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I'm using Alteryx version 220.127.116.1197 in my company. It is my second week working with Alteryx so excuse me if I missed any obvious solution to my problem.
I receive 4 kind of input excel files (slight differences); I need to ingest one file at a time and do various transformations and produce an output file. The output file will always have fixed columns, the transformations will vary because input varies. At no time will I ingest all 4 files together. My end objective is to just have one workflow and keep changing the input to point to one file at a time; I'll write logic within the workflow to make different transformations depending upon input file (I'll read the file name as a column and either write IF conditions or will use filters - haven't gotten that far yet).
I created a master list of columns that will be needed for all transformations (around 200); I have gotten so far as to get 200 columns with all the input files (selected one at a time).
Now, I know the data types of each of these (i.e. I want the data types to be fixed). I used 'auto field' + 'select tool' and also only 'select' tool to define the data types of these columns but each time I change the input file, the data types change.
1. Is there a way I can pass the data types of these columns from say an external excel file (column name, data type) into alteryx and overwrite data types that exist.
2. If I can't pass the data types from an external file - is there a way to achieve this using existing tools/objects in Alteryx.
3. I think this can be achieved using R script - haven't tried that yet but I read somewhere that R scripts can be called from within Alteryx workflow. Sub questions:
3.1 Can I define data types in R and bring those into Alteryx
3.2 Is admin access required to install R tools for alteryx? I already have R installed on office machine, independent installation (version 3.4.0)
I can't upload any file (excel / Alteryx) from within my office network and I don't have access to office files from my home. I don't have Alteryx on my personal computer else i could have tried to generate some random test data and the workflow file.
To go with the excellent suggestion above from Mark, you can also 'Force' data-types in the select tool. So, if the data-type is String for instance and you want to make sure that it stays String, you can set it to 'String: Forced'.