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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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When building API calls within Alteryx there are a few common steps required

1) Build out the URI for the API call (base URL plus any query parameters)

2) Deal with authentication, such as basic authentication requires taking a key and secret, base 64 encoding and passing this into the tool

3) parsing the results out and processing these downstream

 

For this idea I am specifically focusing on step 3 (but it would be great to have common authentication methods in-built within the download tool (step 2)!).

 

There are common steps required to parse out the results, such as using Filter (to check for a 200 response), JSON parse, text to columns and then cross tab to get the results into a readable format. These will all be common steps anyone who has worked with APIs will be familiar with:

cgoodman3_2-1616585073736.png

 

This is all fine for a regular user to quickly add in and configure these tools. However there is no validation here for the JSON result being as expected, which when embedding an API into a batch macro or analytic app means it can easily fail.

One example of a failure which I've recently come across is where the output JSON doesn't have all fields (name:value pairs) depending the json response. For example using the UK Companies House API, when looking at the ceased to act field at this endpoint - https://developer-specs.company-information.service.gov.uk/companies-house-public-data-api/resources... the ceased to act field only appears in the results if a person has actually ceased to act. This is important if you have downstream tools such as a formula to create a field [Active] where you have:

IF ISNull([ceased_to_act]) THEN "Active" ELSE "Ceased to Act" ENDIF

However without modification the macro / app will error if any results are returned where there is not this field.

 

A workaround is to add in the Crew Ensure Fields or union on a list of fields, to ensure that the Cease to Act field is present in the output for all API calls. But looking at some other tools it would be good if an expected Schema could be built in to the download tool to do this automatically.

 

For example in Power Automate this is achieved as follows:

 

cgoodman3_1-1616584699689.png

 

I am a big advocate of not making things unnecessarily complicated. Therefore I would categorise this as an ease of use feature to improve the experience of working with APIs within Alteryx and make APIs (as load of integrations are API based) accessible to as many users as possible.

 

 

 

 

I would love to be able to see the actual curl statement that is executed as part of the download tool. Maybe something like a debug switch can be added which would produce 1 extra output field which is the curl statement itself? This would greatly enhance the ability to debug when things aren't working as expected from the download tool.

This has probably been mentioned before, but in case it hasn't....

 

The dynamic input tool is useful for bringing in multiple files / tabs, but quickly stops being fit for purpose if schemas / fields differ even slightly. The common solution is to then use a dynamic input tool inside a batch macro and set this macro to 'Auto Configure by Name', so that it waits for all files to be run and then can output knowing what it has received. 

 

It's a pain to create these batch macros for relatively straightforward and regular processes - would it be possible to have this 'Auto Configure by Name' as an option directly in the dynamic input tool, relieving the need for a batch macro? 

 

Thanks,

 

Andy 

 

 

This has probably been mentioned before, but in case it hasn't....

 

Right now, if the dynamic input tool skips a file (which it often does!) it just appears as a warning and continues processing. Whilst this is still useful to continue processing, could it be built as an option in the tool to select a 'error if files are skipped'? 

 

Right now it is either easy to miss this is happening, or in production / on server you may want this process to be stopped.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy 

 

 

Hello gurus - 

 

I think it would be an important safety valve if at application start up time, duplicate macros found in the 'classpath' (i.e., https://help.alteryx.com/current/server/install-custom-tools, ) generate a warning to the user.  I know that if you have the same macro in the same folder you can get a warning at load time, but it doesn't seem to propagate out to different tiers on the macro loading path.  As such, the developer can find themselves with difficult to diagnose behavior wherein the tool seems to be confused as to which macro metadata to use.   I also imagine someone could also arrive at a situation where a developer was not using the version of the macro they were expecting unless they goto the workflow tab for every custom macro on their canvas.  

 

Thank you for attending my TED talk on the upsides of providing warnings at startup of duplicate macros in different folder locations.  

 

 

 

When I proceed with this command in a python tool:

 

from ayx import Package

Package.installPackages(package='pandas',install_type='install --upgrade')

 

in Alteryx it only updates to 0.25, but the Latest version is 1.1.2.

 

When I would like to upgrade from the Python side i get the following:

ERROR: ayx 1.0.54 has requirement pandas<0.25.0,>=0.24.2, but you'll have pandas 1.1.2 which is incompatible.

