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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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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.

 

Example:

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.

clipboard_image_0.png

 

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.

 

clipboard_image_1.png

 

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

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Analytic-App-to-Create-Custom-SQL-Quer...

 

We need color coding in the SQL Editor Window for input tools.  We are always having to pull our code out of there and copy it into a Teradata window so it is easier to ready/trouble shoot.  This would save us some time and some hassle and would improve the Alteryx user experience. ( I think you've used a couple of my ideas already. This one is a good one too. )

2018-10-18_7-49-16.jpg2018-10-18_7-50-52.jpg

 

The Alteryx.Flexnetoperations.com  license management site needs major work.

 

On the View Licenses page it shows all licenses going back several years. A basic need is to show only licenses which haven't expired, but that is not an option.You cannot even sort on the expiration column while you can sort on most others columns.

 

The most simple need is to see a list of my current active license users - but I do't see a way to do that.

 

I tried an "Advanced Search" and chose  expiration date after 2019-10-29 and none of my licenses which expire in 2020 appear - I get a blank list.

 

Similarly on the administer machines page you cannot filter to hide expired licenses or even on the licenses column (which doesn't sort either).

 

The help link on the page doesn't bring you to help specific to that page but the general activation help front page. After several clicks I found this page:

 

https://help.alteryx.com/licensing/current/Administer/AdministerMachines.htm?tocpath=Administer%7C__...

 

But  the help is incomplete (doesn't list Machine types or the difference between Active and Inactive)

 

Also, there is no export capability - copy and pasting into Excel is a formatting headache as it brings in check-boxes.

 

Lots of room for improvement here.

 

Cheers,

Bob

 

P.S. I understand that work is being done on this, but an ETA would be greatly appreciated.

 

Who needs a 1073741823 sized string anyways?  No one, or close enough to no one.  But, if you are creating some fancy new properties in the formula tool and just cranking along and then you see that your **bleep** data stream is 9G for nine rows of data you find yourself wondering what the hell is going on.  And then, you walk your way way down the workflow for a while finding slots where the default 1073741823 value got set, changing them to non-insane sized strings, and the your data flow is more like 64kb and your workflow runs in 3 seconds instead of 30 seconds.  

 

Please set the default value for formula tools to a non-insane value that won't be changed by default by 99.99999% of use cases.  Thank you.

 

 

When the Python Tool operates, it seems to always ingest all the data before processing any of it (i.e. no batch processing). Python can handle this type of functionality with generators, can we update the tool so that it may do some preprocessing (like imports and data prep) and allow a defined generator function to be called repeatedly from a separate input handle and provide batch data frames on output for more parallel-like processing of data?

 

The Python Tool could be updated as such:

  • Multi-Input - Same functionality as now, and also allow this data to be used for preprocessing and setting up the Python functions and a single batch function.
  • Data Input - Ingests data in batches (as most other tools operate) where each batch passes in a dataframe (in this case, a subset of processed entries) into an existing Python function (with a name that is in globals()), and returns another dataframe with that desired output. This can give the option of adding/removing rows as necessary to a subset of the data.
  • Data Output - Partial set of data after data processing to allow tools further in the chain to process in parallel.
  • "On Complete" Multi-Outputs - Same functionality as now, to pass process-complete data to the next tool once all data ingested has been processed. Perhaps give the option to pass the complete set from Data Output.

 

A simple use-case, if a user wanted to use only the Python Tool:

Let's say a user wants to get all URLs from every post in a thread (containing millions of posts) that are in blacklisted domains.

  1. Data prep that sends the list of blacklisted domains into the Python Tool's Multi-Input handle, and that data is transformed and stored in a set within the Python tool once.
  2. A series of posts (strings) are sent in batches (let's say ~10000) to the Data Input of the Python Tool. The tool calls a defined Python function that extracts all the URLs, and filters those in the blacklist.
  3. That data is then transformed into a DataFrame which is then sent to the Data Output of the Python Tool, and only contains results corresponding to the small batch of posts that were ingested. Alteryx can also use this to track progress during execution.
  4. Once all posts have been processed, one of the Python Tool's Multi-Outputs can return a total count of URLs found that were NOT in the blacklist (sure this can be a part of the Data Output, but just for the sake of this example). Could also be used to trigger "on-complete events."

 

I know I used the term "generators" above, and the design could probably be simplified to instead call an Alteryx Python function that yields from a function to await input from the next batch to use actual Python generators. However, I feel my initial approach could be thought of as a simpler process since generators are more of an intermediate functionality.

 

I hope this makes sense and is elaborate enough to pursue. Thanks for the consideration!

Hi 

Wanted to control the order of execution of objects in Alteryx WF but right now we have ONLY block until done which is not right choice for so many cases 

Can we have a container (say Sequence Container) and put piece of logic in each container and have control by connecting each container?
Hope this way we can control the execution order
It may be something looks like below 


  • Category Developer

Hi All,

 

Was very happy to see the Bulk Loader introduced for Snowflake during last release. This bulk loader is specifically available for Snowflake environments that are hosted on AWS, but does not provide functionality for those environments using Azure. As Snowflake continues to build momentum, I imagine this will be a common request. Is there something in the pipeline to add this functionality?

 

For an interim solution, we will be working toward developing some generic scripts/snowsql to mimic that bulk load, but ultimately we'd love to have this as part of the tool.

 

Best,

devKev

I've seen this question before and have run into it myself.  I'd like to see a new tool that would allow a developer (of a workflow) to choose a path of logic based upon criteria known only during the execution of a module.

