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Alteryx Designer Desktop Ideas

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I’ve been using the Regex tool more and more now. I have a use case which can parse text if the text inside matches a certain pattern. Sometimes it returns no results and that is by design. 

Having the warnings pop up so many times is not helpful when it is a genuine miss and a fine one at that. 

Just like the Union tool having the ability to ignore warnings, like Dynamic Rename as well, can we have the ignore function for all parse tools? 

That’s the idea in a nutshell.

It would be great if you could include a new Parse tool to process Data Sets description (Meta data) formatted using the DCAT (W3C) standard in the next version of Alteryx.

DCAT is a standard for the description of data sets. It provides a comprehensive set of metadata that can be used to describe the content, structure, and lineage of a data set.

We believe that supporting DCAT in Alteryx would be a valuable addition to the product. It would allow us to:

  • Improve the interoperability of our data sets with other systems (M2M)
  • Make it easier to share and reuse our data sets
  • Provide a more consistent way to describe our data sets
  • Bring down the costs of describing and developing interfaces with other Government Entities
  • Work on some parts of making our data Findable – Accessible – Interopable - Reusable (FAIR)

We understand that implementing support for this standards requires some development effort (eventually done in stages, building from a minimal viable support to a full-blown support). However, we believe that the benefits to the Alteryx Community worldwide and Alteryx as a top-quality data preparation tool outweigh the cost.


I also expect the effort to be manageable (perhaps a macro will do as a start) when you see the standard RDF syntax being used, which is similar to JSON.


DCAT, which stands for Data Catalog Vocabulary, is a W3C Recommendation for describing data catalogs in RDF. It provides a set of classes and properties for describing datasets, their distributions, and their relationships to other datasets and data catalogs. This allows data catalogs to be discovered and searched more easily, and it also makes it possible to integrate data catalogs with other Semantic Web applications. 

DCAT is designed to be flexible and extensible, so they can be used to describe a wide variety. They are both also designed to be interoperable, so they can be used together to create rich and interconnected descriptions of data and knowledge.


Here are some of the benefits of using DCAT:

  • Improved discoverability: DCAT makes it easier to discover and use KOS, as they provide a standard way of describing their attributes.
  • Increased interoperability: DCAT allows KOS to be integrated with other Semantic Web applications, making it possible to create more powerful and interoperable applications.
  • Enhanced semantic richness: DCAT provides a way to add semantic richness to KOS , making it possible to describe them in a more detailed and nuanced way.

Here are some examples of how DCAT is being used:

  • The DataCite metadata standard uses DCAT to describe data catalogs.
  • The European Data Portal uses DCAT to discover and search for data sets.
  • The Dutch Government made it a mandatory standard for all Dutch Government Agencies.

As the Semantic Web continues to grow, DCAT is likely to become even more widely used.







Can a function be added to the Text-to-Column tool that allows selecting "split on entire entry" or "split on entry-as-a-whole" for the delimiters field?



Currently if we type  vs.  in the delimiters field, it'll look for each character separately including spaces.


The recommendation in the tool help is to use RegEx for splitting on whole words, but for some, RegEx is quite intimidating and adding this function would be a big help for new users.


Proposed Change:

2 Radio Buttons added to the Text-to-Column tool

  1. Split by Each Entry
    1. Current functionality
    2. Should be default
    3. Splits on every letter, space, punctuation, etc. separately
  2. Split by Entire Entry
    1. Allow splitting by using entire entry in the field
    2. Still includes spaces, letters, and punctuation, but now sees as "whole-word"


Example of function:

  1. Radio button set to "split by entire entry"
  2. Delimiter field has:   vs. 
  3. Tool sees  ______ vs. ______  in a column in the data
  4. Tool splits ______  and  ______ into new columns leaving out the entire vs. including the spaces entered around it


Thank you!

  1. TEXT TO COLUMN TOOL : Check Mark  for “Output/No-Output” next  to  “OUTPUT ROOT NAME”  


Most of the time I don't want/need the column that I parsed. Provide a check box for if you want the root column output. 

