Esri released its File Geodatabase API in mid 2011, and it seems that QGIS via GDAL's OGR FileGDB Driver added support for the File Geodatabase within about a year.

By support, I mean simply being able to display, identify and query features using a direct read, with editing them not necessarily being required.

Has such support of File Geodatabases also been implemented for MapInfo Professional at any release (or via an extension)?

Please note that this question is only about File Geodatabase (*.gdb) rather than Personal Geodatabase (*.mdb) support because there is a big difference between the two formats.

  • 2
    Sorry, no direct connection to File Geodatabase checked in MapInfo Professional v11.5.4
    – Mapperz
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 21:56
  • I just checked my MapInfo Pro 12.5.2 and here I can see a format called "ESRI Geodatabase (File Geodb API). I assume that's the format asked for. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 9:59
  • @PeterHorsbøllMøller That sounds like it - can you provide an answer that includes a link to that documentation because it would be something that I could Accept.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:03
  • @PolyGeo, Done! Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:17

3 Answers 3


There is a solution, but you must have FME installed on the same machine as MapInfo. If you have FME installed, you can use the Open Universal Data option in MapInfo. It will allow you to open any of the formats that are supported by FME.

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Note, in the last image, you'll notice that I have two options for File Geodatabase. The first is the API translator, the second is the ArcObjects translator which becomes available when ArcGIS is also installed on the same machine.

So, to answer your question, yes it is possible, but not unless you have FME.

  • A good solution if you have FME, otherwise why not just use FME to convert to TAB format...?
    – Mapperz
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 16:07
  • 1
    Because he wants to read the File Geodatabase which could potentially be changing. Converting to TAB would only give him a snapshot of the FGB at the time of conversion. Any future edits wouldn't be visible.
    – Fezter
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 19:38

MapInfo Pro(fessional) 12.5 has some new supported formats. One of these is called "ESRI Geodatabase (File Geodb API)".

enter image description here

This can be used from File > Open Universal Data for direct read. MapInfo Pro will create a tab file containing links to the geodatabase and reading the data from the geodatabase when the table is being opened.

You can also use FME Quick Translator (aka Universal Translator) (found in the Tools menu or in the Tools Manager) to translate the data into another format. There the tab files created do not contain a link to the original data.


Yes, in latest MapInfo Professional v12.0. Universal Translator has been updated (FME 2013 Quick Translator).

From v12.0 Release Notes "You can now translate ESRI ArcSDE, ESRI Geodatabase (Personal Geodatabase) (.mdb), and Google Earth KML (.kmz, kml) formats."

To access Personal Geodatabases (which is the geodatabase MapInfo supports), you will need ArcGIS installed on the same machine

P.S (maybe some trial ArcGIS version is enough, but I am not sure).

  • 1
    Thanks for answering. but it sounds like the Universal Translator (FME) route requires data to be converted rather than direct read, and that Personal Geodatabase (which I prefer not to use) can be direct read only when ArcGIS for Desktop is also installed (and licensed?) on the same machine. Correct me if I have misunderstood.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 22:08
  • 2
    The question was about File Geodatabase, which has an open API for the 10.x FGDB format, not Personal Geodatabase (which is Microsoft Access), so your answer should probably be "No".
    – Vince
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 0:43
  • @PolyGeo, well you can do both, import and direct read. It depends on which feature you are using. File > Open Universal Data will read the data from the database when you open the tab file. The tab file holds a link to the geodatabase. If you use FME Quick Translator you are importing the data into another format without maintaining the link to the original data Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 9:56
  • @PeterHorsbøllMøller You mention "database" and "geodatabase" in your comment but not "file geodatabase". I have not yet seen a link saying that MapInfo can read a file geodatabase but I have seen a number saying that it can read a personal geodatabase which is a very different data format.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:00
  • Yeah, I probably should have been more precise in my comment. In v12.5 I have a format called "ESRI Geodatabase (File Geodb API)". Does that sound as the correct format? (I admit I'm not an expert on all the different ESRI formats) Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 10:03

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