArcGIS Online, and MapQuest’s free mapping service, MapBox.

Overwhelmingly 92% of people work with databases of some kind. “So we added a very easy to use update and delete records from databases, so that’s the key workflow people are doing as maintenance of their data,” said Lutz. “We made null a first class citizen. Databases have a concept that a value might be null, which means we don’t know what value it has.”

Big Data:

Large amounts of corporate data is in the cloud, and in response to that, Safe has built connectors for many of the places where organizations are storing data in the cloud. People don’t have to care where their data is, because FME can put it out there and work with it.

ArcGIS Online is another cloud format where data can be moved in and out of, and can render maps and provide great value to users.

FME can be used to migrate large quantities of data into the cloud, such as large volumes of lidar which can be chopped up and put in the cloud for later retrieval.

Formats that have been added include: Amazon DynamoDB, RDS, Redshift, and S3, as well as Google BigQuery.

Lidar and Point Clouds

FME began to support some more flexible point cloud formats with this release, using E57, has a flexible model for storing data.

FME’s data inspection tool added background maps, that can see what the data is before it is translated. It can add maps from ArcGIS Online, and MapQuest’s free mapping service, MapBox. Mapbox is not associated with MapQuest, nor is it a free mapping service offered by MapQuest. “Mapnik is an open source cartographic renderer, and OpenStreetMap or MapBox, are rendered using Mapnik.” Mapbox and OpenStreetMap work closely together, but they are not the same entity. For more information about Mapbox, feel free to check out our “About page”,, as well as our Blog:


After many years, Safe has a solution for people who want to go from Revit to ArcGIS.

FME Server has a new release that connects big data to the web and to Amazon, and supporting new web technology with WebSockets,  allowing interacting in real time.

FME is FME Server that is hosted by Safe Software.

Below are some of the additional benefits of FME 2014 as outlined in the press release:

Web Service Implementation
FME 2014 includes new tools that facilitate the configuration, testing and use of various web services through a graphical, no-code approach. Highlights include:

  • Zapier Service for FME Server – captures information from 300+ web services including Twilio, Evernote®, Gmail™, and more
  • WFS 2.0 reader – facilitates the implementation of Open Geospatial Consortium’s® Web Feature Service for sharing vector data
  • Improved HTTP and JSON transformers – make working with web services easier

“Many of the capabilities in FME 2014 are aimed at helping users adopt new applications and technology without worry,” says Dale Lutz, Co-CEO and Vice President of Development at Safe Software. “Things like support for the cloud and web services mean our users can take control of all the changes happening in the world of computing and use them to their full advantage.”

Enhanced 3D Support
FME 2014 features continued advancements with 3D and point cloud data handling including:

  • Autodesk Revit® reading
  • Trimble® Sketchup reading and writing
  • Comprehensive improvements to IFC reading
  • Support for AutoCAD Civil 3D® versions up to 2013
  • Revamped core point cloud data model with more flexibility in defining components, and corresponding component transformation tools

Database Achievements
FME 2014 includes comprehensive improvements to all tools associated with database workflows that enable smoother data handling, including more powerful support for null values.

Newly Supported Formats and Applications: 315+ and Counting
In addition to the cloud and 3D formats already mentioned, FME 2014 includes other new formats across raster, vector, database, GPS, spreadsheet, and XML data types, bringing the total number of supported formats to over 315. Notable new formats include Google WebP, Esri Geodatabase Mosaic Datasets, INSPIRE, AIXM 5.1 and completely overhauled support for Microsoft® Excel.

Additional Highlights Worth Noting

  • New raster slope and aspect calculations
  • Generic GML writer for easier handling of complex open models
  • Faster processing of point cloud and raster data
  • Enhanced tolerance snapping for intersection-based geometry tools
  • MapnikRasterizer transformer for customized cartographic rendering

FME Desktop 2014
With the release of FME 2014, Safe has made the FME Data Inspector its primary inspection tool. New capabilities include background maps, enhanced table viewing with faster record sorting, 3D mode, and interactive subsetting and translation of data.

FME Workbench received a makeover which promises to allow for more efficient workflow authoring. This refreshed canvas makes better use of space for a tidier environment, has bold new graphically descriptive icons, more intuitive visual cues, and control over annotation styling.

Safe is committed to making FME a multi-platform product so people can use FME on their preferred operating system and to that end FME Desktop 2014 is available as a technical preview on Mac and Linux.

FME Server 2014
FME Server 2014 includes new functionality that allows users to work more efficiently such as:

  • An included WebSocket server for greater data delivery speeds
  • Centralized workspace resource sharing
  • Compatibility with Single-Sign-On security technology that accepts the user’s initial workstation login credentials

FME Cloud
FME Cloud is the latest product offering from Safe, available in beta, and is a different way to deploy FME Server as a location-aware Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). It connects cloud, on-premise and mobile applications using infrastructure that scales to suit capacity requirements so users only pay for what they use.

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Category: Safe Software

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