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Alteryx Designer Ideas

Share your Designer product ideas - we're listening!

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When training people on the use of action tools, something that I always have to hit on is that when you are telling the tool which piece of the XML that you are adjusting, it's sort of difficult to tell what you have selected, and super easy to accidentally select something else.



When you initially select the action to take it's this nice Blue Color. However, it still doesn't feel exactly like you have actually selected anything or told the Action Tool what to do, since it's so easy to just select any other one of these actions.



A slightly different problem is that if you are selecting an action that has been previously configured, it is just this light grey color. So it can be easy to accidentally change your settings because you may not realize it's actually set up.




Here is a recent community post that sort of outlines a few of these problems.


Hey all,


I would love to be able to have an interface tool that allows a user to search through drop down values (when there are more than 100 or so) similar to autocomplete. It would be helpful as a multiselect or single select drop down. I have inserted a very poorly mocked up picture below. It would essentially be a modified version of the drop down as all the values would be in the tool, but the user could type to find what they are looking for.

Alteryx Idea - Searchable Drop Down.png

The method of saving the results of one app to be read in by a follow on app seems very clunky to me. Can we develop a method to use the results within a workflow to feed drop down lists in later stages in the same workflow? That way an app can stand on it's own without having to save files out and chain further apps to read them again.


It seems this only works for selecting fields to include in the output but not for list of values to feed to a drop down list.

  • Apps

One thing I have noticed is that for some of the end-users of the apps I have in the gallery is that running the app from server is enough of a barrier that they don't use it at all. I have had to send links repeatedly to gallery, to apps on server for them to run them.


What I would love is a way to create a custom desktop icon (bear with me - I don't have the lexicon.) that an end-user would open and it would launch the app in the server directly (I'm assuming this would be opening a browser of choice, opening the app/workflow to the screen where it gives you the option to 'Run/Download/Schedule'  rather than accessing it through a shared collection in the Gallery through a browser.

Possible extensions of this are the ability to create an app for a mobile device where they can access an app/workflow on server directly to run it from a phone/ipad.

I know this has been posted before, but the posts are fairly old, and I have just confirmed with Support that it is still an issue.  Seems to be a pretty basic request, so I'm putting it out there again under this new heading.

The issue is that if you have data in a field, and you have that data separated by a new line (\n), it will show up fine in a browse tool, or pretty much any other output (database file, Office Document file, etc.). But if you try to use the Table Tool under Reporting, it ignores the line break and strings the data together.


The field data looks like this in a browse or most other outputs:

Hello, my name is 

Michael Barone

and I love



But when I try to pull this field into a Table Tool, it shows up like this:
Hello, my name is Michael Barone and I love Alteyrx


Putting this out here again in hopes that it gets lots and lots of stars so it gets put on the road map!!


It would be great if Alteryx created a program along the lines of Tableau Reader. If an organization is not at the point where they want to deploy Alteryx Server, but some people need to run Alteryx Apps, making a low cost desktop application that would allow users to open and run .yxwz files would be great. There are many non technical users who don't need and would not use the full version of Alteryx, but creating a desktop application allowing them to run .yzwz files would be helpful to them and would drive Alteryx adoption. 

  • Apps

When we industrialize our workflows, we often use a parameter file with a command like :



AlteryxEngineCmd.exe MyAnalyticApp.yxwz AppValues.xml



I would like to have the parameter file path with its extension as an engine constant, like we have the workflow name.

I'm adding a 'Dynamic Input' tool to a macro that will dynmaically build the connection string based on User inputs. We intend to distribute this macro as a 'Connector' to our main database system.


However, this tool attempts to connect to the database after 'fake' credentials are supplied in the tool, returning error messages that can't be turned off.


In situations like this, I think you'd want the tool to refrain from attempting connections. Can we add a option to turn off the checking of credentials? I assume that others who are building the connection strings at runtime would also appreciate this as well.


As a corollary, for runtime connection strings, having to define a 'fake' connection in the Dynamic Input tool seems redundant, given we have already set the 'Change Entire File Path' option. There are some settings in the data connection window that are nice to be able to set at design time (e.g. caching, uncommitted read, etc.), but the main point of that window to provide the connection string is redundant given that we intend to replace it with the correct string at runtime. Could we make the data connection string optional?


To combine the above points, perhaps if the connection string is left blank, the tool does not attempt to connect to the connection string at runtime.

My users love having the ability to pick objects from a reference file in the Map tool in the Interface palette.  However, usually they need to pick objects that are interspersed amongst others.  The Control + Left Click works great, until they pick an incorrect object.  The only option is to clear the selection and start over.


Please add something as simple as Control + Left Click on a selected object will deselect it.






Now that Alteryx releases updates to Designer every quarter I'll likely be updating my copy of Designer frequently. Meanwhile, my IT team doesn't want to have to update Server every quarter to stay compatible. Problem there is, when I create workflows in the latest version of Designer they can't run on the older version of Server, nor on the Gallery. 


Some features that would allow me to work around this: 

  1. If I could elect what version I want to use when uploading to the gallery. 
  2. If instead of having to upload workflows from within Designer (which thereby opens  the workflow in whatever version I have installed on my machine) I could upload workflows from the Gallery website by navigating to a folder on my directory and selecting a given workflow. That way I could open the workflow in Notepad beforehand and alter the version number to match Server. 


