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Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

When I want to move workflows and other WFA components (data sources, dictionaries) from one WFA server to another (dev->test or test->production) I end up having to export and create multiple .dar files. I have learned that .dar files are .zip files. I'm wondering if I can merge multiple .dar files into a single .dar file by extracting the inner files form multiple .dar files into a directory and then zipping up the entire directory into a single .zip file ... then rename it as .dar file. The idea seems possible but I notice there is a meta-inf/manifest.mf file in each .dar and I wonder if it holds special information on the contents of the .dar. I'm afraid to test the idea in my environment for fear I'll corrupt something. Any thoughts on whether the concept might work? (supported or not).

Dave

Re: Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

From WFA2.2 onwards, you should be able to select multiple workflows in the designer, right click

and export the selected workflows together in a single dar file.

Are you already doing this when you are exporting the workflows?

Regards

Abhi

Re: Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

Actually exporting lots of workflows in not so much my problem. When I want to export a set of workflows I put all the ones I want  into a 'Category' and then export the category. That seems to export all the workflows in the category and any dependent commands, functions, etc. However, that does not seem to export Data Sources/Dictionaries that are used by the workflows. I always have to additionally Export the Data Source which goes with the set of workflows as a separate Export operation and into a separate .dar file (the Data Source export DOES automatically includes the associated Dictionary). If there are two data sources, another export is required and you're up to 3 .dar files total, etc. 

Re: Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

From what I've seen, the MANIFEST.MF file always has similar content for exports from a particular WFA version. The Class-Path entry may have the same values in a different order, but I doubt that will change the behavior. So I doubt that there is any issue with combining multiple exports.

Another approach (which I prefer) is to "Export All" and strip out the elements you don't want from the dar.

Regards,

Tim

Re: Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

Hi Korns:

Is it not possible to take a backup?

That can combine all into one without the data.

You should be able to restore and get workflows and datasources.

Is that an option for you?

Regards

Abhi

Re: Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

Taking a backup just doesn't seem like a practical code-sharing mechanism to me. Restoring from a backup wipes out the existing environment and establishes a new one. If I'm working on multiple projects and someone sends me a backup of their environment I can't afford to restore it and wipe out my existing environment. Yeah, I could save the old and restore it back later but that all seems overkill and makes it hard to share things. Selective exporting/importing of DAR files seems the appropriate way to save and share sets of workflows, cmds, etc. And it works fine ... I'd just like to clean up the issue that I may have to build 3 or 4 DAR files to share my complete WFA package.

I had some time today to test merging by: 1) do a pair of WFA exports, 2) rename files .dar to .zip, 3) unpack them, 4) combine the files in them, and then see if that could be 5) re-zipped and 6) re-named to .dar ... and then 7) imported into WFA. It turns out I can't even get a simple unzip and re-zip of a DAR file to re-import. I keep getting the error: Incompatible DAR - no upgrade path were found. DAR version 'null', installed version '2.1.0.70.32' when attempting to import.

It's as if WFA it can't detect the version of WFA the DAR was created by (i.e.; 'null') at the time of import. Does anyone have ideas what I might be overlooking or doing wrong? I first attempted the un-zip & re-zip using the Mac OS X built-in uncompress and compress functions. When that didn't work switched to Windows-7 and a free WinZip download. Neither worked. Anyone else unpacked and repacked a .dar file and gotten it to import? If so, what tools/environment were used?

Re: Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

Hi David,

The key requirement is that all xml files and the META-INF directory are in the base directory in the zip file. i.e. you don't zip a directory containing workflow xml, etc. You must zip the files within the directory.

I will extract the dar into a directory (I generally use 7-zip on Windows), then change into that directory and select the files I want as well as the META-INF directory and right-click Add-to-zip

Regards,

Tim

Re: Can I combine multiple exported .dar files into a single .dar file for easier import?

Bingo. You fixed me again Tim. Many beers are owed ... if beer is your commodity of choice :-)

My problem was I was trying to compress the whole set of files by compressing the directory. I needed to go into the directory, select all the files and compress that. I should have remembered that ... I've been caught by that problem in a previous life :-) ... WFA was looking at the top level of the .zip/.dar file which had no files in it, just a directory, and was hence unable to determine the version of WFA, hence <null>.

FWIW, my test of combining a couple of .dar files seems to have worked fine. That will let me, with a small amount of work, create a single .dar file that wholes a set of workflows and dependent data sources and dictionaries ... a minor victory.