Table of Contents
1. General information
2. The HTML2 directory (Comfortable HTML)
2.1 The HTML2 directory structure
2.2 How to read the exported messages and access the downloaded files
3. The HTML directory (Detailed HTML)
3.1 The HTML directory structure
3.1.2 Public and private channels
3.1.3 Direct messages
3.1.4 Group direct messages
3.2 How to read the exported messages and threads
3.3 How to access the downloaded files
4. The ReadyToImport directory
5. Downloadable examples
1. General information
In this article, I’m going to show you the structure of an output produced by Backupery for Slack and Backupery for Slack Export applications. I will explain how to read the exported messages and threads, how to access the downloaded files, and how to read the data in general.
Backupery for Slack and Backupery for Slack Export are different apps. Backupery for Slack exports the data by downloading the messages and files directly from Slack. Backupery for Slack Export is an app to convert Slack Export archive (*.zip) to HTML formats and download files mentioned in the conversations.
Though the apps are different, they produce a very similar output.
When the app starts processing data, it creates a new directory in your destination directory:
As you see, each directory is named by the following template: Year_Month_Date-Time-of-backup. For example, if processing was started on November 10, 2020, at 17:00:01 the name of the directory is 2020_November_10-17_00_01.
Usually, the apps produce several subdirectories in each backup directory (the exact number of directories may vary and depends on your settings):
- The HTML directory contains the data exported in detailed HTML format. This directory is used for a deep, detailed analysis of the exported data and may not be easy to read.
- The HTML2 directory contains the data exported in comfortable HTML format. This directory is used for a quick and comfortable review of the exported data. If you are not sure which HTML directory to choose, start with the HTML2 directory.
- The ReadyToImport directory contains the exported data in JSON format that is possible to import to Slack if necessary. This directory is available for Backupery for Slack only.
A detailed description of each directory is below.
The HTML2 directory contains the exported data converted to comfortable HTML. This directory is used for a quick and comfortable review of the exported data. If you are not sure which HTML directory to choose, start with the HTML2 directory.
Below is the example of the directory:
The directory contains the Index.html file which is used as a starting point for browsing your export. Also, the directory contains several subdirectories which represent public and private channels, direct messages, group direct messages and the exported files. If you open the Index.html file using any web browser, you will see a list of exported conversations, for example:
If you click any conversation, you will see a chronological list of the exported messages along with the links to the files shared in the conversation:
Please note, the file links are links to the files downloaded into the files directory. So if you click a link to a file, you will access the locally downloaded file, not a remote file hosted in Slack.
The HTML directory contains the data converted to detailed HTML. Please note, the directory is used for a deep, detailed analysis of the data and may not be easy to read. If you need more comfortable look through the messages, skip to the HTML2 directory (Comfortable HTML).
Below is the example of the directory:
This directory usually contains several files:
- users.html contains information about the exported users. Usually, this file has information about all users in a workspace.
- channels.html contains information about the exported public channels.
- groups.html contains information about the exported private channels.
- dms.html contains information about the exported direct messages.
- mpims.html contains information about the exported group direct messages.
- Index.html is an index file that allows you to browse the Detailed HTML export. Think of it as a starting point to browse your data in a web-browser. Just double-click the file and you will see the Detailed HTML directory in your web browser:
Each subdirectory inside the HTML directory represents a channel (public or private), a direct message conversation, or a group direct message conversation and contains the messages and the downloaded files.
Usually, the name of a public or a private channel matches the name of a directory. For example, the channel named general is placed into the general directory:
Direct messages are placed into the directories which start with “D”:
The names of these directories actually are IDs of the direct messages. If you need to find the ID of a specific DM with a user you should open dms.html and find the user name or handle in the user column. Then find the corresponding ID in the id column. For example, let’s find the DM conversation with a user whose name is User2:
Group direct messages are placed into the directories which start with “mpdm-”:
The names of these directories consist of the “mpdm-” prefix and handles of users who take part in the group joined with the “–” symbols. To find more information about the exported group direct messages you can refer to mpims.html.
First, you should choose the directory you want to read the messages from. In our example, let’s read the messages from the private channel named private3_1:
So let’s open the private3_1 directory and look inside it:
Each HTML file (2018-08-30.html, 2018-09-10.hml, and 2020-07-30.html) contains the messages for a given day. So to read the messages that were sent on August 30th, 2018 just open 2018-08-30.html:
Message replies are represented as generic messages. For example, the following reply
is placed into 2020-02-24.html as a generic message:
Please note, if a reply was sent on a day that differs from the day when the “parent” message was sent, then the reply is placed into the file which contains the messages sent on the day of the reply. For example, consider two replies to the “test001” message that was sent on February 24th, 2020:
- The “hello” reply was sent on the same day, February 24th, 2020.
- The “hello 2” reply was sent later, December 2nd, 2020.
The following screenshot illustrates the scenario:
So the “hello” is placed into 2020-02-24.html where the parent message “test001” lives, but the “hello 2” reply is placed into 2020-12-02.html.
Downloaded files are placed into the related conversation directories. For example, all the files downloaded from the general channel are placed into the general directory. Each file name starts with a timestamp that represents the date when the file was shared in a conversation. For example, consider the following file upload in the general channel:
The downloaded file will be placed in the general directory and will be named 2018-09-10_testfile.zip.
This directory is available for Backupery for Slack only.
The ReadyToImport directory keeps a zip file that contains the exported data that is possible to import to Slack if necessary using Slack import tools: https://slack.com/intl/en-by/help/articles/204897248-Guide-to-Slack-import-and-export-tools. The zip file format is similar to the Slack-standard export file, so you can read the file using the following article: https://slack.com/intl/en-by/help/articles/220556107-How-to-read-Slack-data-exports.
In general, this file contains all the data exported from Slack including information about users, channels, direct messages, and group direct messages, private & public channels history, direct messages history, and so on. It does not contain the files, however, so the zip file size is relatively small.
- Backupery for Slack: you can download the export from an example workspace that was used in this article here.
- Backupery for Slack Export: you can download the processed example archive here.
If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please contact us!