Alteryx Designer Desktop Discussions

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blank output file after only opening (not running!!!) a workflow in version 2022.3

5 - Atom

When using the "Render" tool (and I think in combination with the "Layout" tool) in a workflow,

only opening the workflow results in a blank .xlsx output file. If I explicitly run the flow, the output is right.

Now I have to set the files to "read only" after running a workflow to be sure that it won't be overwritten to empty.

Does anyone have an explanation or easy solution for this?

Or is it a bug in version 2022.3.1.395 (it seems not to occur for version 2022.1.1.40869)?



20 - Arcturus

@ToonHeuvel Are you facing the same issue with a different workflow? Can you try with the attached workflow to see  you are getting the same issue



5 - Atom

Yes it's the same with a different workflow.

if I replace the output file to a .xlsx file I have exactly the same behaviour (empty file without running).






20 - Arcturus

@ToonHeuvel The render tool always overwrites the output file. Do you want to update the existing file with the new data using render tool? 

5 - Atom

Yes, but only if I run the workflow explicitly.

7 - Meteor

I have the same problem on my side too (Version 2022.3.1.430). Also, when changing something in the Alteryx Workflow the output data gets rewritten into an empty data, even though I am not running the workflow.

14 - Magnetar

I've had this same issue with the latest version of Alteryx (2022.3.1.395).  It does not happen for colleagues using an earlier version.

9 - Comet

We are seeing the exact same behavior since recently updating Alteryx to 2022.3.  Opening a workflow will automatically write out a new pdf file (via a render tool) BEFORE hitting run.  


Also, after running a flow that writes out a PDF file via a Render tool, if you edit the flow at all, the PDF file gets automatically updated to blank without rerunning the flow.


Alteryx version: 2022.3.1.486 Patch: 3

9 - Comet

Has anyone submitted a bug report to Alteryx?  This is painful.

5 - Atom

We just upgraded to 2022.3.1.532 Patch: 5 and I began experiencing the same issue. Here's what I found:



Alteryx is now creating blank placeholder files when configuring the render tool - without ever running the workflow. It also does this anytime the workflow is updated elsewhere or initiated to run. I tested and confirmed this happens consistent across all output file types: xlsx, xls, pdf, pptx, png, html, rtf, mht, & pcxml.



  • Self-referencing workflows no longer work.
    1. Currently I have several workflows that read an existing excel file on a network drive, unions the data in the existing file with the new workflow results, and then resaves the results as the same file on the network drive to reference again next time it runs.
    2. Now when the workflow initializes, the render tool overwrites the existing excel file with a blank version before the input tool has an opportunity to read the data.
  • Successful workflow output can be lost.
    1. Even on workflows that are not self-referencing, if the report is rendered successfully but the user changes an unrelated configuration somewhere else (for example in the email tool) afterwards, even if they don’t save or run the workflow, the render tool ‘updates’ itself and overwrites the previously successfully rendered report with a now blank file of the same name.


Potential Workarounds:

  • The Behavior only seems to occur with the Render Tool, the Data Output Tool appears unaffected in my testing;
    • Switching from Render to Data Output where possible should avoid the issue.
  • The Behavior only seems to occur when the Output File Path is configured static inside the Render Tool;
    • Selecting Group Data Into Separate Reports and Replacing Entire Path With Group from a data field within the workflow did not reproduce the bug.