Create a Slack Export File (Optional)

Creating a Slack export file, and linking to it in your Slack source, limits the amount of data that’s crawled by the Slack connector when indexing items.

Note

The use of a Slack export file adds a certain level of complexity to your integration and isn’t required or recommended in most cases. However, this may be a viable option in certain use cases to limit the amount of data that’s crawled by the Slack connector when indexing numerous channels with large numbers of items.

The amount of data the Slack connector crawls can be quite large depending on the number of channels you want to index and the number of items in those channels. In such cases, you can use a Slack export file to reduce the amount of time it takes the connector to index your workspace items.

A Slack export file includes the workspace content for a specified date range. When an export file is linked to your source, your source first uses the export file to retrieve items, and then the Slack API to retrieve all remaining items up to the current day.

Example

Your export file includes data from January 1, 2020 to August 1, 2021. Your source uses the export file to index the content for those dates, and then the Slack API to index content from August 2, 2021 to today. If you don’t use a Slack export file, your source uses solely the Slack API to index the content of your workspace.

Though a Slack export file may contain message data for all channels in your workspace, your slack source indexes messages only for the public channels to which your Slack bot is added. For more information on the messages that your source indexes, see Interaction With "Earliest Message To Index" Source Option.

Note

A Slack export file is essentially a snapshot of the workspace content at the moment that you create the export file. If a message that’s included in the export file is modified or deleted after you create the export file, your Slack source indexes the message as it appears in the export file and not the modified message.

Once you create a Slack export file, you must upload the file to a Cloud storage system, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Share or provide read access to the file, and then enter a direct download URL for the file in your Slack source.

To create a Slack export file and host it on a Cloud storage system:

  1. Export and download your workspace content.

  2. Upload the .zip file to a Cloud storage system of your choosing, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

    Note

    The storage system you choose must be able to provide a method for sharing and creating a direct download link to your file that doesn’t expire. If the shared URL expires, your Slack source can’t access your export file.

  3. Share the file, or provide read access to the file, as specified in your storage system documentation.

    Note

    Your Slack source must be able to access and download the export file when indexing. This is accomplished by adding a direct download URL for your file in your Slack source. If your Cloud storage system includes an option to disable downloads for a file, ensure that option is disabled when sharing the file.

    Examples
    • Dropbox

      Share the file by selecting Anyone With Link for the Who Has Access option.

    • Google Drive

      Share the file by selecting Anyone With The Link and Viewer in the Share options.

  4. Enter a direct download URL to the file in your Slack source.

Interaction With "Earliest Message To Index" Source Option

A source configuration setting to pay close attention to when using a Slack export file is the Earliest message to index (in days) option.

The value that you set for that option in your source directly impacts the message data that your source indexes from your export file. Your source uses the export file to retrieve message data only if the latest message date in your export file falls within the specified number of days to index. If the Earliest message to index (in days) option is set to 0, your source always uses the earliest message date in your export file as a starting point when indexing. If the Earliest message to index (in days) option is set to any value other than 0, you may want to re-create your export file periodically and modify the Export Data URL in your source accordingly.

Example
  • Your export file includes data from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

  • The Earliest message to index (in days) option is set to 60 days.

If today’s date is July 30, 2021, your source uses the export file to index message data from June 1 to June 30 (30 days), and then the Slack API to index content for the remaining 30 days (from July 1 to today).

If today’s date is August 30, 2021, your source doesn’t use the export file to index message data as the last message in your export file is beyond the 60-day limit. In this case, your source uses solely the Slack API to index the last 60 days worth of message data.

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