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Alteryx 11 formula tool default data type

The default data type for new columns used to be Double, and now it is V_WString.  Is this user-configurable?  I find that, at least in my work, needing a formula to output a Double is way more common than a V_WString.  I'm curious of other community members' thoughts here.  If there isn't a consensus, it would be great to have this be a user-configurable default.

11 - Bolide

I'd like to second @drahn's comment on the default field size being 1073741823 - this is far too large for 99% of use cases. This is causing us issues with increased runtimes and the need to now manually update the sizes in almost all cases.

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review
9 - Comet

+1 Ran into some odd issues recently that were being caused by the V_WString data type.  It was a bit of a niche use case (appending into an existing oracle table where the columns were defined as varchar2), but I typically don't need my fields to be V_WStrings that are that large.  While I appreciate the thought as I often found myself changing off of the Double default type, making this user-configurable would be nice.

9 - Comet
I totally agree with the complaint about the default text field size being so enormous (107374....) One almost never encounters such huge text fields it's easy to forget to change the default which results in slow performance and outright errors when loading to SQL or some other database. The odd thing I encountered when loading to SQL is that the data bulk-inserts without an error, but the contents of what actually gets loaded is truncated since most varchar fields in SQL are not setup to be so huge. The worst part about it is that it seems to do some kind of truncation without throwing any error which can result in bad data getting loaded into the database. At a minimum, text fields like this should default to a size of 254 or some other reasonable length.
16 - Nebula
16 - Nebula

Great Idea! 

9 - Comet


The default text field size drives me nuts? In my 20yrs of working with data/mapping/DBs, I've never needed a field to be that size. Wouldn't it make more sense to have it default to like 255 characters & if a user needs it to be 1,073,741,823 characters, they can manually change it. Honestly, have you come across even one user who needs the tool to default to that size? What's your reasoning for the size, out of curiosity? I mean, a billion characters...really?? 

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Why not delay the typing of a field until the user has created the formula; or intelligently update based on the type of the formula?


for example - if I am adding 2 integers, then it's very likely that I want the type to be integer.    If you want, you can even ask the user "can I change this to integer for you"?


Generally speaking - I would prefer that the data type is defaulted to something constrictive (like @Claje mentioned) to proactively prevent defects in the workflow (and a few formula errors is an OK price to pay for this)

5 - Atom

I just spent 15 minutes trying to figure out why a formula was failing because of the default data type.

When the formula inputs are numeric, I expect the output to be numeric. The current default of text might be the least helpful option. Please fix.

6 - Meteoroid

I'll echo the comments about formulas that using arithmetic functions should convert the default to double.  I've spent lots of times going back to fix it because the next tool in my workflow is a summarize tool that doesn't work with strings. 

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Not Planned

Thanks for all of your feedback. I had quite a few phone calls with people and discussed this idea. Unfortunately there's not a clear indication of a different default that would work better for the majority of users. Rather than introducing change, we're going to keep this as designed for now.