Follow
Linking Files from External Applications

You can link documents and folders to Workfront from existing cloud document providers such as Box, Dropbox, Widen, Webdam, or Google Drive. 

Before linking documents or folders, your Workfront administrator must enable this functionality for each document provider, or for a custom document integration. For information about how to enable external document integrations, see "Configuring Document Integrations."

Understanding Document and Folder Synchronization

Document Storage

After documents are linked, they are stored with the external cloud provider; documents are not stored in Workfront itself. 

The following exceptions apply:

  • When provided by the document service, thumbnails and preview images might be stored on Workfront servers.  
  • When using proofing, the file is copied and added to the proofing servers. 

Document Synchronization

Documents that are linked to Workfront from an external application are not automatically synchronized. You can manually synchronize changes that are made on the document from the external application to Workfront, but you cannot synchronize changes made on the document in Workfront.

For information about how to synchronize changes made on the document from the external application, see "Synchronizing Changes Made on a Linked Document."

Folder Access Rights

When synchronizing folder content from the external document application, Workfront uses the credentials of the user who originally linked the folder. This results in the following user experience:

  • Users who do not have access to view files and folders in the external application but have been given access to view the linked folder via Workfront are able to view file and folder names via Workfront. However, users have access to view the content of files via Workfront only if they have sufficient access in the external application.
  • Any time new content is accessed within the linked folder via Workfront (such as subfolders in a linked folder), the content is synchronized to Workfront with the Workfront login credentials of the user who originally linked the folder.
    For example, suppose that User A links a folder in Workfront and shares the folder with User B.  User B then accesses subfolders within that linked folder via Workfront. Any subfolders that User B accesses are synchronized to Workfront with User A's login credentials.
  • If the user who originally linked the folder is removed from the Workfront system, users are no longer able to access content on the linked folder via Workfront. In this case, the folder must be relinked by an active Workfront user who has rights to the folder in the external application.

Linking Individual Documents

You can link existing documents with an external cloud provider, or you can create new linked Google documents.

IMPORTANT When linking documents from Dropbox, if a file is moved, renamed, or deleted, the linked file in Workfront becomes inaccessible. This is because Dropbox stores documents based on the file path.

Before you can link documents, you must first link your provider to Workfront. For more information on linking providers to Workfront, see "Authorizing a Cloud Provider."

Linking Existing Documents

You can link documents that originally existed in Workfront, or documents that originally existed in an external application.

Linking from Workfront

You can link documents in Workfront to an external application:

  1. In the Documents area, select one or more documents that you want to link to an external application.
    TIP: To simultaneously link multiple documents that are in multiple folders, create a smart folder that includes all of the documents that you want to link. For information about creating smart folders, see "Creating and Managing Smart Folders."  
  2. Click More, then click Send to.

    If you are linking an individual document, you can also send the document from the document details page, by clicking Details, then clicking Document Actions in the upper-right corner of the page, then clicking Send to.
  3. Click the name of the external application where you want to link the document.
  4. Navigate to the area where you want to save the document in the external application, then click Save.
    A new version of your document is created in the external application, and the new version is inked into Workfront.

Linking from an External Application

You can create links to documents that already exist in your account of the external cloud provider. For example, if you have files in your Dropbox account that you want to display in Workfront, you can link those files to Workfront. 

  1. Navigate to the area where you want the linked document to reside.
  2. Click the Documents tab.
  3. Click Link External Files
  4. Click the external document provider where you want to link documents to Workfront.
    For example, to link documents from Dropbox, click From Dropbox.
    External providers that you have already authorized are displayed at the top of the list.
  5. (Conditional) If you have not yet authorized the external service, specify your login credentials to the external provider, then click Sign in.

    The Link External Files and Folders dialog box is displayed.
  6. In the search field, specify the name of the item you want to search for, then press Enter.
    The search returns all results from the external application, regardless of the current folder.
    Or
    Browse to and select the documents you want to link.
    You can select multiple documents and folders; however, only documents and folders that are selected in the current view are linked (for example, if you select a document, then navigate into a folder, the document you originally selected will not be linked).
  7. (Optional) Click the Thumbnail icon to display files as thumbnail images.
    NOTE This functionality is available only to Workfront DAM customers. Workfront DAM customers are able to view thumbnails when linking documents from Workfront DAM. (Thumbnails might also be displayed for Workfront DAM customers for other services such as Dropbox and Box. However, viewing thumbnails for services other than Workfront DAM within Workfront is not supported, and thumbnails are never displayed when linking documents from SharePoint or Google Drive.)
  8. Click Link Items.
    In Workfront, users can see the icon of the cloud provider, indicating that documents are linked to the external cloud provider.
    NOTE For documents that are linked to Box, the link to the document in Box does not become available right away. It becomes available after you refresh the page.

Creating New Linked Google Documents 

You can create new Google documents from within Workfront. You cannot create new documents from within Workfront for other cloud providers.

  1. Click Create, then click  Google Drive.
  2. Click the type of Google Doc that you want to create.
    A Google Document is added to that documents page.
    NOTE My Drive and Shared with Me display two different results. If you are unable to locate a file in My Drive, check in the Shared with Me folder.

Linking Folders

You can link folders between Workfront and an external cloud provider. When you link a folder, the folder and all of its contents are linked between Workfront and the external document application.

The advantages to linking a folder rather than linking individual documents are:

  • When you or another user add documents to the linked folder (either via  Workfront or via the external document application), the documents are automatically linked.
  • Users who do not have access to Workfront--but who do have access to the external document application--are able to add, remove, and modify files from the external document application. Changes are then synchronized to Workfront.

The following sections describe how to link folders and subfolders:

Linking a Folder 

  1. Click Link External Files.
  2. Click the external document provider where you want to link documents to Workfront.
    For example, to link documents from Dropbox, click From Dropbox.
    External providers that you have already authorized are displayed at the top of the list.
  3. (Conditional) If you have not yet authorized the external service, specify your login credentials to the external provider, then click Sign in.


    The Link External Files and Folders dialog box is displayed.
  4. In the search field, specify the name of the item you want to search for, then press Enter.
    The search returns all results from the external application, regardless of the current folder.
    Or
    Browse to and select the folders you want to link.
    You can select multiple documents and folders; however, only documents and folders that are selected in the current view are linked (for example, if you select a folder, then navigate into a folder, the folder you originally selected will not be linked).
  5. Click Link Items.
    In Workfront, users can see the icon of the cloud provider, indicating that documents are linked to the external cloud provider.
  6. (Optional) Rename the folder so that the folder name in Workfront is different from the folder name in the external document application. This does not rename the folder in the external application.
    In the Folders section, select the folder, click the drop-down arrow next to the folder name, then click Rename.

Adding Files and Folders to a Linked Folder 

You can create a new linked subfolder within an existing linked folder in either of the following ways:

Creating a New Folder Within an Existing Linked Folder

  1. Navigate to the linked folder in the Documents area where you want to create the linked subfolder.
  2. Create the new folder as described in "Creating Traditional Folders for Documents."

Dragging an Existing Folder

You can create a linked subfolder by dragging an existing folder into a linked folder.

The following limitations apply when dragging existing Workfront folders into a linked folder:

  • The folder (including its contents) that you are dragging cannot exceed 50MB.
  • The folder cannot already be linked and cannot contain any content that is already linked.

To create a linked subfolder by dragging an existing folder into a linked folder:

  1. Navigate to the Documents area where you want to create the linked subfolder.
  2. Drag a folder into a linked folder.
    The folder that you dragged becomes a linked subfolder within the existing linked folder.

Adding Documents to a Linked Folder

When you add documents to a linked folder via Workfront, the document that you add is automatically added as a linked document.

  1. Navigate to the Documents area where you want to create the linked subfolder.
  2. Drag a document into a linked folder.

    Or
    Select the linked folder where you want to add the document, then click Add Documents. Browse to the document that you want to add, or drag it into the drag-and-drop window. Then click Add Items.
    A new version of your document is automatically created in the external application, and the new version is linked into Workfront.

Synchronizing Changes Made on a Linked Document

Documents that are linked to Workfront from an external application are not automatically synchronized. You can manually synchronize changes that are made on the document from the external application to Workfront, but you cannot synchronize changes made on the document in Workfront.

To synchronize changes made on the document from the external application:

  1. Navigate to and select the linked document where you want to synchronize changes.
  2. Click More, then click New Version.
  3. Click the name of the external application that contains the document you want to synchronize.
  4. In the Add Documents From dialog box, select the document you want to synchronize, then click Link.
    Changes that existed on the document in the external application are synchronized to Workfront.

Deleting a Linked Document or Folder

To remove a linked document from Workfront, you can either remove the document only from Workfront, or delete the document both from Workfront and the external application.

Removing the Document from Workfront

  1. Navigate to and select the linked document that you want to remove from Workfront.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. In the confirmation dialog box, click Yes, Unlink it.
    The document is unlinked from the Workfront site. It is not affected in the external application.

Deleting the Document or Folder from the External Application

When you delete a linked document or folder from the external application, the document or folder remains in the Workfront system until you also delete it from Workfront. 

For information about how to delete a document or folder from an external application, see the instructions provided with the external application.

Renaming a Linked Document or Folder

IMPORTANT You cannot rename a document in Workfront that is linked to Dropbox, because doing so renders the file in Workfront inaccessible. Instead, rename the file in Dropbox, then re-synchronize the file, as described in "Synchronizing Changes Made on a Linked Document."

When you rename a linked document or folder, any changes you make to the document or folder name are visible only in the application where you make the change. For example, if you rename a linked document in Workfront, the new name is visible only in Workfront.

To rename a linked document or folder, you must rename the document or folder both in Workfront and in the external application.