 

If LEFT INPUT Count of records < 10,000 THEN Path1 (e.g. use a calgary join)

ELSE Path 2 (e.g. use a standard join)

endif

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

At the moment if a part of your python code takes more than 30s to run, Jupyter times out and Alteryx cancels the workflow. This makes the Python Tool unusable for anything intensive and the timeout should be removed by default or be configurable per workflow.

 

I've made this idea as none of the solutions in these threads feel satisfactory:

 

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Python-tool-NbConvertApp-Timeout/m-p/3...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Python-Tool-Timeouts-When-Running-Work...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Python-SDK-timeout-error-cell-executio...

Idea: Prompt the user to find a missing macro instead of the current UX of a question mark icon.

 

Issue: When a macro referenced in a workflow is missing, then there is no way to a) know what the name of the macro was (assuming you were lazy like me and didn't document with a comment) and b) find the macro so you can get back to business.

 

When this happens to me know, I have to go to the XML view and search for macros and then cycle through them until I find the one that's missing. Then I have to either copy the macro back into that location or manually edit the workflow XML. Not cool man.

 

Solution: When a macro is missing, the image below at the right should be shown. In the properties window, a file browse tool should allow the user to find the macro.

 

 

 

FindMissingMacro.png

 

 

 

 

 

It would be incredible helpful if Alteryx canvases auto-populated some metadata about each canvas to track its origination and updates.

 

The metadata fields I'm specifically thinking about are:

-Author

-Date Created

-Date Last Updated

We need some way (unless one exists that I am unaware of - beyond disabling all but the Container I want to run) to fire off containers in particular order.  Run Container "Step1" then Run Container "Step2" and so on.

Can we have some support monitoring information added to the summary of each tool during/after a workflows run so we can determine how much memory is being used per component and per workflow run.  Not just what is the default minimum.  This will help to identify where in our workflow we can improve and/or help us by adjusting the default memory usage for sort/join tools on a workflow basis.

  • Category Developer

One of the common things that we need to do, is to take a delta-copy of a file or a DB table into the staging area of the analytical database.

This always looks very similar - so it would be useful to make this a wizard based process so that teams can easily build these very quickly rather than having to hand wrap:

 

Process:

- Check which primary keys exist - fill the gaps where they don't

- Are there any rows that update over time (or is this insert-only) - if they update over time, which column is the "updated date" column so that we can spot updates - if there is no update date; then we need to do a column by column check of some kind (like a hash or a checksum)

- Do you want to sync deletes?

- Do you want to keep updates?

 

Outputs:

- Target table in staging area which is now updated compared to the source

- Logging done (similar to what Kimball recommends in the ETL Handbook) with the run date/time; summary stats; and any errors

- Errors table for any errors that arose with row numbers

- Tables in target created (with history table if requested)

 

While In-db tools are very helpful and cut down the time needed to write complex SQL , there are some steps that are faster by directly writing SQL like window functions- OVER (PARTITION BY .....). In Alteryx, we need to create multiple joins and summaries to perform a window function. It would be immensely helpful if there was a SQL editor tool for in-db workflows where we can edit the SQL code at any point in the workflow, or even better, if they can add an "edit" function to every in-db tool where we can customize the SQL code generated and then send to the next tool.

 

This will cut down the time immensely and streamline the workflow to make Alteryx a true contender for the ETL solution space.

When commenting an expression (with // or /* <> */), the popup box shouldn't appear as it's essentially free text.

 

Quite irritating when writing a block explanation of logic or something similar.

 

Luke

Similar to how there is a functionality to use pip through the ayxinstallPackages, there needs to be a way to upgrade python itself. There are important packages such as keras that have errors in Python 3.6 that are not present when used with 3.7 so it should really be up to the user as to which python package to use. Another solution could also be to allow the user to point to their own local installation of Python so that the user can maintain consistency between their own local site-packages and the one that Alteryx has.

  • Category Developer

With an increasing number of different projects, involving different machine learning models, it's becoming difficult to manage different package versions across workflows. Currently, the Python tool has a single virtual environment, so we need to develop models in different projects always using the same Python and package versions as the Python tool venv. While this doesn't bother the code itself too much, it becomes a problem as soon as we store and load pickled models, which are sensitive to even minor changes in packages.

 

This is even more so a problem when we are working on the Alteryx server, where different teams might use different packages. Currently, there is only the server admin who can install packages on the server and there can only be one version per package.

 

So, a more robust venv management in the Python tool would be much appreciated!

As we do more work analyzng the canvasses that our folk are producing - it's becoming more and more necessary to have a well documented definition and schema for the XML that is used for Alteryx Canvasses.

 

Please could you publish the full XML definition and schema for Alteryx canvasses - this will allow groups to perform deeper analytics on how people are using Alteryx, automate quality checks; look for learning gaps; scan for dependencies etc?

 

Note: this relates to an idea from @dataprep here: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Documentation-tool-list-fileformat/idi-p/184...

 

cc: @revathi @LizaNemchynova @ydmuley

How about a quick method of disabling a container.

 

Current state - Click on the container, pan the mouse all the way over to the tiny checkbox target in the configuration pane and click disable.

Future state - little icon by the rollup icon that can be clicked to disable/enable, differentiated by perhaps a color change of the minimized pane perhaps?

 

I know what you're thinking, "talk about lazy, he's whining about moving the mouse (which his hand was already on) 2 cm along his desktop and clicking"... but still what an easy usability win and one less click to do a task I find myself repeating frequently.

  • Category Developer
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