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Alteryx Designer Desktop Ideas

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Hi Team,


I couldn't find much on enhancing the Tool Container tool searching.


I am doing some work on a large workflow today and have replaced three tool containers with multiple containers within them with macros in order to simplify the overall workflow. Doing this work, I need to document the purpose of this simplification to my stakeholders within the business in terms of business value, and one aspect I thought of would be how much time is saved by wrapping all of these tools within a macro, another is how many tools are visible on the canvas, and therefore how by modulising (creating macros rather than tool containers) sections of the workflow it is much easier to see what's happening to the data


My macro replaces 50 tools with one and therefore this is quite a key quantifiable piece of business value that I can communicate.


In order to count the tools within the old container I had to do this manually. I was wondering - rather than manually count all of the tools within the old container - Could there be some functionality built into Tool containers such as a profiling tool similar to the browse? So that when you clicked on the tool container you would get some simple profiling, summary of the tools used?


Any thoughts welcome!




Product Suggestions - (2) Tool Containers.PNG



As I have a lot of documentation to write on my Alteryx process, I would like to simple copy the lower table from the Visual Query Builder :



I have have the topic similar to this suggestion found here Export to Visio. However I came to the community to stick my neck out an suggest Alteryx provide a new product offering.


I believe it wouldn't be a big jump for Alteryx to provide a platform to process design, similar to Visio. Coming from a BA background, I didn't come up with a technical background. When I first viewed it, I rationalised the software as a process design program which was more than pictures it, it actually manipulated the data. The look and feel is already setup, just adding some swimlanes and some icons which don't do anything would be all that is required.


This could be offered as a add-on, a stand alone, or something else - I'd leave that to the marketers. I just know if I could wrap up a data work flow, and potentially a business process designed in the one platform - it would be an advantage.



As my Alteryx workflows are becoming more complex and involve integrating and conforming more and more data sources it is becoming increasingly important to be able to communicate what the output fields mean and how they were created (ie transformation rules) as output for end user consumption; particular the file target state output. 


It would be great if Alteryx could do the following: 

1. Produce a simple data dictionary from the Select tool and the Output tool. The Select tool more or less contains everything that is important to the business user; It would be awesome to know of way to export this along with the actual data produced by the output tool (hopefully this is something I've overlooked and is already offered).


  • using Excel would be to produce the output data set in one sheet and the data dictionary for all of its attributes in the second sheet.
  • For an odbc output you could load the data set to the database and have the option to either create a data dictionary as a database table or csv file (you'd also want to offer the ability to append that data to the existing dictionary file or table. 


2. This one is more complex; but would be awesome. If the workflow used could be exported into a spreadsheet Source to Target (S2T) format along with supporting metadata / data dictionary for every step of the ETL process. This is necessary when I need to communicate my ETL processes to someone that cannot afford to purchase an alteryx licence but are required to review and approved the ETL process that I have built. I'd be happy to provide examples of how someone would likely want to see that formatted. 

The add to / remove from container behavior needs to be modified.  I have frequently had the application completely rearrange my workflow because of it. I was just deleting a handful of closed containers when the application removed all my tools from their individual containers and wrapped everything in one big container completely screwing up my entire workflow.  This happens a lot.  Now I have to reorganize the workflow.  This is one of my biggest frustrations with the application.containers.png

Pet Hate... When i re-enable a container, it opens up the container... 


Would be great if the default is do not open on re-enable... 




We just updated to 11.7 from 10.5.


The Container adding/removing rules were changed somewhere in there and the change made it much harder to remove tools from containers. Is there any way to undo these changes or look into a better set of rules to use?




It would be a timesaver for workflow documentation if macro metadata could be passed through to the workflow where the macro is deployed.  The image below suggests that the Description encased in the macro could be copied across to the corresponding Annotation panel.  I would also suggest that the Meta Info panel have a checkbox to control this new funtionality.



The "Open Example" feature that has been implemented for many tools helps new users quickly learn how to exploit Alteryx.  I would like to see Alteryx make further investments in this area and in particular I would like to see enhanced and organized documentation for functions with more and better examples.  I would encourage Alteryx to engage its ACE community and the other advanced users who are active in the Community to contribute to this effort. 

The Explorer Box is great for embedding help documentation into workflows. That being said, there are several text-based file types that cannot be accepted into the Explorer Box such as .sql or .log. Since these are essentially text files, I'm suggesting that the Explorer Box should be less strict regarding file extensions and allow all text-based file types to be viewable.

