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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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In-Database Sort Tool

There is a need when visualizing in-Database workflows to be able to visualize sorted data. This sorting could be done 1 of 2 ways: In a browse tool, or as a stand-alone Sort tool. Either would address the need. Without such a tool being present, the only way to sort the data is to "Data Stream Out" and then visualize the data in Alteryx. However, this process violates the premise of the usefulness of the in-DB toolkit, which is to keep your data in-DB and process using the DB engine. Streaming out big data in order to add a sort is not efficient.

 

Granted, the in-DB processing doesn't care whether data is sorted or not. However, when attempting to find extreme values after an aggregation, or when trying to identify something as simple as whether null values are present in a field, then a sort becomes extremely useful, and a necessary tool for human consumption of data (regardless of the database's processing needs).

 

Thanks very much for hearing my idea!

6 Comments
Alteryx Partner

Sorting is probably the most resource consuming task and the frequently used of all heavy tasks... If the data is huge it is a must to have the heavy sorting operation to be handled by the remote DB machine.

 

Though there is a handy capability, you can use the sample tool and select %100 of the samples and sort at the same time...

It doesn't sound like the might userfriendly Alteryx tool but htere you go,

 

here is a community post for the workaround --> http://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Knowledge-Base/In-Database-Sorting/ta-p/13935

 

Best 

Alteryx
Alteryx
Status changed to: Not Planned

Hi @zdavis,

 

Thanks for the idea. At this time, since there's a simple workaround via the Sample In-DB tool or Data Stream Out tool, we're not considering adding a separate sort tool to the In-DB tools.

 

Best,

Alex

@AlexP  The work-around you reference doesn't seem to be an option for IBM Netezza users.  I have always seen the "percentage" option on the sample in-db tool.  When I try to pass data from Netezza into that tool, it removes the Percentage option.

 

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Alteryx Partner

From time to time SQL server refuses to sort data too...

Asteroid

@AlexP  sort via stream out is not really an option because you're no longer in-db. 

 

As has been established, neither is using sample, since sample by % is not supported in all in-db database types. 

 

The biggest thing Alteryx could do right now is bring all in-db platforms to parity! 

One thing I've learned for sorting is that you can use the IN-DB Formula tool to sort if you use ROW_NUMBER (or the comparable formula for your database).  You can use that formula tool to create a unique row number for each record then order by the field you want.  

 

ROW_NUMBER () OVER (ORDER BY 'field1' desc)