FME Desktop, Server, or Cloud?
It can be difficult to know which FME setup will be the most useful for your organisation. There are, however, a few key questions that could help point you in the right direction:
1. How many people will need access to FME?
If only one user needs FME, then a fixed 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.
2. How do you want to pay?
FME Desktop and Server follow the same billing structure. You buy the licence, and then make annual maintenance payments to continue accessing updates and bug-fixes. The consistency makes it simple and predictable to budget for year-on-year.
FME Cloud is billed using a ‘pay as you go’ structure, based on the length of time you’ve used, and the process size. Cloud can be difficult to budget for, particularly if you have lots of users accessing it.
3. How many processes are you using?
Desktop only runs a single process at a time. It’s fine for an individual user, but not exactly ideal if you want to use FME across the organisation. If you need to run processes simultaneously, you’ll need to take a look at either Server or Cloud.
4. How much automation do you need?
This is perhaps the key question.
FME Desktop has no inbuilt scheduling capability. You’ll need to command it to run each time you want something to happen. Because of this, it’s most suitable for working on specific projects.
FME Server has inbuilt scheduling and prioritisation capabilities. Set-up your automated processes and let it run jobs for you, in the background. It can also power online self-service tools to provide stakeholders with access to accurate, real-time data.
FME Cloud is similar to Server in being able to schedule and prioritise jobs. However, the billing method makes it most suited to large, infrequent processes. If you’ve got Cloud processing data in the background too often, it quickly becomes costly.
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