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Enhancements and Documentation for AlteryxRunner.exe Used by Alteryx (CReW) Runner

As I previously mentioned here, I think that CReW (Alteryx) Runner could hugely benefit from additional enhancements and documentation that would be made for it, especially by adapting certain functionalities found in AlteryxEngineCmd.exe to AlteryxRunner.exe.




As you might have already noticed while using the Alteryx Runner (also documented in this page), the AlteryxRunner.exe executable that is being used by Alteryx Runner does not produce the log file in UTF-16 (default Alteryx log output encoding) or UTF-8 encoding.


Therefore, if there exists a tool in your workflow that could produce a message that includes characters that are not supported by the limited Latin code pages (not including Extended Latin) or only supported by UTF-8 / UTF-16 code pages (same applies to workflow/analytic app name, input file names, output file names and directory names), you will notice that the output log is cut off exactly at that character, even if you use an installer such as this, which modifies the input read options of the Read Results section in the Run Command tool in the macro to read the log file produced by the AlteryxRunner.exe in a UTF-8 encoding.


This limits the way in which users can name their files, directories and workflow names, produce custom messages, or render the Runner tool unusable in certain languages.


As the output encoding settings are directly stored in the AlteryxRunner executable, this is unfortunately not an option that can be changed by the end user and requires direct modification to the AlteryxRunner.exe executable file directly from Alteryx development team.


While not being sure if AlteryxRunner.exe is capable of executing workflows or analytic apps that contain characters in their names or their directory names only supported by Extended Latin / UTF-8 / UTF-16 code pages, I would expect that support to be also added in case it's not already there.


Parameters (Command Line Arguments)

- While trying to find if AlteryxRunner.exe supports any command line arguments, I noticed that it is not possible to run an analytic app with custom values (or even if there is, there's no documentation for it, something I have written about below) via AlteryxRunner.exe, so it would be great to be able to run a YXWZ file with custom values (either using an XML file generated while the workflow is running or a "raw xml data stream with no quotation marks or line feeds" provided in the Runner tool as a new option (a text box for XML File Full Path and another one for Raw XML Data Stream toggled by two radio buttons in a check box group named This workflow is an analytic app) added to the interface of the Runner tool in addition to the workflow full path, already included as a text box interface tool). This would save the users from having to generate an analytic app from a template analytic app (at least in some cases where no advanced modifications to the workflow XML would be necessary) just to be able to change the app values stored in the app.


As already specified in the Encoding section above, I would also expect (at least) the XML file (even if not Raw XML Data Stream) to be able to be read in using UTF-8 encoding.


- I think that users should also be able to specify whether to run a workflow or analytic app using E1 or AMP (overriding the workflow settings), just like in the executable AlteryxEngineCmd.exe. In addition to this, if the AMP flag is passed, there should also be an option (or a 3rd option in addition to E1 and AMP) to pass an Engine Compatibility Mode flag.


- As a final addition, I believe it should also be possible to optionally specify the Memory Limit if desired using an additional flag.


I also think that the two last features should also be added to AlteryxEngineCmd.exe, which could benefit from additional enhancements including but not limited to these suggested in this idea post.




As you might have noticed while reading the two documentations Run Workflows by Command Line and Runner Tool, while there is an advanced documentation on the use of AlteryxEngineCmd.exe, only the use of the Runner Tool itself is documented and not AlteryxRunner.exe. Some of the enhancement requests here are directly a result of this situation (these features could already exist in AlteryxRunner.exe but we would not be aware of it if these were not documented). While such a documentation would not be needed by the Alteryx Designer users (as those arguments could be passed by the choices users make in the macro interface), it might help better understand the capabilities of the executable that makes it possible for a macro such as Alteryx Runner to exist in the first place.

1 Comment
9 - Comet

I would like to post these links as a replacement to the broken links in the original idea post, as documentation pages were recently moved:

Updated link for the texts AlteryxEngineCmd.exe and Run Workflows by Command Line in the original post:

Updated link for the texts AlteryxRunner.exethis page and Runner Tool in the original post: