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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Design Patterns, Order of execution, Conditional execution & Orchestration

We have discussed on several occasions and in different forums, about the importance of having or providing Alteryx with order of execution control, conditional executions, design patterns and even orchestration.

I presented this idea some time ago, but someone asked me if it was posted, and since it was not, I’m putting it here so you can give some feedback on it.

 

The basic concept behind this idea is to allow us (users) to have:

  • Design Patterns
    • Repetitive patterns to be reusable.
    • Select after and Input tool
    • Drop Nulls
    • Get not matching records from join
  • Conditional execution
    • Tell Alteryx to execute some logic if something happens.
    • Record count
    • Errors
    • Any other condition
  • Order of execution
    • Need to tell Alteryx what to run first, what to run next, and so on…
    • Run this first
    • Execute this portion after previous finished
    • Wait until “X” finishes to execute “Y”
  • Orchestration
    • Putting all together

This approach involves some functionalities that are already within the product (like exploiting Filtering logic, loading & saving, caching, blocking among others), exposed within a Tool Container with enhanced attributes, like this example:

OnCanvas.png

 

 

The approach is to extend Tool Container’s attributes.

This proposition uses actual functionalities we already have in Designer.

So, basically, the Tool Container gets ‘superpowers’, with the addition of some capabilities like: Accepting input data, saving the contents within the container (to create a design pattern, or very commonly used sequence of tools chained together), output data, run the contents of the tools included in the container, etc.), plus a configuration screen like:

 

ToolcontainerConfig_Comment.png

 

 
  1. Refers to the actual interface of the Tool Container.
  2. Provides the ability to disable a Container (and all tools within) once it runs.
    • Idea based on actual behavior: When we enable or disable a Tool Container from an interface Tool.
  3. Input and output data to the container’s logic, will allow to pickup and/or save files from a particular container, to be used in later containers or persist data as a partial result from the entire workflow’s logic (for example updating a dimensions table)
    • Based on actual behavior: Input & Output Data, Cache, Run Command Tools, and some macros like Prepare Attachment.
  4. Order of Execution: Can be Absolute or Relative. In case of Absolute run, we take the containers in order, executing their contents. If Relative, we have the options to configure which container should run before and after, block until previous container finishes or wait until this container finishes prior to execute next container in list.
    • Based on actual behavior: Block until done, Cache, Find Replace, some interface Designer capabilities (for chained apps for example), macros’ basic behaviors.
  5. Conditional Execution: In order to be able to conditionally execute other containers, conditions must be evaluated. In this case, the idea is to evaluate conditions within the data, interface tools or Error/Warnings occurrence.
    • Based on actual behavior: Filter tool, some Interface Tools, test Tool, Cache, Select.
  6. Notes: Documentation text that will appear automatically inside the container, with options to place it on top or below the tools, or hide it.

 

This should end a brief introduction to the idea, but taking it a little further, it will allow even to have something like an Orchestration layout, where the users can drag and drop containers or patterns and orchestrate them in a solution, like we can do with the Visual Layout Tool or the Interactive Chart tool:

Alteryx Choreographer.png

 

I'm looking forward to hear what you think.

Best

25 Comments
patrick_digan
16 - Nebula
16 - Nebula

Awesome idea @Aguisande!

Hollingsworth
11 - Bolide
11 - Bolide

Excellent write-up, AJ. Lots of fresh ideas here that would solve a lot of current problems.

KylieF
Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

Thank you for this fantastic write up and idea set!

 

This is one of the best crafted ideas I've seen between the thorough descriptions and visuals, and our product team will greatly appreciate the in depth analysis. Just in case you haven't, be sure to check out our Submission Guidelines since they go over the process and necessary like count for review in a bit greater detail.

rob_cottrell
7 - Meteor

Beautiful! 

 

In my opinion, until something like this is implemented, I'm not touching the AMP engine.  Parallel execution without Order of Execution control would break 90% of my workflows.

Nick612Haylund
10 - Fireball
10 - Fireball

AJ - this is a great idea paired with an amazing writeup. Would love to see this!

cgoodman3
12 - Quasar
12 - Quasar

Awesome write up (how do you make the mock ups?). It would be really good to have orchestration of a workflow.

Aguisande
14 - Magnetar
14 - Magnetar

Chris, to your question, pure Photoshop. Since I based all the concept in existing functionalities within Alteryx (So building the underlying XML, parsing it with the Engine and that kind of stuff could be easier to build, and not taking that much of new code vs. existing code + a little tweak) , wasn't hard to mock up what I really wanted to showcase.

Caroline_CAID
5 - Atom

Conditional execution would be awesome

Sylvain_Dufour
5 - Atom

Wow, this is an awesome idea @aguisande, and really well documented. I wish I could vote more than once 😀

Aguisande
14 - Magnetar
14 - Magnetar

Thanks @Sylvain_Dufour 

You can't vote more than once, but you can tell your co-workers to vote for it if they think it's valuable to have all this in Alteryx.

🙄