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Thanks @stef_bolo. I uninstalled Windows Update kb4041676, restarted my computer and boom - all my .xls linked workflows started running again and I was able to input .xls files! A miracle! Day saved!
However, I believe this may only be a temporary fix as a new update may come along and we are back to square one. Also I am not sure what it means for our computers now that we have uninstalled this update so we can continue our Alteryx work - are we more vulnerable than before 12 Oct 2017 (that's a MS question, though)?
I echo various others on this forum - please can Alteryx look into this issue caused by the MS update and help coming up with a long term fix. We all know that MS should be playing nice with other software - but that's never the case is it?!
This issue has been reported, replicated, and escalated to our engineering and Product Management teams. Please open a Support ticket to report the issue if you encounter it so we have clear documentation of the impact of this issue and contact information in order to communicate a solution or fix. Thank you!
Thank you all for your contributions to this topic and for discussion around potential solutions. Please see this Knowledge Base article for official workarounds available at this time. We (Alteryx Customer Support and Alteryx Engineering) are working diligently to understand the most effective way to address this issue and experience. The proposed solutions are quite manual, but at this time are the only official workarounds. Please contact Customer Support if you need to further investigate your options to resolve this issue while we wait for a fix. Again, thank you for your contributions and for logging a ticket so that we can ensure you remain in the loop on any updates.
Nice, that fix of just selecting another file format isn't bad at all. To avoid the file browse issue on new connections, I suspect you could also try adding an input tool then just pasting in the full file path, then changing the format/driver, then updating the sample. Not terribly tedious.
jBailey great call on that vbscript. I took it and macroized it, and then made an app so you can point at a directory and it'll convert all the xls files in it to csv.
It took some doing to get this to export (it's architected w/ ~7 custom macros), and it's late, so this may not work on your first try, but with some community trial/testing i'm sure we'll have a good tool here.
Nice team work! It should be noted that a .csv will read in all fields as Strings and if the exisitng workflow is utilizing non-string fields, a .csv will break the workflow unless field types are accounted for in a newly added tool, like a Select. In the KB you can read how.xlsx files will fix the error issue and would likely be more congruent in terms of field types.