Saturday, May 22, 2010

Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) and Informatica PowerCenter

Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) is a spatial ETL tool by Safe Software Inc.

The advantage of a spatial ETL tool is that it can read, write and even manipulate spatial data. While an ETL tool must have processing capabilities for the various column types that are in a non-spatial database or system, a spatial ETL must also have the spatial operations - geoprocessing capabilities that change the structure and representation of spatial data - needed to move from one spatial database or GIS to another.

Besides, FME can read data from and write data to over 250 supported formats. Informatica PowerCenter as an ETL tool cannot read from or write data in the spatial domain. So, the FME Extension for Informatica extends Informatica PowerCenter with spatial data integration capabilities.

You can read more on FME at Also, Safe Software Inc. provides a Free FME Evaluation Download that has 14 day free evaluation period. It also has a series of tutorials on how to get started with FME, how to register the FME Extension in an Informatica PowerCenter Repository Service as a plug-in and how to use the FME Extension for Informatica.

As shown below, the Oracle_BI_DW_Base Informatica Repository Service has registered the FME Client plug-in in the Administration Console.

Now, if we check the Informatica PowerCenter Designer client tool, we have a new transformation added i.e. the FME Transformation as shown below.

The FME transformation, if used within any Informatica PowerCenter mapping will enable spatial data flow within Informatica. FME is certainly a tool to explore, particularly if you are well-versed with the spatial domain.


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