FME: Desktop, Server or Cloud?

By Jenny on July 6, 2017. Categorised in FME, Software


It can be difficult to know which FME setup will be the most useful for your organisation, but there are a few key questions that could help point you in the right direction:

How many people will need access to FME?

If only one user needs FME, then a Desktop licence offers a simple 1 licence = 1 user setup. If you have multiple users who need FME in short bursts, choose a floating Desktop licence – this gives more users access to the software, but will only allow one person to use it at a time.

If you have multiple users who need to use FME at the same time, take a look at Server or Cloud – each of which allows unlimited user access, so that nobody gets caught up in processing traffic jams.

How do you want to be billed?

Desktop and Server follow the same billing structure; you make the initial purchase and then pay annual maintenance to continue using the software. This makes it simple and predictable to budget for.

Cloud is billed using ‘pay as you go’ structure based on the length of time used and the process size. This can be difficult to manage and budget, particularly if you have lots of different users accessing it.

How many processes are you running?

Desktop only runs a single process at a time, which is fine for an individual user working on a specific project, but not ideal if you want FME to be used for processes across the organisation. If you need to be running multiple processes simultaneously, then you’ll need to take a look at either Server or Cloud.

How much automation do you need?

This is where the biggest differences lie. Desktop has no inbuilt scheduling capability – you’ll need to tell it to run each time you want something to happen. This makes it most suitable for working on specific projects.

Server has inbuilt scheduling and prioritisation capabilities – simply set up your automated processes and let Server whirr away in the background. It can also be used to power online self-service tools to provide stakeholders with access to accurate, real-time data.

Cloud is similar to Server in terms of scheduling and prioritising jobs, but the billing method makes it most suited to large, infrequent processes (have Cloud working away in the background for your automated processes, and it could get very costly very quickly).

Need more help?

Still unsure? Email or give us a call on 0121 232 8000 to have a chat with a member of our team.