I'm attempting to write to a version in a 10.6.1 ArcGIS Enterprise Geodatabase with a SQL Server 2017 Backend. I have created a version in the database and I want FME to write directly to it. I'm selecting the "Override Version" box in the writer. However, when I click the button to load the versions, I get the following error:

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The log shows this:

​Creating reader for format: Esri Geodatabase (ArcSDE Geodb)
Trying to find a DYNAMIC plugin for reader named `GEODATABASE_SDE'
FME API version of module 'GEODATABASE_SDE' matches current internal version (3.8 20190820)
Unable to open the Geodatabase reader because the 'DATASET' keyword was not found
A fatal error has occurred. Check the logfile above for details​

This error only seems to occur for me in 2019.2. I have tried it in 2018.1 and I can successfully read the versions that exist in the database. Is this a bug in 2019.2? What could be causing this error?

  • It does sound like a bug in FME, can you roll back? BTW Esri SDE has been EOL'd as of July 2019 support.esri.com/en/Products/More-Products/legacy-products/… which might have something to do with the latter version disliking the connection. Feb 21 '20 at 6:05
  • No, I can't roll back. It's my client's environment. It's a 10.6.1 Enterprise Geodatabase. FME refers to it as ArcSDE.
    – Fezter
    Feb 21 '20 at 6:07
  • That's odd, perhaps the ArcGIS Server is 10.6.1 but the last version of SDE was 10.2.2. Has the SQL Server been updated also? It may be that the database client you have is old and out of step with the underlying database. Are you direct connecting or by port/service? Do you have permission in the database to view the DBTune etc? Can you connect something like QGIS to the database to ensure that your permissions are adequate? Feb 21 '20 at 6:29
  • 1
    I've updated the question to indicate that the SQL Version is 2017. Database and GIS were upgraded last year. There are no issues connecting to the database apart from this particular version of FME. I'm connecting via sde connection file.
    – Fezter
    Feb 21 '20 at 6:32
  • 2
    Yeah, this looks like a bug to me. I think it's one that was recently filed as FMEENGINE-61365. It's tagged as "easy workaround" so I've asked if that's true and if so what that workaround might be. Is it possible to manually enter a version instead of selecting it? Let me know how urgent this is and I can push to get an earlier fix if necessary. Apologies for the pain it's no doubt causing. Feb 21 '20 at 16:02

FME uses the existing ArcGIS Desktop resources to write into ArcSDE. I suggest you take a look at the compatibility table FME/ArcGIS Desktop which is available here:


  • 2
    The installation is compatible. It's been writing to the database for a while. The issue is only when I try to load the versions.
    – Fezter
    Feb 24 '20 at 5:24

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