Alteryx Designer Ideas

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We have discussed on several occasions and in different forums, about the importance of having or providing Alteryx with order of execution control, conditional executions, design patterns and even orchestration.

I presented this idea some time ago, but someone asked me if it was posted, and since it was not, I’m putting it here so you can give some feedback on it.

 

The basic concept behind this idea is to allow us (users) to have:

  • Design Patterns
    • Repetitive patterns to be reusable.
    • Select after and Input tool
    • Drop Nulls
    • Get not matching records from join
  • Conditional execution
    • Tell Alteryx to execute some logic if something happens.
    • Record count
    • Errors
    • Any other condition
  • Order of execution
    • Need to tell Alteryx what to run first, what to run next, and so on…
    • Run this first
    • Execute this portion after previous finished
    • Wait until “X” finishes to execute “Y”
  • Orchestration
    • Putting all together

This approach involves some functionalities that are already within the product (like exploiting Filtering logic, loading & saving, caching, blocking among others), exposed within a Tool Container with enhanced attributes, like this example:

OnCanvas.png

 

 

The approach is to extend Tool Container’s attributes.

This proposition uses actual functionalities we already have in Designer.

So, basically, the Tool Container gets ‘superpowers’, with the addition of some capabilities like: Accepting input data, saving the contents within the container (to create a design pattern, or very commonly used sequence of tools chained together), output data, run the contents of the tools included in the container, etc.), plus a configuration screen like:

 

ToolcontainerConfig_Comment.png

 

 
  1. Refers to the actual interface of the Tool Container.
  2. Provides the ability to disable a Container (and all tools within) once it runs.
    • Idea based on actual behavior: When we enable or disable a Tool Container from an interface Tool.
  3. Input and output data to the container’s logic, will allow to pickup and/or save files from a particular container, to be used in later containers or persist data as a partial result from the entire workflow’s logic (for example updating a dimensions table)
    • Based on actual behavior: Input & Output Data, Cache, Run Command Tools, and some macros like Prepare Attachment.
  4. Order of Execution: Can be Absolute or Relative. In case of Absolute run, we take the containers in order, executing their contents. If Relative, we have the options to configure which container should run before and after, block until previous container finishes or wait until this container finishes prior to execute next container in list.
    • Based on actual behavior: Block until done, Cache, Find Replace, some interface Designer capabilities (for chained apps for example), macros’ basic behaviors.
  5. Conditional Execution: In order to be able to conditionally execute other containers, conditions must be evaluated. In this case, the idea is to evaluate conditions within the data, interface tools or Error/Warnings occurrence.
    • Based on actual behavior: Filter tool, some Interface Tools, test Tool, Cache, Select.
  6. Notes: Documentation text that will appear automatically inside the container, with options to place it on top or below the tools, or hide it.

 

This should end a brief introduction to the idea, but taking it a little further, it will allow even to have something like an Orchestration layout, where the users can drag and drop containers or patterns and orchestrate them in a solution, like we can do with the Visual Layout Tool or the Interactive Chart tool:

Alteryx Choreographer.png

 

I'm looking forward to hear what you think.

Best

I think I'm liking the new UI, but I think it's necessary to bring back save, undo and re-do buttons....

 

1. Frequent saving of workflows is crucial and not everyone uses keyboard shortcuts

2. The ability to undo (lots) of changes is a key part of iterating and rapidly building workflows in Alteryx and again not everyone uses keyboard shortcuts to do this.

 

Looks like there's potentially space to add this to the right of 'help' (I suspect this might be technically quiet difficult) or to the left of 'run', 'schedule' and 'active documents' as seen in the image below.

 

Out of interest, where has the 'documents' terminology come from?

 

2018-11-14 22_12_14-Alteryx Designer x64 - PureGym Log In.yxmd_.png

 

 

 

 

It would be nice if we can arrange some tools on the canvas neatly by one click and having them distributed evenly (horizontally/vertically).

 

See this picture which worth thousand words.

 

Dsitribute Tools Horizontally/Vertically.jpg

  • Category Interface

This request is super simple!  I love how Alteryx displays the row count and size of the data passing through each tool at run time.  Can you set the default formatting for the row count indicators to be #,###?  Without the commas, it's hard to easily check the row count once you get more than 6-9 digits.

 

In the example below, it would be so much more readable if it displayed as 75,640,320.

 

Capture.JPG

  • Category Interface

The drop down\list box have numerous ways to list values. One of them that I like is connecting to an external source. You simply have an external source file with a Name column and a Value column. It will display the data in the Name column and pass the data in the Value column. Now suppose instead of connecting to an external source I wanted to use connected tools. Currently, I would have to crosstab this data and the drop down\list box would display and pass the column names.

 

What if the drop down\list box could have an additional option added where you could connect tools and it would act identically as an external source (display the data in the Name column and pass the data in the Value column). This would be much easier and more functional!

When writing a good amount of code, it is easy to get lost in a sea of parentheses.  Just when you think you're all done, you get an error that can force you to scour through your code to find the missing, extra, or misplaced parenthesis. 

 

A common feature today is to highlight a parenthesis when its partner is clicked on.  This instantly lets you know if you have the wrong number of them and where. 

 

I didn't think this was that important early on in Alteryx, at least for me.  Formulas were meant to be short and easily readable at a glance.  Now as I dig deeper, there's R, