I have a workspace with dozens of Readers & Writers that all point to the same database, all using the same connection. How to point all the relevant Feature Types to a single Reader/Writer definition, and then delete all the duplicates? (and then I'll need only one User Parameter!)

An output Feature Type let's me select which Writer to use, but input Feature Types have Reader field disabled. Why? How do I enable the UI control?

FME Desktop v2022.0.

dozens of identical readers/writers in Nav panel

Feature-Type dialog allows change of Writer...

...but changing Reader is disallowed

1 Answer 1


So, if we think of the reader as "what we have" and the writer as "what we want", then it's allowed to edit the writer because it's not a fixed schema. However, the reader is disabled because it's supposed to represent an actual dataset. If you could make changes, then things could easily get out of sync with reality.

The easiest solution is to use Readers > Import Feature Types. Then you import the feature types (tables) you want to the reader that you want. It's also likely to be a quicker solution than going through each feature type in turn and editing it.

Then just delete the original feature types that you no longer need - and click Yes when prompted to remove the reader (else you'll have a bunch of readers without any tables to read).

That's also the solution to avoid this position in the first place. Instead of using the Add Reader tool, just use Import Feature Type to add extra tables to the same reader.

  • Hmm. So if I understand this right, the smoothest and most visible path in the UI is actually best avoided? e.g. Excepting the very first time don't use +Reader button and don't just start typing to add a table to do something with. Instead use menu "Reader >> Import Feature Type" (Import FT is not exposed via right-click context or some other in-situ UI element as far as I can tell) Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 16:42
  • "[Import is] also likely to be a quicker solution than going through each feature type in turn and editing it." ...not when the Reader has 100+ tables and I only want a handful. I don't like the path presented but I'm happy to take it as the alternative is worse. Thanks for the 1st para, that's a helpful framing. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 16:45

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