Checkbox ability to ‘not’ output the original column on a text to columns tool

After using the Text to Columns tool, I generally find myself using a Select tool to get rid of the original field that I split up. Could an option be added in the config to automatically delete this field once it is split to columns?

SOOOOoooooo many times it'd be great to just dictate the character length/count (fixed width) for the parse (just like you can in excel), instead of being constrained by a delimiter or being obligated to go create (potentially complex) REGEX.  Ideally you could go into the column and insert the <break> (multiple times if needed) after the given character where you'd like the parse to occur.  Anything past the last <break> would all be included in the final parse section/field. 

You could also do it a little less visual and just identify/type the character count you want for each column.  If you really want to enhance this idea, you could also include the ability to name the fields and prescribe the data type.  Those would just be gravy on the meat of the idea however, which is, provide the ability to parse by fixed length fields.





In Japan, the prople usually use the date format "yyyy/mm/dd". But there is no preset in Date tool. So I usually use custom setting, but it is the waste of time.


So please add yyyy/mm/dd format to the preset in Date tool configuration for Japanese people.




It would be absolutely marvellous if the ability to use a field as the replace value could be incorporated into the Regex tool. Currently the "Replacement Text" field is a hardcoded text value, and so to make that dynamic you have to wrap the tool in a batch and feed in the value as a Control Parameter. If we could just select a field to use as the replacement value, that would be spiffy.





Hey all,


The join tool currently does not allow case-insensitive joins, but the find/replace tool does.    Additionally- even if both sides are identical, the join tool will not join "Sean's house" to "Sean's house" because of the non-letter character in the middle.    Finally - if one side is a string(2), and the other is a vString(200) - even if you have a single identical character on both sides you get uncertain outcomes unless you force the type


Please could you consider amending the join tool to include 3 new options or capabilities:

- Case insensitive join

- Allow full Unicode character set in join

- Full match across text types (irrespective of string size) - this would allow a string(2) value to match to a string(100) value as long as the string(100) value only has the same 2 characters in it as the string(2) value


That would remove a load of work from every text-join that's being done on every canvas we do.


Thank you 




Hi all,

@AlexKo did an excellent article on RegEx, and Mark @MarqueeCrew Frisch has helped me out of many pickles with Regex - and one of the things that I've discussed with a few folk on the community is that Regex is super-powerful ( @Ken_Black made this same comment) and can do way more than we initially understand.


The problem is not one of the power of the tool, but rather the onramp to using it (it's painful to do/experiment/run/try etc, it doesn't give you any visual guides or hints when you've got it right or wrong, etc)


My method is to hop straight on to http://regex101, paste in sample text, and figure out the right RegEx in their AWESOME UI which really make this into a 5 minute job, and makes me feel like I've scored at least one victory today (it is so easy, you actually feel more powerful and competent).


Could we bring some of this great User Interaction design into the RegEx tool?   I honestly believe that if the RegEx tool was as easy and approachable as (or why not go one better than them), we'd see an explosion in usage and creativity.


Thank you all


Although this could also effect ANY formula, the RegEx tool does not support a flag for Multiline.  Often incoming data contains multiple lines of data and the user must replace new lines and carriage returns with a space or other delimiter in order to operate a regular expression on all of the data.


RegEx has a multiline flag (for Alteryx it would be a checkbox) that allows it to handle each line separately.


if these are individual records, then \w+\.com$ works wonderfully,  if these are all contained in a single EXCEL cell, then you need to write to community to figure out what to do.





The expression editor in the RegEx tool is only a single line, which makes it really hard to edit long regular expressions. See attached photo comparing the expression editor in the RegEx tool compared to the formula tool for the same expression. Please make the RegEx editor box either wrap to multiple lines, have a pop-out expression editor, or something so we can see long expressions.


regex idea.PNG

Currently I find myself always wanting to replace the DateTime field with a string or visa verse.


