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If You Could Have Any Spatial Superpower You Want

Kris Majury
January 18, 20113 min
See the new features and improvements to FME.

…what would it be? Every year, industry developments and user feedback result in a host of new features and improvements to FME. FME 2011 is no exception, adding a selection of new superpowers to your arsenal. New data types and formats? Check! Faster ways to get things done? Check! Usability enhancements? Check! Here are a few favorites to get you thinking about how you’ll take on your next challenge.

X-Ray Vision for your Workspace

Inline Inspection is a brand new feature that lets you place Inspection Points in between transformers anywhere in your workspace. As features pass from one transformer to the next, the process pauses so you can examine the geometry and attributes of each feature (or specific feature counts) before continuing. Essentially, it’s superfine debugging control for your workspace, at a feature level.

You can run your translation with or without the Inspection Points active, and enable or disable them collectively or individually. As Jason Birch at the City of Nanaimo tweets: “It’s an FME thing for 2011, kinda like visually stepping through data in debug mode. Crazy powerful.”

Scale Steep Learning Curves in a Single Bound

Need to get your sidekick up to speed on the basics of FME, or delve into the details of a specific mission? Templates to the rescue! With FME 2011’s new templating functionality, you can save your own workspaces as templates to re-use in the future or pass on to someone else without touching your original. Or, check out the selection of templates for download at fmepedia.com – examples designed to demonstrate specific features or tasks, and complete tutorial support for new users to learn faster than a speeding transformer.

Superhero Query Language?

Testers are by far the most commonly used transformers in FME. That’s why almost every release sees Tester enhancements, and for FME 2011, we’ve added a new set of SQL-ish operators to give you more choices for constructing your test conditions.

The new predicates are In, Between, Like, Matches Regex, Contains, Begins With, and Ends With. If you are familiar with SQL-style query construction, you’ll immediately see the expanded capabilities for pattern and partial string matching. If they are new to you, have fun discovering their powers – but use them only for good.

Super Stylish

You may have noticed in these screenshots that FME has a brand new look! That’s right; the user interface in FME 2011 has a shiny new costume. You can create your own themes too – or switch to the “classic” theme for old-school Spatial Superhero style.

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