64-Bit FME

64-bit FME is not for everyone, but used in the right place it can have tremendous benefits.

What is 64-bit FME?

A 32-bit operating system is capable of using memory addresses up to 232. This limits them to using a maximum of 4 gigabytes of system memory.

A 64-bit operating system can use memory addresses up to 264. This allows them to use a theoretical maximum of 16 billion gigabytes of memory! In practice, a 64-bit system uses nowhere near that much memory, but it still allows 64-bit software to access a much greater amount of additional memory than 32-bit.

64-bit FME is a version of FME specifically designed to take advantage of a 64-bit operating system. It is well-suited to processing huge amounts of data, due to its ability to use a greater amount of memory.

What are the Disadvantages of 64-bit?

There are a number of disadvantages to using 64-bit FME.

Operating System

64-bit FME requires a 64-bit operating system and the hardware to support it. On a 32-bit operating system, you would only be able to run 32-bit FME.

Format Limitations

Not every format in FME is supported on 64-bit. Usually, that’s because the format itself – or its proprietary software – isn’t available on 64-bit platforms. In that situation, you would need to use 32-bit FME.

64-bit Clients

Not a limitation, but 64-bit does require care in selecting the correct database clients; for example, when reading 64-bit Oracle you’ll need to install a special 64-bit client for FME to be able to connect.

Jake Speedie says…
The Safe Software web site has a table of supported formats that can be filtered to show (among other things) which are supported on 64-bit:

Miss Vector says…
Let's see if you can figure out the one false statement from these facts about 64-bit FME:

1. 32-bit Windows can use only 32-bit FME. 64-bit Windows can use either 32-bit or 64-bit FME
2. You can install both 32-bit and 64-bit FME on a 64-bit computer, and use either one as necessary
3. You can install 32-bit and 64-bit engines on the same FME Server core
4. A workspace authored on 32-bit FME cannot be run on a 64-bit engine

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