What I'm trying to accomplish is take two Feature Classes - one the current FC, the second with updated data. I want to merge the changes into the original FC so its updated. I want to update vs. completely replace the original FC because updating preserves the annotation I have placed. I have been able to get FME to update a Feature Class in a File Geodatabase with the ChangeDetector transformer just fine, and it places a new annotation for updated/new features. However, it doesn't follow the label expression that is set. For example, I have a few multi line expressions set, but only the part of the expression before "vbnewline" is populating in the annotation. Using a versioned geodatabase is not an option for this application.

The editing behaviors have been set in ArcCatalog under the annotation tab on the annotation feature to the following:

-Create annotation when new features are added. -Update annotation when feature's shape is modified.

If I manually add a new feature to the original feature class in ArcMap, the annotation generates automatically as expected. I can also go in and manually create new annotation for the features modified or inserted via FME and the annotation generates as expected. Its only appears to be happening when FME does the leg work.

I am running the latest version of FME (2013 SP1), as well as ArcMap 10.0 SP2 at the ArcInfo level.


1 Answer 1


Feature-linked Annotation in FME Desktop

You can only read or insert feature linked annotation.

Annotations are separate features but can be linked to other features through feature-linked annotations. Feature-linking occurs when there is a relationship between an annotation feature class and some other feature class. The attribute geodb_linked_feature_id controls which annotations are linked to which features.

Feature-linked annotations can be read and written using FME if the necessary feature classes and relationships are created and set up before the translation. Currently, it is only possible to read or insert feature-linked annotations, not update or delete them.


  • I'm not attempting to alter the annotations directly. The settings under the annotation in ArcCatalog are defined to create a new annotation upon creation of an additional feature in a feature class. The annotation gets created, but it isn't being created with the expression I have set up. Only the first half of the expression gets created.
    – amasephy
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 14:56
  • After reading through the link it seems like it can be an alternative. I was able to get the annotation to write to one annotation feature class by setting the parameters as specified in the help document. However, it seems I can't get it to write out multiple annotation feature classes using the list attribute method. Perhaps I don't understand where these attributes should be input.
    – amasephy
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 14:45

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