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Batch Macro Testing - Update "Test View" Interface Designer

Idea:   I think the Interface Designer's "Test View" window should allow control parameters to act like "Text Boxes" and allow the designer to manually edit, or type a control parameter for use in a debug module.
When designing batch macros, there currently is not an easy, built-in way to test or debug their functionality.  There are two reasons to build a batch macro:
1) to reconfigure the macro at run time, just as if they were the answers to questions in the macro GUI;
2) to group the records going in the macro inputs into batches.
If I am designing a macro to perform the 1st function -- reconfigure the macro at run time -- I need to be able to test its functionality in a debug module.
The Interface Designer's "Test view" window should provide this ability by allowing you to type an example control parameter value.  However, the Test View window only allows you to "dropdown" to a value via a dropdown box.  This dropdown box is always empty, thus never allowing you to enter a test control parameter.  I think the Interface Designer's "Test View" window should allow control parameters to act like "Text Boxes" and allow the designer to manually edit a control parameter for a debug module.
I've attached a screenshot of a simple, two control parameter batch macro.  As you can see, in the Interface Designer, I don't have a way of inputting a value in either control parameter field to open a debug module.

9 - Comet
7 - Meteor

 It's hard to believe that this request got only 1 liked. The use of batch macros without the ability of being able to debug them efficiently reduces the agility of using Alteryx extremly.


Apart from joining this request, I'm interested in if anybody found an alternative method to debug batch macros?

9 - Comet

I couldn't agree more pgosztonyi.  


The workaround, if you're interested is to update the parameters in the Workflow tab.  You can set the Values under the constants.  But this is not very intuitive, IMO.

9 - Comet

Agree with the last two posts. This is such a headache debugging. I'd go one step further and say that when you run a workflow with a macro in it, you should be able to right-click on that macro, and there should be some sort of "Open Macro with latest run's data" (for both the macor input and parameters)


@collin_pace - Can you give a little more detail in the workaround you suggested. I inputted the value I wanted, but when I ran the macro, it did not seem to take

9 - Comet

Hi @The_Dev_Kev_Env,


If you open your batch macro, go to the Workflow tab.  You'll see the Constants window which contains the Engine, Questions and Control Parameter rows.  In the control parameter row, enter a value in the "Value" column (e.g. "This is a Test" in the screenshot).  Then go to the Interface Designer window, go to Test View and select "Open Debug".  This will open a debug workflow and your constant value you entered will have updated any and all tools that have an action from your control parameter.  

In my example, the only tool being updated is the filter tool you can see in the screenshot.  In the debug, this tool has been correctly updated from "515" to "This is a Test".  


Hope this helps!






9 - Comet

@collin_pace - Works! Thank you sir, could have avoided a lot of headache if I knew that a few months ago.




8 - Asteroid

Another option is to pair your Control Parameter interface tools with Text Boxes during development and setting up the action to take the value in the text box if the control parameter is empty.  Once development is complete, the Text Box can be hidden.  This technique can also be used to set up a default value for the parameter in cases where it is empty or doesn't fit some criteria dependent on the formula set in the Action interface tool.Capture.PNG



Happy Batching,


9 - Comet

Is there a way to bump ideas?  I have 10 stars, which I hoped would mean this idea would get reviewed by Alteryx staff.


Little help?  :)

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Not Planned

Thanks for submitting this idea and the multiple comments! We're not planning on implementing this feature in the near term, but we'll keep it in mind for when we make some improvements to the interface tools and analytic apps. 

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

This idea needs more attention - debugging Batch Macros is painful at the moment, and this seems like a very simple fix that would materially improve the experience.


Can we put this back on the candidate list for the Designer?