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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:
Repetitive patterns to be reusable.
Select after and Input tool
Get not matching records from join
Tell Alteryx to execute some logic if something happens.
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”
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:
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:
Refers to the actual interface of the Tool Container.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: