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Options for removing metadata Source information

The Source field of the field metadata is very useful, but has some problems.

 

  • It is repetitious. A long connection string repeated for many fields from the same source can bloat the size of the workflow above 10 MB, and when removed is around 0.5 MB.
  • It exposes sensitive information about a company's infrastructure, such as server names, ports, user ids, and proprietary data structures.

I first started paying attention when we found a user's password in the metadata because they had passed it as a string to the Dynamic Input Tool (separate Idea submitted for that - LINK). Then when I had to share an App with the Alteryx Support team for support with an issue, I thought to check the metadata, and I noticed that the file was too big and was exposing information that I would not normally share with another company.

 

I'm not sure how you want to handle this, but here's some thoughts:

 

  • Default the Source field to 'off' and provide users the option to turn it 'on' in the workflow/app settings.
  • Provide a mechanism to strip the 'Source' field at time of saving or exporting the workflow.
  • If nothing else, provide education to users on the implications of including this information in the file.

 

Thanks for listening!

 

Cameron

5 Comments
8 - Asteroid

Hi Cameron,

 

Thanks for publishing this problem. I have the same issues - some sensitive data can be seen i.e. in Alteryx Gallery.

conn_str.png

 

From my point of view it is big disadvantage of the server. 

 

Hi Alteryx Team,

Do you have it on the roadmap?

 

Best,

Piotr

16 - Nebula
16 - Nebula

+1 I like your ideas here

8 - Asteroid

Yes, please implement this! Just found a macro we are using that is over 11MB in size because the Source is being set as a long query string for 20 fields on multiple tools!

6 - Meteoroid

There has to be some way to prevent this meta info from being added. For as far that I could find out, this meta info causes our output data set to increase in size from 30GB to 69GB.

6 - Meteoroid

We realized that part of the size issue was having a lot of fields set with the field type v_wstring when v_string was the better/smaller type that should have been applied.

 

Although the above helped reduce the earlier mentioned dataset, the following new dataset had a massive increase again although the overall number of records only increased marginally. We also removed one large sized field, so we should have seen about the same size dataset as before, if not smaller.

 

We really need someone from Alteryx to take a look at this matter.