I have a gas pipeline network which I have stored in an File Geodatabase as polylines. I've created an FME workspace to split the pipelines at fittings (valves, reducers, tees, etc) which are stored as point features. This effectively creates smaller line segments when a fitting overlaps a pipe.

My question is: can I have FME remove my original pipes and replace them with my split lines? Or do I have to write to another geodatabase and then cut/paste back into the original file? Please note, I am using a tester to query out only a certain area, so I don't want to replace all of the pipes, just the area I'm working on.

I'm relatively new to FME and appreciate any input.



1 Answer 1


Yes, you can write back to the same source file geodatabase and you can even write back to the same featureclass. In the workspace below, I read in the featureclass EsriCitiesDetailed as the Clipee, then write out the clipped features right back to a featureclass with the same name in the same geodatabase.

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The key is to drop the target table before you write back out to it. Truncating it won't work, as the extent will still be that of the original featureclass.

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Based on your comments, it sounds like you need to update only the certain features you have edited. I know updating/inserting based on criteria is possible with ArcSDE, but not sure about file geodatabases. The workspace below (for ArcSDE) exposes and sets the fme_db_operation attribute to either INSERT or UPDATE based on criteria. You then expose fme_db_operation and set it in the target. Worth a shot with a file geodatabase. It won't look exactly like the workspace below, but the concept is similar, if the record exists, then update it. You won't have any inserts as you are just editing existing data. So essentially you are just testing to see if the record exists (finding it), if so, then update it.

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  • I couldn't get it to work properly - FME seemed to hang. But time is of the essence to get the data back to the client so I managed a workaround but I'll try your solution when I have some downtime. Thanks for your reply.
    – Fezter
    May 10, 2012 at 1:15
  • OK, I've tried this again, and there were issues with licensing and the version of FME that was installed (64-bit and ESRI was 32-bit). All that is fixed now, but it's still not working. My workspace filters out some of the features (pipes) in my featureclass. Then it splits them if they overlay a point (pipe fittings). I want to put those split features back into the geodatabase and delete the original filtered features. I don't want to drop the table because I don't want to delete the entire table, just the ones that I changed.
    – Fezter
    May 25, 2012 at 6:14
  • 1
    @Fezter - see my edit on updating May 25, 2012 at 14:34
  • That is exactly what I needed. From what I read, fme_db_operation is a generic attribute designed to work on several types of databases. It certainly works on file geodatabases. Thanks.
    – Fezter
    May 28, 2012 at 5:48

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