I'm guessing this is a niche problem that few others will encounter: 

  1. Not everyone is as big a nerd as me and will insist on updating Designer each quarter
  2. Other companies may have IT teams that update Server each quarter
  3. You can install an admin and non-admin version of Alteryx on your machine (I plan on doing this once IT responds to my internal service request).
    1. You could use the admin version for the latest and greatest version of Alteryx
    2. You could use the non-admin version to match whatever version of Server IT has installed and use that to upload (first opening the workflow in notepad to manually overwrite the version number to match server) 

Never noticed this, because I always use the custom filter option, not the basic.  But I had a user come to me asking why his app wasn't updating his filter properly.


He configured the filter tool thusly (dummy data):



And here is the what the action tool looks like when you connect it to the filter tool:


So he simply highlighted the "Bob" line and picked to update "Bob".


However, since he used a basic filter, and not a custom one, this is how he should've configured the action tool:


I realize that "well, it's spelled out for you - there's an expression section & a simple section in the action tool".  But for beginners or even non-beginners, it might not be obvious.


It would be nice if when you connect the action too, it only displayed the appropriate option (either custom or simple, but not both).

it would  particularly interesting to develop a WMS support in Alteryx.
To include other Maps like bing, google, HERE instead of CloudMade to display geo informations.



For example I have an ERROR MESSAGE tool that is rather verbose.  I chose to modify the annotation as:  ZIP Code Check.  I presumed that the result would simply be "ZIP Code Check", but Alteryx added that to the beginning of the annotation rather than replacing the whole annotation.  I reported this as a bug, but was told that this was designed to operate in this manner.  It was suggested that I bring this out as a "New Idea" to the community for review.  If you agree that the tools should operate in a similar fashion for annotation (or other actions) across the pallet, please STAR this.  Otherwise, I'm happy to hear your feedback.






Use case:  Person running app to select folder from limited list similar to how the tree tool allows for a user to select one or more files.  This selected folder would then be connected via an Action tool to a Directory tool (or by adding a formula tool to a Dynamic Input).  The Folder Browse Interface does not have the ability to restrict or provide a starting parent folder.  The app below pulls data from SharePoint site, which cannot be easily browsed to.  Currently I have the user select a file in the required folder, then use RegEx parse and a Formula tool to pull in all requested files from that folder.  It would be a better user interface if the user selected a folder.  A test sample of the workflow is attached (final version ends in an Alteryx database this is picked up in a chained app).

I've been writing applications and regularly need to REQUIRE fields for data entry.  When I do, I include ERROR MESSAGES at minimum.  Often I label the field as something like:  Name (Required).  Wouldn't it be nice to have a red star or have the data field in another color for background?  Taking this a step further, the validation rules being activated within the screen (rather than during run) would be awesome.


As long as I'm posting ideas, it would be nice to have an Alteryx supported function to identify the user within the application global variables.  For users, it would make my apps more friendly if they could save their configuration (*.yxwv) in the gallery.  Extending that thought, within my application I would like to be able to have easy access to their responses as well.


My use case for access to the .yxwv file data is that I will repeat some of the fields back to the user within my output.  When needed I will write the responses to a text input tool and format it for display in the output.  That requires an additional action and maintenance within the application.


Just a few application thoughts.





Following unexpected behaviour from the Render tool where outputting to a UNC Path (see post) in a Gallery Appliction, on advice of support raising this idea to introduce consistent behavior across all tools where utilising a UNC Path.

In a future release, I'd love to see the whole concept of browsing for and installing new macros/apps brought into Designer itself.  It's always great finding new macros, but the expereince is inconsistent- sometimes you have to run an installer file, sometimes run a package, sometimes just put the file in a directory and add a 'watched macro' directory to your preferences.


I'd like to see a cleaner expereince where you can choose to 'Add Tools', browse the gallery, check the thing i want, and click the tools group I want to put it under, then have Alteryx take care of the rest.  There would also be the need for a 'Manage tools' screen where could could uncheck and remove them later if you no longer need them.


For inspiration, check out the way MS handles 'Adding Apps' via their catalog to build out your Sharepoint 2013+ site

Alteryx can be used to collect manual data input by chaining Analytic Apps together to create a dynamic application.


A specific example is collecting TRUE or FALSE values, from the user, for every record that was generated by a prior workflow. Technically this can be done by populating a List Box with the output from the first Analytic App. (the first picture below shows a dynamically populated list box.)


Alteryx should provide an interface tool that accepts a table of data and allows this table to be edited. Certian columns could be marked as "editable" or "locked" depending on whether edits are allowed for that row.


Here is an example of the existing list tool that can be used to collect TRUE or FALSE values.

List Box that looks like a table.jpg

Here is the proposed "Table Input Tool" with text input boxes to input more complex data for each row.


Table Input.jpg

Also note how multiple columns would be allowed instead of just NAME and VALUE.


If this is already possible please let me know.

Alteryx Forever!

thanks, Evan







I recently began working with chained analytic applications.  One of the things that I wanted to do was to take the values selected by the end user at each stage of the app and pass them further down in the application.  I was able to do this by dumping the selected values to Alteryx databases and then using drop downs to pull the data into subsequent apps.  However, I was wondering if there would be a better way of accomplishing this.  One reason is that, with my approach, I wind up with several additional drop downs in my interface--which I really don't want.  If there's a way around this, I'd love to hear it.  Alternately, if Alteryx could potentially support doing something like this in the future, I think it would be really helpful.

Although we can write a temporary file with all the parameters used it would be very helpful to pass simple parameters (or go all the way) between the Apps. I imagine any parameter created using Interface Tools should be available throughout the whole Chained App. 

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