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Union Tool - Manual Configuration Issues

When manually configuring a Union tool within a module/app, once it's saved, if you go in at any point in the future, and change anything upstream from the Union Tool, it causes an error "[some field name] has been changed and the Union Tool needs to be reconfigured".

This happens even if you do not reconfigure any upstream tools, but mearely access them, physically move them, say, an inch to the left or something like that, etc.  Basically if you just "touch" any tool upstream, the Union Tool thinks that the manual config needs to be done over.  But even if you do reconfig the Union Tool (either delete it and bring a new one in, or change the current one to Auto and then back to manual), it STILL does not recognize the tool as being correct.

The only way I have found to correct this issue is to click Play, and let it throw the error.  Add Select Tools before the Union Tool to change the names to be common, then click on the Union Tool, and switch it to auto.  Then click Play again.  This can be very inconvenient if you have a module that takes hours (although you can limit your input records).

My suggestion would be to either disable the manual configuration, or add notes to the Help Files stating to use the manual configuration at your own risk, because once it's set and works at the time of creation, you cannot modify any upstream tools thereafter or else it will break the Union Tool and it cannot be repaired -- only choice is to use the Select Tool as I described above
5 Comments
rehgan
5 - Atom

I agree with this issue. I have four different templates prior to the union tool and I make sure to do a dynamic rename to ensure the union tool matches on the field names correctly. Sometime I will change something slightly (take out an extra field that doesn't match to anything else) and the tool doesn't throw an error until I am running the workflow.

 

When the union tool throws errors consistently I tend to just delete it, insert a new one, and it works just fine. I am finding that the reliability of the tool is inconsistent.

DigitalRay
6 - Meteoroid

I suffer from this same issue. I am using version 10.5.9.15014. As both individuals have stated above, everything works fine until something upstream changes. I am sure that the best approach to avoiding the issue is the approach mbarone points out "Add Select Tools before the Union Tool to change the names to be common, then click on the Union Tool, and switch it to auto. ". Outside of doing things the logical way, I am sometimes able to correct the situation by simply opening each instance of the Union Tool and then clicking off of it. I am not sure what it does, but it works. When I have to manually go in an move things around using the arrows it would be nice if there was a way to shift columns to the right or left or delete an entire column (similar to Excel's option when you delete fields), instead of having to click on the input field that is out of place and arrowing it all the way to the right (which can be a pain if you have a large number of columns and the problem field is in one of the first few columns).

ahackroyd
5 - Atom

I am having issues with the union tool as well, able to reproduce this one bug just by switching to "manually configure fields" from "auto-config by name."

I'm unioning the output from a dynamic replace where clause in a sql query with the output fom another sql query after it passes through an append fields tool and a select tool.

At first the manually configured fields were just completely messed up from when I last arranged them, I flipped back to auto config to reset, and when I switched back to manually config I started getting this error message. 

 

Running Alteryx Designer 10.1.7.12188 on Windows 7 32 bit OS with 4GB ram. (I know how 😞 this machine is, hopefully can make a business case to get upgraded soon.)

alteryxBug_unionTool_2.PNG

 

abhishekvij
5 - Atom

Can we expect a fix for this anytime soon or a reliable workaround for this problem ?

RachelW
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Not Planned

I'm reviewing some of the older ideas on Community. This seems like defective behavior. If you are still experiencing this, please report to Customer Support.