From Chain Builder, 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.
Note: To access Chain Builder from Wdata, click Chains , Open Chain Builder. Only Workspace Owners or members with the Chain Owner role can access Chains.
Step 1. Create a Workiva connector
To enable chains to interact with spreadsheets, tables, and queries in the Workiva platform, configure a Workiva connector.
- To track the changes a chain makes and limit its scope of access, set up a unique integration user with an associated OAuth2 grant for the Workiva connector. This user requires appropriate permissions for the commands the connector performs, such as Owner of the spreadsheets or workspace it interacts with.
Note: While the workspace's owners can access chains that use the connector, the connector requires a dedicated integration user to perform its commands. Using dedicated integration user—instead of a collaborator's user account—enables to you track the connector's activity and limit its access to only what it needs to perform its commands.
- From Wdata Chains, click Connections and Add Connection in the lower right.
- Under BizApp Connection, select Workiva and CloudRunner.
- Set up the connector's basic info, properties, and environments.
Step 2. Set up connectors and GroundRunners for other data sources
To enable chains to access your other data sources or interact with data, configure their respective connectors:
- 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.
- To apply pipelines of transformations to prepare tabular data from or for your systems of records within chains, set up a Data Prep connector.
When you configure a connector, you specify the credentials necessary to securely log in to the data source and any additional properties or resources the solution requires.
Note: We recommend a unique, dedicated integration user for each connector.
To interact with its data source, each connector also uses a runner:
- For cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) data sources, connectors use an out-of-the-box CloudRunner.
- For on-premise or private firewall cloud data sources, connectors use a GroundRunner.
Note: Your subscription includes connectors in addition to defaults for Workiva and other solutions. To purchase more, contact your Account Owner or Customer Success Manager.
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
- Email notifications to track or alert collaborators of the chain's runs or status
Learn more about automating workflows with chains.