Use > Sequenced Designs > Import and export a service design

Import and export a service design

In this topic, artifacts refer to a service design and its associated resource offering(s).

You can import and export many of the artifacts that provide the basis for cloud automation. The export operation provides the ability to preserve the selected artifacts so they can be used to replicate the services on another system or to restore the artifacts. These exported archive files are preserved in an industry-standard zip archive file format.

Installing or replacing artifacts on the target system is supported by import and update operations. The import operation only adds artifacts, whereas the update operation replaces matching artifacts. See the Tasks section below for more information.

Process Information

  • Custom component types — If the service design you want to import has a dependency on any custom component types, these custom component types must be imported before the service design can be imported.

  • Upgradability — If the imported service design is in an upgrade path, all service designs upgradable to the service design represented by the content archive must be present on the target system.
  • Subscriber options — If a service design has active subscriber options associated with it, the subscriber options for the service design being imported must match those of the service design on the target system; otherwise, the import of the service design does not succeed.
  • Update operation — The update operation is destructive to existing data. You should understand the differences between the import operation, update operation, and update options to ensure you choose the operations and options that match your expectations. See the Tasks section below for more information.
  • Flows — During an import, update, or preview operation, if required dependencies do not exist on the Operations Orchestration system, an error message identifies these missing dependencies (dependencies such as flows). The content pack that contain these flows must have been deployed to the Operations Orchestration system prior to importing these artifacts. The flows must also have identical signatures and identical paths as the flows on the system from which the artifact was exported.

    During import, flow signature-related information is verified in or added to the CSA database (flow signatures are used during the creation of an artifact and when adding a resource synchronization action or an external approval type). This information is resolved by name which corresponds to the full path to the Operations Orchestration flow (for example, /Library/CSA Content Pack/CSA3.2/Providers/Infrastructure/vCenter/vCenter Clone Server/Actions/vCenter Simple Compute - Deploy). For information about how to deploy Operations Orchestration content packs, see the Central User Guide.

  • Archive content — The archive (.zip) file can only reference files or content contained within the .zip file itself, or that are already contained in the csa.war file.
  • Image files — All images in the archive files must end in one of the following suffix values (for information on adding additional suffix values, see the Cloud Service Automation Configuration Guide):


  • Back up your data — Create a backup of your system or data. Before proceeding, be sure to create a backup of any artifacts you may be affecting by using the export operation to save an archive zip file.

Note When you import a design, any tags you have selected in the designs area do not affect the imported design. The imported design will contain the tags that were included when the design was exported, and new tags will be created on the system, as necessary, to match what was exported.

Note If CSA has been configured to verify the authenticity of imported service design content archives (which is done by setting the property, then service design content archives that were successfully imported into CSA 4.20 or earlier will no longer import properly until they have been digitally signed. See the Cloud Service Automation Configuration Guide for information on how to digitally sign a content archive.


  • Import option — Adds only new artifacts to the target system (the archived artifacts do no exist on the target system).

    Note The import operation identifies service designs by functional equivalence to determine if an identical service design exists on the target system. An archived service design is considered to be functionally equivalent to the service design on the target system if the archived service design has the same internal name as a service design on the target system. If the import operation identifies a functionally equivalent service design on the target system, the archived service design is not imported.

  • Update option — Imports new artifacts and overwrites existing artifacts. New artifacts are created if they do not exist on the target system. Identical artifacts that exist on the target system are overwritten with changes from the archive.

    There may be cases where an existing artifact on the target system cannot be updated. For example, if the existing artifact is a service offering or design and the service offering or design is published, the service offering or design will not be updated because a published service offering or design cannot be edited.

    An existing service offering or design can be updated from a published offering or service design archive if the existing service offering or design is not published.

    Preserve originals — Select this option to create a copy of the original artifact if the artifact exists on the target system. On import, a copy of the original artifact is created and then the original artifact is overwritten by the imported artifact. The version of the copy is appended with "Superseded on" and the date. The version of the artifacts being imported remain intact. If the artifact does not exist on the target system, a copy is not created.

  • Preview — Generate a report of prospective results for the import process, including information about the artifacts and their status.
  • View Detailed Report - From the Import Summary dialog, select this link to see a summary and details of the import process, including information about the artifacts and their status.
  • Export — Create a content archive (.zip) file. The content archive contains XML documents for the artifacts you are exporting, as well as icons for customizing the artifacts, and the Manifest XML document, which contains meta-information about the archive files.

    The service designs are packaged in an archive file whose name is:


For more information about importing and exporting artifacts, see the Cloud Service Automation Content Archive Tool document.