ArcGIS Data Interoperability

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ArcGIS Data Interoperability
Esri-10GlobeLogo sRGB .png
Developer(s) Esri
Operating system Windows
Type GIS
License Proprietary
Website ArcGIS Data Interoperability Overview

The ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension for ArcGIS for Desktop is an integrated spatial extract, transform, and load (ETL) toolset that runs in the geoprocessing framework using Safe Software’s Feature Manipulation Engine(FME) technology. The extension allows users to integrate data from multiple sources and formats, use the data with geoprocessing tools, and publish it with ArcGIS for Server. It provides several advantages like spatial ETL capabilities to exclude barriers to data sharing and equips accurate spatial data to users.

Fundamentals of the Data Interoperability Extension

The Data Interoperability extension provides users with many useful tools to work with and publish data. [1].

Direct Read

A direct-read format allows users to work with non-native datasets directly in ArcGIS for Desktop. They are translated on-the-fly as read-only datasets. They are displayed in memory while the source file remains on disk in its native format.

Interoperability Connections

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

Data Interoperability Toolbox

The Data Interoperability toolbox includes out-of-the-box geoprocessing conversion tools. These tools import and export data between geodatabase and non-native formats using FME readers and writers.

Spatial ETL Tools

Spatial ETL tools are geoprocessing tools created by users that can help to transform data between different data models and different file formats. They are created with FME Workbench in a translation workspace and are saved in a toolbox.

Custom Formats

A custom format is a translation workspace that is exported from FME Workbench as a format and used in the FME reader gallery. It is kept in an external FDS file and is imported to reader galleries on other desktops.

Key Features

Users can work with more than 100 standard spatial data formats with the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension

With ArcGIS Data Interoperability, users can [2]:

  • Read more than 100 spatial data formats, including GML, XML, WFS, MicroStation Design, MapInfo MID/MIF and TAB, Oracle and so forth.
  • Share data with anyone by exporting to more than 70 spatial data formats.
  • Make automated conversions between source and destination formats.
  • Build complex spatial ETL processes using FME Workbench, a semantic data translation engine with more than 240 specialized transformers for data transformation, migration, validation, and distribution.
  • Integrate these formats and ETL processes in the ArcGIS geoprocessing framework using tools, ModelBuilder, and scripts.

Supported Formats

The Data Interoperability extension supports all formats that are uniquely identified by an uppercase alphanumeric string. Some formats support reading or writing entirely, but not both. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Data Interoperability: Supported Formats.

System Requirements

ArcGIS Data Interoperability requires ArcGIS for Desktop to run. Users’ current ArcGIS for Desktop version and platform configuration determines the system requirements for this extension [3].


  1. "What is the Data Interoperability extension?" ArcGIS Help 10.1. Esri. Accessed 28 December 2013.
  2. "Overview" ArcGIS Data Interoperability. Esri. Accessed 27 December 2013.
  3. "System Requirements" ArcGIS Data Interoperability. Esri. Accessed 27 December 2013.

See Also

External links