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Refactoring Column Names and Intellisense bug

I enjoy using Alteryx. It saves me a lot of time compared to manually writing scripts. But one of my frustrations is the lack of 'intelligence' in the IDE. Please make it so that if I change a name of a column in a select tool or a join, every occurence of that variable/column in selects, summarises, formulae and probably all tools downstream of the select tool renames as well. In other IDEs I believe this is called refactoring. It doesn't seem like an big feature to make, it would save enormous amounts of time and would make me very happy.

 

While we're on the 'intelligence' of the IDE, there is a small, easily fixable bug. When I have a variable with spaces in the middle, for example, 'This is my column name', and start writing in the code field "[Thi" then the drop downbox suggests "[This is my column name]". All good so far. But if I get a little further in the variable name, and write instead "[This i", then the dropdown box suggests "[This is my column name]", and I click this, the result is this: "[This [This is my column name]". Alternatively, I could write "[This is my col" and the result would be "[This is my [This is my column name]". Clearly this could be avoided by my using column names with underscores or hyphens; but I wanted to highlight to you the poor functionality here.


Kind regards,

Ben Hopkins

5 Comments
JohnJPS
15 - Aurora

This is big.  People who like code will mention "lack of refactoring" as an excuse to not even consider a tool like Alteryx.  I like Alteryx a lot, obviously, so came out here to suggest this idea in the hopes that it may serve as an argument against those who avoid due to lack of refactoring... I'm pleased to see the idea already here... not so excited to see it only had 1 "like" prior to my arrival... (I gave it the second.)

 

Anyway, so that's also my sales pitch: if Alteryx made refactoring easy, it could go a long way towards marketing to the crowd that likes code and mentions refactoring as their reasoning.  Give them refactoring... then what's their excuse? Haha.

Joe_Lipski
13 - Pulsar
13 - Pulsar

Definitely agree with this idea which should have more than the 3 likes that it currently has!

 

This is currently possible editing the XML, but should be much much easier than that.

 

It looks as though the Find & Replace functionality which is in the 2020.3 Beta release is a step in the right direction: https://www.alteryx.com/products/platform-details/whats-next

 

REVIEW, TEST, AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK

Review, test and provide feedback on the latest pre-release versions of Alteryx Analytics Platform components! Following are features expected to be delivered during 2020.3 beta cycle.

 

PREPARE + ANALYZE / MODEL   DESIGNER | DESKTOP

If you like our Find functionality, you are going to love Find and Replace. Editing your workflow is going to be so much easier now.

ben_hopkins
8 - Asteroid

If I'd have written it more succinctly it might've gotten more likes...

 

I didn't think about editing the xml - will bear in mind. Find and replace would be a good way to do this!

 

Alan_Spray
5 - Atom

up-vote

UrosV
5 - Atom

+1 from me. I'm glad you we were able to explain my pain. Besides Alteryx I use Tableau a lot and it is miles ahead in terms of user experience, not perfect but miles ahead. This is particularly true for formula editing and the use of intellisense which works exactly as the idea you are describing here. So In my view this is more of a stuck-in-MVP feature rather a novel idea for Alteryx, but either way the should (and should have ) acted accordingly.