Export and Import Visual Applications

You can export a visual application as an archive to your local system, then import the archive to create a new visual application. Use the import and export mechanism to share source files and to move applications between instances.

Export a Visual Application

You can use the Export action to download an archive of a visual application and its resources to your local system. After exporting the archive, you can import it to create a copy of the application and share the archive with team members.

When you export the application, some information, such as credentials for external REST endpoints. This information needs to be provided after the archive is imported.


The instance from which you export the archive must be on the same or earlier version of Visual Builder as the instance to which you plan to import it. If it isn't, you won't be able to import successfully.

To export a visual application:

  1. On the Visual Applications Home page, open the Application Options menu for the application version you want to export and select Export.

    If there are multiple versions of an application you must use the Options menu of the version that you want to export.

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    Description of the illustration export-application.png

    Alternatively, when a visual application is open in the Designer, you can choose Export in the application’s Menu in the toolbar.

  2. If the application contains business objects, you can choose to include the data stored in the objects when exporting the application. To do this, click Export with Data:
The visual application and its resources are exported as an archive file. The archive is saved to your local system in the location specified for your browser’s downloads.

If you exported the application with data, the archive will include a JSON file (entity.json) and a spreadsheet (entity-data.csv) for each business object. The JSON file describes the business object and the spreadsheet contains the business object data. If you chose to export the application without data, the archive will only contain the JSON file describing the business objects.

The archive will always include the data for any business objects that are identified as containing Application Setup Data.

If user roles are defined for the application, the role-mapping definition (which maps user roles to IDCS groups) will be copied to a JSON file (role-mapping.json) and included in the exported application archive.

Import a Visual Application

You can use the Import action to import an archive of a visual application, for example, to create a new application from the archive.

To import a visual application, you need an archive: Either a teammate must share the archive with you, or you can export one yourself, as long as you have access to the application.


To successfully import a visual application, the instance from which you export the archive must be on the same or earlier version of Visual Builder than the instance to which you import it. You'll get an error if the source instance is running a later version of Visual Builder than the target instance.

To import a visual application:

  1. Navigate to your Visual Applications Home page and click Import.
  2. Click Application from file in the Import dialog box.
  3. Drag your visual application archive file on your local system into the dialog box.
    Alternatively, click the upload area in the dialog box and use the file browser to locate the archive on your local system.
  4. Enter a valid application name and ID in the dialog. Click Import.

After you import a visual application, you might need to provide additional details such as service credentials in the new application. For example, if the application you are importing contains Process definitions, you will be prompted to specify an existing Process application that contains all the process definitions required by the application you are importing.

Any user roles that were defined for the exported application are re-created for the new app in the Settings editor on the User Roles tab (based on the role-mapping.json file in the exported application archive). If this doesn't happen (say, because you're importing an older app whose users and groups no longer exist in IDCS), you'll need to set up the user roles again in the new application. See Manage User Roles and Access.

About Classic Applications

Classic applications were created in earlier versions of Oracle Visual Builder and used a structure that is not compatible with the visual application structure now used in Oracle Visual Builder. There will be no additional feature development work to support classic applications. If you have any classic applications, you should migrate them to use the visual applications structure if you want to retain the business objects defined in the classic application.

Some older Oracle Visual Builder instances might still allow you to manage classic applications, but newer instances will not provide the tools for viewing and managing classic applications. If your Oracle Visual Builder instance supports classic applications, you can export your classic applications as archives and then import them as visual applications, but the UI of web and mobile apps cannot be migrated. Importing a classic application archive only preserves the details of business objects.

Import Classic Applications

You can use the import tool to create a new visual application that contains a copy of the business objects and data in an archived classic application. Importing a classic application will not recreate the pages in the application, and the credentials and settings used in the application are not imported. To import an archived classic application, the archive must be exported using the most current version of Oracle Visual Builder.

If you have an archived classic application that was exported using an earlier version of Oracle Visual Builder, you might need to import the application as a classic application and export it again as a newer archive before you can import it as a visual application. An archive of a classic application created using earlier versions of Oracle Visual Builder will not be recognized when you try to import it as a visual application. You will see an error message that an archive is “outdated” if you try to import an older archive of a classic application.

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If you see an error message similar to Failed to import application myClassicApp. The file is an invalid application export file, you'll need to change the extension of the file you want to import from .zip to .ovb.

You should contact your service administrator if your Oracle Visual Builder instance does not support viewing and managing classic applications and you need to import or export a classic application.

To import an outdated archive of a classic application:

  1. Open the Oracle Visual Builder Home page.
  2. Open the Application Switcher menu and select Classic Applications to switch to the Home page for Classic Applications.
  3. On the Classic Applications Home page, click Import.
    Use the Import Application dialog box to upload the archive of the application.
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    Description of the illustration homepage-importapp-dialog.png
  4. Upload the classic application archive from your local system.

    You can drag the archive from your local system into the dialog box or click Upload a file to navigate to the location of the archive.

  5. Type the application name and application ID. Click Import.
    The Application Name and ID are automatically populated based on the archive, but you might need to modify the name and ID because they must be unique in your identity domain.
  6. Open the Application Options menu of the application you imported and click Export.
    The application is exported as a .zip file to your local system.
  7. Select the .zip file imported to your local system and change its file extension to .ovb.
  8. Open the Application Switcher menu and select Visual Applications to switch back to the Home page for Visual Applications.

You can now import the new archive as a visual application (see Import a Visual Application).

When you import the new archive of the classic application, the dialog displays a warning message that only the business objects and data in the archive will be imported into the new visual application:
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Description of the illustration homepage-importapp-classic.png