It would be nice to have a radio button to pick whether to append the parsed field to replace the current field with the parsed field.


I understand that all you need is a select tool after, this would be a nice QoL change especially where the field may be dynamically updated.

The DateTime tool is a great way to convert various string arrangements into a Date/Time field type. However, this tool has two simple, but annoying, shortcomings :


  1. Convert Multiple Fields: Each DateTime tool only lets you convert one field. Many Alteryx tools (MultiField, Auto Field, etc.) allow you to choose what field(s) are affected by the tool.  If I have a database with a large number of string fields all with the same format (such as MM/DD/YYYY), I should be able to use one DateTime tool to convert them all!
  2. Overwrite Existing Field: The DateTime tool always creates a new field that contains your converted date/time. I ALWAYS have to delete the original string field that was converted and rename the newly created date/time field to match the original string field's name. A simple checkbox (like the "output imputed values as a separate field" checkbox in the Imputation tool) could give the flexibility of choosing to  have a separate field (like how it is now) or overwrite the string field with the converted date/time field (keeping the name the same).

Alteryx is overall an amazing data blending software. I recognize that both of these shortcomings can be worked around with combinations of other Alteryx tools (or LOTS of DateTime tools), but the simplicity of these missing features demonstrates to me that this data blending tool is not sufficiently developed. These enhancements can greatly improve the efficiency of date handling in Alteryx.


STAR this post if you dislike the inflexibility of the DateTime tool! Thank you!

We've got your metadata.  Suppose the "SELECT COLUMNT TO SPLIT" question is considered by Alteryx and this happens:


  • A field is selected because it contains similar \W (regex for non-word characters) patterns in the data (e.g. count of delimiters in the field are roughly equal).
  • The delimiter (MODE delimiter or BEST) is defaulted
  • Split # of columns = MODE count + 1

If a user updates the Field/Delimiter, the metadata could suggest the right Number of columns based upon the delimiter.


This all belongs in the automagically idea bank.  It saves me the time of counting delimiters or trial and error counts.





When entering a number of column names in the RegEx parse mode - please can you allow either Enter or down-arrow to move down to the next cell (standard windows convention)?


Currently Enter just exists the edit mode; and down-arrow does nothing.


Annotation 2020-07-06 210535.png


cc: @Hollingsworth 

We're currently using Regex and text to columns to parse raw HTML as text into the appropriate format when web scraping, when a tool to at least parse tables would be hugely beneficial.

This functionality exists within Qlik so it would be nice to have this replicated in Alteryx.

Obviously, we need to retain the ability to scrape raw HTML, but automatically parsing data using the <td>, <th> and <tr> tags would be nice.

In the following page there is a table showing the states and territories of the US:

States.PNGWith Qlik, you can input the URL and it will return the available tables in tabular format:


States - Qlik.PNG


As this functionality exists elsewhere it would be nice to incorporate this into Alteryx.

I love the new Custom Format option with the DateTime tool in Alteryx 11.0, this makes working with dates SO MUCH easier... BUT it would be great if you could update an existing field rather than having to create a new column (e.g. DateTime_Out) and then use a select to put this back to the original Date field.




When copying and pasting the datetime tool, or disconnecting its input, it loses its configuration. This can be really frustrating if it has an unusual formula, and can result in looking up the datatime functions again: and working out how to reconfigure the tool.

Steps to reproduce this issue:

1.  Set up datetime tool


2. Delete Input Connector:


3. Reconnect and notice the formula is missing and it has been reset to a completely fresh DateTime Tool:


Proposed solution:
The Datetime tool should remember the previous configuration, and go back to this when the input is deleted or it is copy pasted. It will then be able to be reconnected.

Steps in proposed solution:
1. Setup Datetime tool


2. Delete input Connector (Note the DateTime Config and Annotation Remaining, but still being not editable)

3. Reconnect the tool for it to still be configured for the data

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