I'm looking at potential architectures for a new project and the biggest unknown right now is how well ArcGIS Server can communicate with non-ESRI data sources for map services.

There are a number of data sources including Oracle Spatial and SDF files. There is no SDE and periodically converting source data into shapefiles or similar is not an option as the data must be live. It has been suggested that FME (server?) may be able to mediate between the two, but this is something I have never tried.

Does anyone have experience with this or a similar setup?

I'd be interested to know how stable a configuration this is, whether editing the source data would be possible (assuming a capable API was used on the client), or any other alternatives.

  • We use FME Server - for the price we can do much more than what ArcGIS Server can - have an internal mapping app that can validate and distribute geospatial data on demand live from multiple oracle, cad, shapefiles and kml.
    – Mapperz
    Jun 13, 2011 at 18:38
  • @Mapperz - does this mean your application is simply responsible for serving up data through a web interface, or do you actually have interactive applications built on APIs provided by the server technology?
    – tomfumb
    Jun 13, 2011 at 18:44
  • uses the REST API built-in into FME - Security needs to be enabled which actives the Token Service that can be use on a web mapping interface. You can use GET, POST, DELETE with the Rest API - fmepedia.com/attachments//Developer_Resources/sdk/doc/rest/…
    – Mapperz
    Jun 13, 2011 at 19:03
  • ok thanks for the input, I don't think this API can help me. I should have said in my question that the web application needs comprehensive viewer and basic analysis capabilities. It looks like I would have to write a lot of functionality around the fme API for this. What I'm really looking for is to integrate AGS with FME as a data source and build on the AGS APIs
    – tomfumb
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:05
  • I am not a Web programmer but in a few hours had a Google Map up running that can intersect a polygon (user defined) and download either GeoPDF, CAD or KML from an FME workbench (from Server) - FME does GIS Analysis though some features have different names to ESRI (Intersect=CLIPPER etc)
    – Mapperz
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:26

2 Answers 2


You can check out this case study on SwissTopo and how they combined FME Server and ArcGIS Server.

NB: I do work for Safe Software, makers of FME.

  • Based on what I've seen of FME I would be quite proud to work for Safe... (though I do know that you guys only claim to be based in Vancouver to people who don't know where Surrey is ;) )
    – tomfumb
    Jun 13, 2011 at 23:30

Yes, that is a very feasible platform to work with; it is the same one that I have based my agencies current projects on. We have a number of sources sending us data in a number of formats that we then use Safe-FME to convert and reshape into a SDE format that is served to ArcGIS Server.

We then all the users to export back from that central site to there native formats for edit/resubmit or just edit online.

For what you are describing; you will need some sort of DB backend to support the web-editing.

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