Calling all Racers for the Alteryx Grand Prix! It's time to rev your engines and race to the stage at Inspire! Sign up here.

Alteryx Designer Ideas

Share your Designer product ideas - we're listening!
Submitting an Idea?

Be sure to review our Idea Submission Guidelines for more information!

Submission Guidelines

Save Alteryx workflow name and location in output file metadata

I can't even count how often I looked at an Excel, CSV or even YXDB file, where I KNEW that it was generated by Alteryx, but I couldn't remember the workflow. Currently, I have to simply go through all workflows I ever build and see if I can find it.


Theoretically, I could use a text-search across all workflows and see if I can find the output names - problem here: Most of my output filenames are generated dynamically on the run.


It would be amazing if Alteryx could simply write the Workflow name (maybe even path) into the metadata of a file.


(Screenshot from Google, as my os is set to German) 


How about, we write "This file was created with by "Create Controlling Reports.yxmd on 2023-02-06 with Alteryx Designer 2021.4.298434" in the field 'Comments'?


This would make it extremely easy to find what workflow the file generated. I think it would be an option to talk about "filepath" instead of filename, but the filepath could include the local machine name, which might include GDPR information.


@Community: Is there any additional information that you'd like to see in the metadata?





13 - Pulsar
13 - Pulsar

I can see how this would be helpful. 

What I tend to advocate though is packaging a workflow with the inputs and outputs that created it. Because even if you trace back the origin workflow it can be hard to know if the inputs or workflow have subsequently been modified therefore being unable to reproduce the output.

8 - Asteroid

Agree. My team have asked me a few times to find out which workflow wrote a file. 

I ended up creating a workflow that reads the XML of all workflows in a directory and pulled the output file details from that along with the tool details. Then wrote this to an excel output so that they could search for it themselves. Takes about 45 minutes to run and we have over 1000 workflows that it searches. 

15 - Aurora
15 - Aurora

I thought about that too @Rags1982. My main issue is, that I have many workflows that utilize custom filepath, that are generated by formula tools. The path therefore might look like /folder/{company_name}/{year}/{month}/{person}.xlsx|||Sheet1.


As well as many of them run on server and and save via dynamic path in onedrive/sharepoint/dropbox. How do you handle these cases on your end or do you mainly write to fixed locations?

8 - Asteroid

@grossal , I see your problem.
We mainly write to fixed paths, so wouldn't really have this problem. 


One thing you could try, as a work around, although it is turned off in my company by the IT department... In file explorer, all files have a 'created/accessed/updated' date on them. 

You could pull these details into Alteryx and match up the last accessed Alteryx file, with the file written at the same time (+/- a minute or two). If you have logs written, you could even take the Alteryx file accessed date/time, add on the time it took to run the workflow, then you'll know the time that the file was written. Match these up and you'll be able to match the workflow to the output file regardless of the file being written dynamically. 


Really horrible way of doing it and it gives me a headache just thinking about it. 😁

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team
Status changed to: Accepting Votes