Alteryx Designer Desktop Ideas

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Allow input tools to open files as "Read Only"

I understand the need for "exclusive rights" when using an input tool.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of some corporate data, getting write access to a file is not always possible.  I would like to have the ability to configure an input tool to open a file in "Read Only" mode while producing a warning message that the file was processed in that mode and may not contain the lastest version pf the data.  I envision this as a checkbox option in the tool configuration panel.

25 Comments
NicolasSz
11 - Bolide

Hi @schaferc ,

 

We also got this bug introduced when upgrading to 2021.4.

I raised a defect on the support portal but wanted to let you know.

 

Thanks

Linas
8 - Asteroid

We have found a workaround to this issue and packaged it into a macro: the idea is to copy the excel file into a temp folder (%Engine.TempFilePath%), then read the copied excel file. To copy the file we used File Copy-Move custom tool from here File Copying and Moving - Alteryx Community and to read it we used dynamic input. We also used block until done to make sure the file is copied before it is being read from the temp location. @NicolasSz @schaferc this might interest you.

schaferc
7 - Meteor

@Linas I'm shaking my head over what we have to do to remove the handcuffs Alteryx spent time and energy to implement upon us, but I very much appreciate this as an option and will pursue it. Many thanks!

schaferc
7 - Meteor

 I wanted to add a real-world example of what it looks like dealing with locked Excel files. 

 

schaferc_0-1663860725608.png

 

 

What's not captured in the image above is that I also had to:

- run my workflow

- have it fail so I could find out which users were still in their file and message them to get out

- confirm that an employee was out of office but kept their file open

- revise the workflow to point to a copy of that users file I had to create (which will later have to be renamed back to the original naming file)

- keep users out of their working files when I ran into a separate workflow problem I had to solve

- during crunch time, I will sometimes need to rerun this workflow half a dozen times as managers make small adjustments (and thus coordinate with all staff to exit files). So the work I just described above can be multiplied 6x.

 

What did the process look like before this Excel lock problem? Managers would message their employees to save their file before a certain deadline before roll up reporting. That's it. No problem ever arose from this approach. 

 

I hope this reveals the frustration of this Alteryx feature "enhancement". But otherwise Alteryx is a great tool!

npariso
10 - Fireball

Wow, 6 years later and an ETL is still not capable of opening an excel file that is opened by another user.. 😐