We see very nice demos at the Alteryx Academy. Trainers showing some actions, tips and tricks on screens previously recorded...


Originally you need to install a software like;

Then learn how to use them and share separate video or moving GIF files with people manually by mail etc....


I suggest a screen recorder for Alteryx where you can quickly record and save how something is done

and then share it thru Peer to peer with a colleague one-on-one or publish to the Alteryx Community...


It may even be an awesome thing if one can share screen in real-time with another Alteryx user...

Then it will be top notch collaboration...























Altan @Atabarezz

It would be extremely helpful if there is an easy way to print off the current function reference for 11.0. In the past, you could easily do so with 9.5 (with the print button), but even putting out a basic PDF file that outlines the parameters for each function, and what it does would be useful. This is not possible with the newest version of the documentation.

So, best practice is to add annotations - so how many times have you seen an annotation that says 


"This filters for column y" and then it's been changed to something else in the meantime.  

Alteryx provides some default annotations, but wouldn't it be amazing if those metadata fields were available in an easy way to include in your own annotations


I imagine this working like so:


On an input tool:

"The file {filename} comes in from Joe in accounts every Tuesday and is currently {rows} big."


Filter tool

"This filters out the salaries above 100k with the formula {expression}"



"I join using the {fields} fields rather than the typical key because the key isn't well populated"



"I combine {IncomingNames} sets"



"The expression {expression1} calculates the exposure then {expression2} converts to bps."


Input, SQL Server

"The data source {databasename} is owned by Joe Soap in Investment"


Suddenly it makes sense to use annotations, and they don't lie (as easily) and mislead you into believing something other than the inherent logic, but with flexibility to select which bits of the metadata of the tool make sense to you.


Alteryx must have this functionality under the hood with the auto annotation, and this just provides better flex for that.



When testing I often need to check single (or a handful of numbers) throughout the workflow. I have to click on each browse to check the numbers. A tool that rendered the output of multiple fields throughout the workflow would allow me to check if I was dropping any rows or miscalculating at a glance.


For instance if at the beginning of a workflow the row count was 15,951 and the cohort size was 328. Also the sum of profit for the cohort was £1,934,402 and the count of sales was 1,584. Remember those? Not if you have to click on the browse tool multiple times all the way through a large workflow to make sure you keep these figures intact. Copying out into excel or popping out the data from browse are the only options, each fiddly when trying to alter things quickly.


A resizable output window such as the explorer window would uber-useful.




Providing detailed information about inputs, outputs, data sources and assumptions provides useful information to us that may not always be obvious within a workflow, especially one with many tools used. While the comment tool is useful, and I enjoy the customization options, I think some updates to the annotation tool would be useful.


One improvement I would like to see is the ability to summarize and download all annotations to a PDF document; color coding the annotations according to the tool used would also be helpful. Having this information readily available for presentation purposes or for enterprise-wide users of workflows would be beneficial. 


If this is already possible, please let me know!



Im troubleshooting a workflow with around 4,400 tools, breaking into separate workflows, and leveraging the crew macros to run the workflow sequence.  Well- I changed a few file names and have an interesting disaster where I need to go tool by tool to verify everything is properly configured.  



I used tool containers to group and label sections of tools to be organized, but it was becoming difficult to navigate the ocean of tool clusters.  So- I used blank comment boxes in the tool containers.  If everything works in the container, I made the comment box green.  If something is broken, I made it red.  From there, I made all of the red comment boxes green to make sure everything was diligently reviewed.  


New Cool Idea

Troubleshooting mode- make it easy to flip a lighthouse switch on the tool containers.  Colors are great for categories, but this makes it easy to focus or highlight containers with maybe a cool retro looking switch. 


Peace, Love, and Workflows....



Here is an idea I think it would help with documenting any process using the container tool. Currently, with each of the tool, user can use the default annotation or add his or her own annotation to help explaining each step in a process. The annotation on each tool can be set to be hidden (never show) when there are high number of tools are present.  This is when the container tool can be used to organized tools. This idea is similar in scope with the two ideas below but I want to push it a little further beyond the current available features described in


The idea is to have the container tool summarize all the annotations from tools within a container as its own.  This way, you will have the full documentation of the combined process within the container, and container of containers.  This feature can either be the option to view or to export from the pop up window.




Give the option in the tags properties to place the tag to the right of the tool. 

Have this be the default setting for Browse and Output tools or others that would normally be found at the end of a workflow. This allows the detail to remain and a cleaner view of the module.

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