Best Practice

If a workspace runs to completion and produces the output you want, it can’t be bad, can it? Well, yes it can. It's not enough just to put together a functioning workspace; it's also vital to use FME in a manner that is both efficient and scalable.

What is Best Practice?

In general terms Best Practice means the best way of doing something; in other words, carrying out a task effectively and efficiently.

Despite the word 'best,' we're not presuming the ideas here will meet every need and occasion. The best description of this concept I've heard – and one that fits well here – is:

“a very good practice to consider in this situation based on past experience and analysis”

Why Use Best Practice?

Best Practice in FME can help a user to…

  • Create well-styled workspaces that are self-documenting
  • Create workspaces that use the correct functionality in the correct place
  • Create high-performance workspaces
  • Use FME Workbench in a way that’s most efficient
  • Debug a workspace when it doesn’t work the way intended
  • Use FME in a project-based environment

Dr. Workbench says...
I'm Dr. Workbench, licensed to practice medicine on FME workspaces.

I learned about Best Practice the hard way, when I was tasked with surgery on a set of someone else’s workspaces. They were so badly organized the whole operation took me three times as long as it should have, and ruined my plans to spend the afternoon playing golf!

In this chapter, we'll cover three different aspects of Best Practice.


This section is a guide to the preferred design for workspaces. The correct style makes a workspace easier to interpret, particularly in the long run when the author might return to it after a period of inactivity.


This section covers which techniques make efficient use of Workbench and its components - and which don't! Using Workbench the right way makes for a more productive and efficient experience.


This section covers tools and methods to help identify and fix problems in translations.

Ms. Analyst says...
FME best practices are very much like software development best practices. For example, a computer programmer adds comments to their code to explain their actions, and you should do the same in FME.

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