 

Can you please make sure we can upgrade to the latest version of pandas without any compatibility issue?

 

This is important because of json_normalize. Really useful tool, available from pandas 1.0.3!

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

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

 

Hello Dev Gurus - 

 

The message tool is nice, but anything you want to learn about what is happening is problematic because the messages you are writing to try to understand your workflow are lost in a sea of other messages.  This is especially problematic when you are trying to understand what is happening within a macro and you enable 'show all macro messages' in the runtime options.  

 

That being said, what would really help is for messages created with the message tool to have a tag as a user created message.  Then, at message evaluation time, you get all errors / all conversion warnings / all warnings / all user defined messages.  In this way, when you write an iterative macro and are giving yourself the state of the data on a run by run basis, you can just goto a panel that shows you just your messages, and not the entire syslog which is like drinking out of a fire hose. 

 

Thank you for attending my ted talk regarding Message Tool Improvements.

 

 

Hi Team,  

 

I am starting to utilize alteryx as our platform to run our daily data load process.  A bunch of the data are sent via SFTP and it would be a lot simpler if the following features are directly available instead of utilizing the run command and/or scripting.

 

1. Ability to use wildcard in the download instead of specifically defining the filenames. (can be done indirectly but have to use multiple tools --> 2 downloads, parse, etc.)

 

2. Ability to delete files after the files have been downloaded successfully.

 

 - I have seen a couple of posts in the community trying to do this but haven't found one that worked for me; again this was utilizing run command and scripts and other utility programs)

 

Appreciate if you can look into this request !

It will be really great if we add Single sign-on (SSO) in download tool. Many users are facing this issue when they're trying to download data from weburl. In some case the url will verfiy the sign-on and then redirect to link from where we can download data. Currently download tool fails to verfiy SSO or siteminder authentication.

It would be great to have the below functionality in Alteryx.

A workflow is built in Alteryx and button click in Alteryx can be used to generate SQL code that can be ran on a specific database platform, such as SQL Server to run external editors such as SQL Server Management Studio. Thanks. 

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.

 

 

Hi,

 

I didn't find this mentioned before, but apologies if it has. I and a few clients have found that the Download tool 'Query String/Body' is quite difficult to use from a UX perspective. If you have a long query (or anything over 3 short rows in fact), it's almost impossible to navigate to the part you want with ease, as you're required to highlight and move the cursor manually or use up and down arrows, still only ever seeing a few lines of the query. 

 

My suggestion(s) would be to:

1: include a scroll bar as a minimum

and ideally in addition, either:

2a: give the box itself more real estate (fixed) in the Payload tab, or

2b: allow the user to resize this box in the tool config (probably more complicated?) 

 

Specific problem below, including my (terrible!) drawings on it:

 

downloadtool.PNG

 

 

I appreciate there are other methods, including taking the query from a field etc., but for many users - particularly newer ones - it's preferred to copy a query into this String/Body and edit as needed, but right now this is an almost unmanageable approach.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy 

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

Please upgrade the "curl.exe" that are packaged with Designer from 7.15 to 7.55 or greater to allow for -k flags. Also please allow the -k functionality for the Atleryx Download tool.  

 

-k, --insecure

(TLS) By default, every SSL connection curl makes is verified to be secure. This option allows curl to proceed and operate even for server connections otherwise considered insecure.

The server connection is verified by making sure the server's certificate contains the right name and verifies successfully using the cert store.

 

Regards,

John Colgan

With the new intelligence suite there is a much higher use of blob files and we would like to be able to input them as a regular input instead of having to use non- standard tools like Image, report text or a combination of directory/blob or input/download to pull in images, etc. I would like to see the standard input tool capable of bringing in blob files as well.

Blob InputBlob InputImage InputImage InputText InputText Input

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...

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

While Alteryx allows for a proxy username and password in the settings, these are not passed properly to an NTLM proxy. Support for NTLM authentication would be incredibly useful for a number of corporations who utilize this firewall setup.

 

We currently have to either download via Python or cURL through batch commands called by Alteryx. Since Alteryx uses a cURL back-end, this should be a fairly simple addition to the existing download tool by allowing a selection of proxy server, port, and authentication method in addition to the proxy username and password. This could be done either in the tool itself or in User Settings.

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