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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Hi UX interested parties,

 

capture.png

 

Here are some ideas for you to consider:

 

1.  These lines are BORING and UNINFORMATIVE.  I'd like to understand (pic = 1,000 words) more when looking at a workflow.  

  • A line could communicate:
    • Qty of Records
    • Size of Data
    • Is the data SORTED
      • What sort order
    • Quality of Data 

If you look at lines A, B, C in the picture above.  Nothing is communicated.  Weight of line, color of line, type of line, beginning line marker/ending line marker, these are all potential ways that we could see a picture of the data without having to get into browse everywhere to see the information.  If we hover over the data connection, even more information could appear (e.g. # of records, size of file) without having to toggle the configuration parameters.

 

2.  Wouldn't it be nice to not have to RUN a workflow to know last SAVED metadata (run) of  a workflow?  I'd like to open a "saved" workflow and know what to expect when I run the workflow.  Heck, how long does it take the beast to run is something that we've never seen unless we run it.

 

3.  I'd like to set the metadata to display SORT keys, order.  Sort1 Asc, Sort 2 Desc ....   This sort information is very helpful for the engine and I'll likely post about that thought.  As a preview, when a JOIN tool has sorted data and one of the anchors is at EOF, then why do we need to keep reading from the other anchor?  There won't be another matched record (J) anchor.  In my example above, we don't ask for the L/R outputs, so why worry about the rest of the join?

 

4.  Have you ever seen a map (online) that didn't display watermark information?  I think that the canvas experience should allow for a default logo (like mine above, but transparent) in the lower right corner of the canvas that is visible at all times.  Having the workflow name at the top in a tab is nice, but having it display as a watermark is handy.

 

5.  Once the workflow has RUN, all anchors are the same color.  How about providing GREY/White or something else on EMPTY anchors instead of the same color?  This might help newbies find issues in JOIN configuration too.

 

6.  If the tool has ERRORs you put a RED exclamation mark.  I despise warnings, but how about a puke colored question mark?  With conversion errors, the lines could be marked to let you know the relative quantity of conversion errors (system messages have a limit)

 

Just a few top of mind things to consider ....

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Hey YXDB Bosses,

 

Let's move forward with our YXDB.  Maybe give AMP a real edge over e1.  Here are some things that could may YXDB super-powered:

 

  • Metadata
    • Workflow information about what created that poorly named output file.
    • When was the file originally created/updated.
    • SORT order.  If there is a sort order for the data, what is it?
  • Other stuff
    • INDEX.  Currently you get spatial indexes (or you can opt out).  If I want to search through a 100+MM record file, it is a sequential read of all of the data.  With an index I could grab data without the expense of a calgary file creation.  Don't go crazy on the indexing option, just allow users to set 1+ fields as index (takes more time to write).  
    • I'm sure that you've been asked before, but CREATE DIRECTORY if the output directory doesn't exist.
  • Old School - Crazy Idea
    • Generation Data Groups (GDG)
      This will likely make @NicoleJ 's eyes roll 🙄 but back in the days, we could write our data to the SAME filename and the old data became 1 version older.  You could read the (0) version of the file or read from 1, 2, 3 or more previous versions of the data using the same name (e.g. .\Customers|||3).  The write of the output file would do all of the backing up of the data (easy to use) and when the initial defined limit expires, the data drops off.

Just a little more craziness from me

 

cheers

Hello all,

Change Data Capture ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_data_capture ) is an effective way to deal with changes in a database, allowing streaming or delta functionning. Several technos, more or less intrusive, can be applied (and combined). Ex : logs reading.

Qlik  : https://www.qlik.com/us/streaming-data/data-streaming-cdc

Talend : https://www.talend.com/resources/change-data-capture/

 

Best regards,

Simon

Here's a reason to get excited about amp!   Create a runtime setting that gets Alteryx working even faster. 

when you configure a file input you see 100 records.  Imagine the delight that after you run your workflows all input tools are automatically cached.  You run so much faster. 

now think of the absolute delight that even before you run the workflows that a configured input tool causes a background read off the input data.  Whether it is a new workflow or an opened existing flow that reading can start ahead of the time button. 

what do you think 🤔?

