What is the Data Interoperability extension?

The ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension for Desktop is an integrated spatial ETL (extract, transform, and load) toolset that runs within the geoprocessing framework using Safe Software's FME technology. It enables you to integrate data from multiple sources and formats, use that data with geoprocessing tools, and publish it with ArcGIS for Server.

ArcGIS for Desktop

The Data Interoperability extension for ArcGIS for Desktop is offered at two licensing levels:




Direct read

Direct-read formats enable you to work with nonnative datasets directly in ArcGIS for Desktop without using any intermediate format or conversion tool. They are translated on the fly as read-only datasets and displayed in memory while the source file remains on disk in its native format.

Interoperability connections

An interoperability connection is a user-created link to one or more data sources that is managed in the Catalog tree as a single direct-read dataset. The connection specifies the data source and the FME reader and any parameters supported by the chosen format.

Data Interoperability toolbox

The Data Interoperability toolbox contains out-of-the-box geoprocessing conversion tools that import and export data between geodatabase and nonnative formats using FME readers and writers.

Spatial ETL tools

Spatial ETL tools are user-created geoprocessing tools that can transform data between different data models and different file formats. You create them with FME Workbench in a translation workspace and save them in a toolbox.

Custom formats

A custom format is a translation workspace that is exported from FME Workbench as a format and utilized in the FME reader gallery. It is saved to an external .fds file and can be imported to reader galleries on other desktops.

ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension

ArcGIS for Server

The Data Interoperability extension for ArcGIS for Server enables you to publish map services that contain interoperability data formats and publish Data Interoperability tools you have authored in ArcGIS for Desktop as geoprocessing services.

ArcGIS Engine for Windows

The Data Interoperability extension for ArcGIS Engine for Windows enables developers to embed the extension's tools (Quick Import, Quick Export, Spatial ETL) in custom desktop applications.

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