From Chains, workspace owners can create and manage linear sequences of tasks—known as chains—to automate workflows in the Workiva platform and across other data sources. For example, you can create a chain to automatically refresh financial information from a data source in a table, and then push that data to another data source to generate a report.
Step 1. Create a Workiva Connection
To enable chains to interact with spreadsheets, tables, and queries in the Workiva platform, configure a Workiva connection.
- To track the changes a chain makes and limit its scope of access, set up a unique integration user and an associated OAuth2 grant for the Workiva connection.
- From Wdata Chains, click Connections and Add Connection in the lower right.
- Under BizApp Connection, select Workiva and CloudRunner.
- Set up the connection's basic info, properties, and environments.
Step 2. Set Up Connections and GroundRunners for Other Data Sources
To enable chains to access your other data sources, configure their respective connections. When you configure a connection, you specify the credentials necessary to securely log in to the data source and any additional properties or resources the solution requires.
To interact with its data source, each connection also uses a runner:
- For cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) data sources, connections use an out-of-the-box CloudRunner.
- For on-premise or private firewall cloud data sources, connections use a GroundRunner.
To enable chains to interact with your on-premise or private data sources, IT admins or someone familiar with your organization's network and firewall settings install and configure GroundRunners on the dedicated servers, such as where you host each data source.
Step 3. Create Workspace Environments and Variables
From Wdata Chains, you can create multiple environments for your workspace. For example, in addition to your live production environment, you can create an environment to develop and test chains in. If you develop chains in a test environment, you can then promote them to the live production environment when they're ready.
In addition, if multiple chains will share values that change frequently, define them as workspace variables. As workspace variables, you can manage these values from one location rather than in each chain. You can also define different values for a variable based on environment.
Step 4. Build Chains
When you create a chain, you arrange its steps, or nodes, in the sequence they should run. Nodes can include:
- Commands, or tasks executed by the chain to interact with the Workiva platform or an external data source.
- Events that occur within the chain, such as to enable an approval workflow or manual upload of files.
You can also manage specific details for a chain, including:
- Whether it should automatically run, based on a set schedule or the completion of another chain
- Variables for values used by multiple commands that may change frequently
- Dynamic variables for values to set when the chain begins to run or during its execution, such as before it proceeds to a new command
Learn more about automating workflows with chains.