Similar to https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Custom-Functions-in-AMP/idc-p/845446#M16381, it would be great to have AMP allow for custom C++ functions. Custom XML functions were added in 21.1 for AMP, so custom C++ functions would be the natural next step!

 

cc: @jdunkerley79 @TonyaS 

In order to run a canvas using either AMP or E1 - the user has to perform at least 5 operations which are not obvious to the user.

a) click on whitespace for the canvas to get to the workflow configuration.   If this configuration pane is not docked - then you have to first enable this

b) set focus in this window

c) change to the runtime tab

d) scroll down past all the confusing and technical things that most end users are nervous to touch like "Memory limits" and temporary file location and code page settings - to click on the last option for the AMP engine.

e) and then hit the run button

 

SeanAdams_0-1641577970387.png

 

A better way!

Could we instead simplify this and just put a drop-down on the run button so that you can run with the old engine, or run with the new engine?        Or even better, have 2 run buttons - run with old engine, and run with super-fast cool new engine?

  • This puts the choice where the user is looking at the time they are looking to run  (If I want to run a canvas - I'm thinking about the run button, not a setting at the bottom of the third tab of a workflow configuration)
  • It also makes it super easy for users to run with E1 and AMP without having to do 10 clicks to compare - this way they can very easily see the benefit of AMP
  • It makes it less scary since you are not wading through configuration changes like Memory or Codepages
  • and finally - it exposes the new engine to people who may not even know it exists 'cause it's buried on the bottom of the third tab of a workflow configuration panel, under a bunch of scary-sounding config options.

 

cc: @TonyaS 

 

In cases where there are dynamic tools - you often get a situation where there are zero rows returned - which means that the output of something like a transpose or a JSON parse or a regex may not have the field names expected.

 

However - any downstream filter tools (or other similar tools) fail even though there are no rows (see screenshot below).

 

The only way to get around this is to insert fake rows using a union or use the CReW macro for Ensure Fields.    However, this is all waste since there are no rows so there's no point in even evaluating the predicate in the filter tool.     Rather than making users work around this - can we please change the engine so that a tool can avoid evaluation if there are zero rows - this will significantly reduce the amount of these kind of workaround that need to be used with any dynamic tools (including any API calls).

 

thank you

Sean

 

 

 

 

 

Predicate.png

 

 

 
 

 

Hello,

More and more databases have complex data types such as array, struct or map. This would be nice if we could use it on Alteryx as input, as internal and as output, with calculations available on it.

https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/hive/languagemanual+types#LanguageManualTypes-ComplexTyp...

 

Best regards,

Simon

The original engine support expanding the formula tool with custom functions either in XML or C++. The new AMP doesn't support these yet.

 

There is a fair number of user who are using these in E1 and would be good to have this available in AMP

As we begin to adopt the AMP engine - one of the key questions in every user's mind will be "How do I know I'm going to get the same outcome"

One of the easiest ways to build confidence in AMP - and also to get some examples back to Alteryx where there are differences is to allow users to run both in parallel and compare the differences - and then have an easy process that allows users to submit issues to the team.

 

For example:

  • Instead of the option being run in AMP or run in E1 - instead can we have a 3rd option called "Run in comparison mode"
  • This runs the process in both AMP and E1; and checks for differences and points them out to the user in a differences repot that comes up after the run.
  • Where there's a difference that seems like a bug (not just a sorting difference but something more material) - the user then has a button that they can use to "Submit to Alteryx for further investigation".    This will make it much simpler for Alteryx to identify any new issues; and much simpler for users to report these issues (meaning that more people will be likely to do it since it's easier).

