Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Inherited field renaming

If we rename a field ‘X’ to ‘Y’  in the alteryx module, the renaming is not inherited by all the tools using that field in that module. The tools which are still using the old field name ‘X’ will fail until they are configured to use the new field name ‘Y’. Most of the tools I have worked will inherit the field renaming.
It would be very helpful if the renaming is propagated to all the tools in the module using that field name. 


In addition to this, I have also seen that at times renaming of fields is not having any impact of other transformations down the line.

It sometimes work if we close and re-open the workflow, disconnect and reconnect the transformation etc, it would be good if this can be made consistent, any potential issues with caching etc can be rectified.


Great idea! Being able to propagate field name changes to downstream tools will be extremely useful.  The ability to do this would save time having to reconfigure multiple downstream tools. 


However, there are times you would not want this to happen, so the user would need to have control over whether or not the change in name was propagated downstream or not.


Every time I rename a field in Alteryx, I have to change everywhere that field is used. It can be time taking task for certain large workflows.

My suggestion is to enhance Alteryx so that it can auto adjust the rest of the work flow (when a field is renamed to avoid manual changes to the rest of the workflow).

This will save lot of time in case of any change to the field name.



Praveen Ande

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review

Hi Praveen,


Thank you for the suggestion.  This is something that we would like to do, but is also harder to do than it seems.  We will continue to review this internally for options on how to accomplish what you are proposing and hopefully come up with a good solution.  This functionality actually has some larger implications as we would be tracking specific columns throughout the workflow and could provide more information on an individual column level as to its source and destination and the various transformations in between.





I agree this would be handy however it would be nice if it was as more of an explicit step such as pressing a "Rename in all downstream tools" button or something.  Sometimes when changing the name of a field, I purposely do not want to auto change downstream tools because I may want to point them to a different field.



-I agree wholeheartedly with the above. It usually happenes when i am near the end of a complex workflow and i realise that some fields names are no longer accurate for what is required. Then to avoid complexity in the workflow (just renaming half way through a flow) i change at the point of creation but then have to run through and correct each tool that references that field. Just an option when changing a field name that asks would i like to update all references to the new field value. Or even an additional field name changing tool that allows me to view all my field names, Perhaps including the source value as we can see when selecting connections, that allows a field name to be changed everywhere.

-Another related issue to this is where we use the cross tab tool or other tools that are dynamically creating field names. It would be helpful to allow all downstream tools to be changes to match the output fields.


Please please please.  So much time spent either documenting old field names in a workflow because the source changed and I didn't have time to go update all the tools or obsessively cleaning everything up tool by tool with the renamed field.

Can't believe something this intuitive has taken 5 years of review. 

For workflow metadata such as columns names to be automatically updated, make sure that Disable Auto Configure is unchecked in Options, User Settings, Edit User Settings, on the Advanced tab. Unchecked is the default setting. If this option is checked, you will need to select F5 for a metadata run of the workflow to populate changes to all the downstream tools. 
Keep in mind that some tools create data columns, so the metadata for the output from the tool is not available until the workflow is run. 
An example of this is the Cross Tab tool. Columns included in the Group data by these values section would be part of the existing metadata, and these columns would be updated automatically. The remaining columns output from the tool are created from the data itself at runtime and therefore no metadata about these columns exists prior to running the workflow. 
Please reply with any specific examples of tools that are not automatically receiving updates from upstream changes in a workflow. Also, for any examples found, check to see if the updates are seen after running the workflow. 
Status changed to: Accepted

Thank you for your post! Our product team has reviewed and accepted your idea and plan to implement it in a future release. We’ll let you know when your idea is close to being launched.