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Add null/blank preference to CSV output

At TargetSmart, we create a lot of CSV deliverables for our customers. Since Alteryx differentiates between blank strings and null values (a good thing), the CSV output is not consistent between the two without an explicit multi-field formula step to set all null to empty strings (or vice versa). This is an easy fix for us. However, in some cases we have very large files with thousands of fields and millions of records. For these instances, the workflow run-time is greatly increased by the multi-field formula. If possible, I was wondering if adding a checkbox option to CSV output steps (“Make null/empty consistent” or “Never quote empty/null values”) would possibly be a more efficient approach as the check could be part of the output step (which I assume is native C++) versus the Multi-field formula (which I assume has some level of inefficiency in interpreting the formula dynamically).

4 Comments
michael_stout
5 - Atom
This would be great.  We have multiple customers that complain about the inconsistency and the fix adds a tremendous run time to our large file outputs.
dataMack
12 - Quasar
We'd also benefit from this feature
Ned
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
FYI - for 10.0, the multi field formula has been seriously optimized for strings. Using that tool for this purposes should be a LOT faster - last maybe as much as 4X faster!
ARich
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Not Planned

Hi,

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Since this behavior has been optimized in the latest release, we are not planning to do this at this time. However, we're interested to hear if the newly optimized multi-field formula does meet your needs.

 

Thanks,

Alex