 

The benefit of this is that not only will it make users more comfortable with AMP (since they will see that in most cases there are no difference); it will also give them training on the differences in AMP vs. E1 to make the transition easier; and finally where there are real differences - this will make the process of getting this critical info to Alteryx much easier and more streamlined since the "Submit to Alteryx" process can capture all the info that Alteryx need like your machine; version number etc; and do this automatically without taxing the user.

 

 

 

Alteryx is very quick already but it world be useful to know the computational cost of different approaches to building a workflow using a lot of data. This would make it easier to know if your optimization to the workflow is working as expected and also which tools in particular are doing the work best. Other software such as Power BI has a performance analysis section which breaks down how each action impacted performance. 

IraWatt_0-1653571672070.png

It would be great to get a similar breakdown of how long each tool is taking to run in the results window. 

IraWatt_1-1653571918979.png

 

Hello,

SQLite is :

-free

-open source

-easy to use
-widely used

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQLite


It also works well with Alteryx input or output tool. 🙂

However, I think a InDB SQLite would be great, especially for learning purpose : you don't have to install anything, so it's really easy to implement.

Best regards,

Simon

When I have AMP enabled, I can no longer performance profile my workflows. I get that there may be issues with calculating this across multiple threads but it'd be great to have Performance profiling available for the new engine. 

  • AMP Engine

Hello all,

A whole field of performance improvement have not been explored by Alteryx : the hardware acceleration by using something else than a CPU for calculation.

Here some good readings about that :
https://blog.esciencecenter.nl/why-use-an-fpga-instead-of-a-cpu-or-gpu-b234cd4f309c

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application-specific_integrated_circuit

The kind of acceleration we can dream !

 
 

image.png

 

Best regards,

Simon

Hello all,

In addition to the create index idea, I think the equivalent for vertica may be also useful.

On vertica, the data is store in those projections, equivalent to index on other database... and a table is linked to those projections. When you query a table, the engine choose the most performant projection to query.

What I suggest : instead of a create index box, a create index/projection box.

Best regards,

Simon

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The Summarize tool returns NULL when performing a Mode operation. This doesn't seem to be documented anywhere in Alteryx documentation nor the community. Please fix this behaviour.

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Hello all,

EDIT : stupid me : it's an excel limitation in output, not an alteryx limitation :( Can you please delete this idea ?
I had to convert some string into dates and I get this error message (both with select tool and DateTime tool) :

 

 

ConvError: Output Data (10): Invalid date value encountered - earliest date supported is 12/31/1899  error in field: DateMatch  record number: 37399

 

 

 

This is way too early. Just think to birthdate or  geological/archeological data !

Also : other products such as Tableau supports earlier dates!

Hope to see that changed that soon.

Best regards,

Simon

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I learnt Alteryx for the first time nearly 5 years ago, and I guess I've been spoilt with implicit sorts after tools like joins, where if I want to find the top 10 after joining two datasets, I know that data coming out of the join will be sorted. However with how AMP works this implicit sort cannot be relied upon. The solution to this at the moment is to turn on compatibility mode, however...

 

1) It's a hidden option in the runtime settings, and it can't be turned on default as it's set only at the workflow level

2) I imagine that compatibility mode runs a bit slower, but I don't need implicit sort after every join, cross-tab etc.

 

So could the effected tools (Engine Compatibility Mode | Alteryx Help) have a tick box within the tool to allow the user to decide at the tool level instead of the canvas level what behaviour they want, and maybe change the name from compatibility mode to "sort my data"?

 

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I am working with client to modernize the way to provide data to core systems - in this case, Prophet.  

 

The data volume is huge, and the logic is complex, also some files are in legacy format, so AMP engine not able to deliver a satisfactory result.  

Appreciate if the team can work on AMP engine enhancement to help handling Flat files, or other tools so to make the workflow truly automated.  This will definitely help to justify the investment on server to clients with similar need.  

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