Spatial ETL tools

Available with Data Interoperability license.

Spatial ETL tools are user-created geoprocessing tools that can transform data between different data models and different file formats. You create them with FME Workbench in a translation workspace and save them in a toolbox.

Initiating creation of a spatial ETL tool opens the FME Workbench application. In the FME Workbench application, you can define the data source and data destination, which allows diagramming of your dataflow. You can customize the default dataflow by adding or deleting connectors, inserting transformers, and editing parameters.


Spatial ETL tools are capable of a wide range of processes and dataflows, from simple format translations to complex transformations, that restructure geometry and attributes. They can be used as stand-alone geoprocessing tools or run as part of a Python script tool.

Possible uses include the following examples:

  • Filtering attributes and merging them with other feature classes
  • Using attribute values to create unique feature classes on the fly
  • Separating data using test criteria
  • Creating line features from coordinate values

Share as a project package

If you want to share your project as a project package, you have three options to ensure that your Spatial ETL tools are included in the .ppkx file.

The options to include a Spatial ETL tool in a project package are listed below. For the first two options, unpacking the project automatically connects the FMW source to its ETL tool. For the third option, make clear to package consumers that they must repair each ETL tool source by editing its Workspace path property.

  • Use the Import FMW tool creation option so each tool source is embedded.
  • Store each tool source .fmw file in the project home folder.
  • Store each tool source outside the project home folder, but add each .fmw file as an attachment to the project package.