The chains in your workspace can be exported to a .chain file and shared with users in another workspace, environment, or organization. The file recipient can then import the file to their own workspace, configure the settings, and run it largely as-is.
As an alternative to chain templates, export files are recommended when chains need to be quickly transferred between workspaces with minimal changes. Templates are preferred when storing or widely sharing data models with others.
- The Edit role is required to export a chain.
- The Create role is required to import a chain.
Export a chain
To export a chain:
- In Chain Builder, go to the Chains tab.
- Find the chain you wish to export, select the three-dot menu on the right side, and click Export.
- Save the .chain file to your computer.
Exporting chains that include a Run Chain event
A Run Chain event allows you to string multiple chains together so that a starting chain activates other sub-chains later in the process. When chains are strung together in this way, you can export either the entire chain or merely a part of it. You can export a chain up to five levels deep.
For instance, let's say you have five chains:
|If you export...
|All chains will be included
|Only chains 2-5 will be included
|Only chains 3-5 will be included
|Only chains 4-5 will be included
|Only chain 5 will be included
Note: If your export includes a Run Chain event, you must have Edit permission for both the original chain and any included sub-chains.
Import a chain
To import a chain:
- In Chain Builder, go to the Chains tab.
- Click the Import button at the top right.
- From the file browser, select the .chain file on your computer.
Once uploaded, you'll need to configure the new chain before it can be run in your workspace.
Importing chains with a Run Chain event
As mentioned in the Export a chain section, a Run Chain event allows you to sequentially run multiple chains. When importing these multi-part chains into your workspace, only the first chain in the sequence is shown:
Once this top-level chain is configured, you'll be able to view and manage the sub-chains as well.
Note: Although sub-chains are configured at the same time as your top-level chain, they are not published automatically. You'll need to manually publish each chain before it can be run.
Configure a chain
If you've worked with chain templates in the past, setting up a new chain is very similar.
Here's how it works:
- From the Chains tab, find your imported chain and click Configure on the right side.
- Enter a unique name to identify the chain.
- By default, -- Import is added to the name of the exported chain.
- If the chain has any variables that differ from the original workspace, set up each one:
- For each connection used in the chain, select the connector and runner to perform its commands, and click Submit.
Should I use exports or chain templates?
This largely depends on your starting goal, as both features perform many of the same functions.
Export files expire after 14 days and can only be shared by sending the .chain file directly to another user. They act as a snapshot in time; they're not intended for widespread distribution or for storing chain models.
Templates, however, are designed as a jumping-off point for future customizations. They work especially well when you've architected a chain model that needs to be repeatedly shared with others.
Are .chain files secure?
Yes, .chain files are encrypted on export and can only be opened within the Workiva platform.
What is included in a .chain file?
A .chain file contains the structure of the chain itself, but no workspace-specific information such as your connector configuration details (like your OAuth or Client Secret), run history, or version history.
Can I track when chains are exported or imported?
Yes, these actions will trigger an Export or Import event in your audit logs.
If your chain includes a Run Chain event, separate audit events will be created for both the top-level chain and each sub-chain in the export.
Do .chain files expire?
Chain files expire after 14 days.
Is there a limit on how many Run Chain events can I export?
Yes, you can only export a chain up to five levels deep.