Share the power of FME with FME Server Apps!
Data is constantly in demand throughout your organisation. The problem is that parts of your organisation don’t have the knowledge or the skills to access this data in the way they need it. From incompatible formats to seemingly impossible joins, they need a specialist to gain the insight they need.
FME users have the ability to do complex things with their data that wider departments could really benefit from. However, as these teams can’t create powerful workflows for themselves, data requests tend to pile up at your feet.
It’s difficult to manage all of these requests as well as performing your day-to-day duties. So, how can you share your FME wizardry with non-users without tying up all of your time? Well, there’s an App for that.
Lighten the load with FME Server Apps…
FME Server Workspace Apps takes workspaces and wraps them into a web application that can be accessed via browser across most devices. Democratising the workspaces you create in this way comes with three core benefits:
Reducing the workload for you and your team: By sharing your workspaces with other departments you’ll reduce the volume of requests coming in to your team, allowing you to focus on day-to-day responsibilities.
Improving access to data: Non-native users can leverage your skills to get the information they need, when they need it, in a format that makes sense to them. This self-service approach to data increases speed to insight business wide.
Easy to build and easy to maintain: The best part of Server Workspace Apps is that there is no coding knowledge required to create them; they’re configured by standard FME. Simply create your workspace using FME Desktop, publish it to FME Server and you’re ready to get started. Anyone with FME knowledge will be able to jump in and tweak the processes as and when needed.
Getting started with Server Apps…
Server Workspace Apps are created from the Run Workspace page, using Advanced Parameters or by selecting Server Apps > Build Workspace App before you start your build.
Including Published Parameters in your workspace allows users to input data that can be used within the workspace from their browser. There are a variety to choose from, including text, choice and the new geometry picker, where users can specify the data they require by selecting a point, line or polygon from a map.
‘This is particularly helpful for anyone who finds themselves regularly being requested for ‘cuts’ of datasets regularly. Giving users the ability to self-serve in this way could save our customers huge amounts of time’
– Harry Harvey, Head of Sales
As you publish the created workspace to Server, you’ll be asked to select a Web Service, or the way that the workspace delivers data added or requested via the App:
- Data Download – Users are provided with a download of the data they’ve request (.ZIP,.XLX, .SHP)
- Data Stream – Results are displayed to the user in-browser (HTML, PDF)
- Job Submitter – Runs the workspace attached to that URL
Workspace Apps in Action…
Server Workspace Apps are fully customisable. Once mandatory operational fields have been completed you can configure parameters that tweak the look and feel of your app. There is also an authentication feature that allows you to restrict access to the app, either by individual user or by a User Role.
If you’ve created multiple processes, it’s a good idea to keep them organised in a Gallery. This groups Workspace Apps so that they can all be accessed via a single URL. This is particularly handy for common data tasks that are used regularly by a team.
Server Workspace Apps can be used via the URL provided or embedded into existing webpages as iFrames, which can be helpful for gathering data from public facing web pages or internal intranets.
A great feature that the team at Safe has added from version 2020.0 onwards is “Progressive Web App” (PWA) capability. This means that when users access a Server Workspace App hosted from FME Server 2020.0 onwards, workspaces take on an more App-like experience, making using them easier to use than ever before. They can even be added to the home screen of portable devices as you would a traditional app from iOs or Google Play Store.
Using FME Server Apps you can democratise the workflows you create, allowing quick and convenient access to the data and insight they bring. Truly leverage your investment in FME by making it accessible to a greater number of users.
Need a little extra help?
Our Account Managers Chika Oti and Dean Greenway are always there to reach out to and talk more about how other organisations are using Apps and whether they work for your use case. Contact them here!