Overall I have been enjoying many of the new/updated features in Alteryx 11 including the enhancements to the formula tool. However, I have noticed the following pain points in the new formula tool:
1) The default data type for new columns used to be Double, and now it is V_WString. Is this user-configurable? I find that, at least in my work, needing a formula to output a Double is way more common than a V_WString. I'm curious of other community members' thoughts here. If there isn't a consensus, it would be great to have this be a user-configurable default.
2) Once you select a data type, making any change to the name of the new field auto-reverts the data type back to V_WString! This one is a little frustrating. I'm very picky about names of fields, so I oftentimes make a change as I think through what that field should be called, and then discover later in the workflow that I cannot do calculations on it (since it's been changed to V_WString).
3) The old formula configuration window had two very small advantages. First, it always had an extra 'line' for another output field (no pressing '+' required). Second, it defaulted to letting you immediately begin typing the name of the next column (no need to press 'Select Column' then 'Add New Column'). I know these are very minor, but every little thing counts when you're doing heavy development!
@sbedwell These are all great ideas! you should submit these in the ideas section so that others can vote on them and Alteryx can consider making changes in future versions. I wanted to add my 2 cents:
1) I also use double way more often. I thought the pre-11 version was easier to switch between data types. I don't believe you can currently change the default, although they could certainly add it for future versions.
2) Thanks for saving me a headache by pointing this out! I as well change field names often and this certainly would have tripped me up. This should definitely be added to the ideas page!
3) I agree with your points. The only thing I'll add is that we brought up your second point about the adding new columns during the beta and received this response from an Alteryx employee:
Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback! This touches a conversation topic that has been ongoing here at Alteryx. While we want workflow development to be as fast as possible, we also are trying to address the overall usability of the tool and make sure it is very clear what we intend the user to do. We decided to have the UI ask for an explicit action (pick an existing field to edit or click to add a new field) to help make those options clear, as we have found that users don't always understand from the existing tool that this is the first decision they should make when using the tool. That being said, your feedback is definitely valuable. I will be sure to bring this up as we are making improvements to the new tool and see if there's a compromise that we can make on speed vs. obvious intention. Thanks for taking the time!
I am finding the new formula tool considerably less intuitive to use, and it's impacting my productivity even after a few months to get used to it. How is everyone else getting on with it? Maybe it's like the Office Ribbon - new users find it easier, but for existing users it's a real wrench to get your head around.
My experience has been a little different - overall the new formula tool has been a very positive change for me, and the auto-complete / intellisense is something that I really miss in every tool with formulae now.
I think that there are some things which need some polishing, but on Net, for me the new formula tool is a big uplift.
If there are specific things that you find need work - possibly worth logging these as a specific idea for comment? A few poeple have mentioned the fact that you can't delete a formula without first minimizing it, but here may be other things that are impeding or frustrating you?
I'm the same way. My favorite editor is Sublime Text and the new formula tool isn't as smooth as it, and having to open the little boxes to the side for formulas and variables has taken quite a bit to get used to compared to being above in the old tool, but overall it's been a big benefit to me.
I have updated my Alteryx to Alteryx Designer 11.7 some days ago. I noticed that my formula configuration window is different. I am working a lot with Regex operations and I am writing long conditions lines.
I have noticed that since I installed the new version my text/line isn't fitting anymore to the window: the text is not wrapped but instead the lines trail endlessly. It is like the automatic line break isn't working anymore.
In order to better illustrate my problem, please find below some images.
Here an example of the formula configuration window before the 11.7 update. You can see that the line ends when the display tab ends as well. No hidden text.
Here an example of the formula configuration window after the update. You can see that the line do not break automatically when the display tab ends. The text is hidden and the lines are very long.
I looked over the forum and the configuration setting and unfortunately I don't find something that can help me changing the configuration for having the same display as before. I was thinking that it may be a way of setting the lines to fit the formula tab as displayed in the overview.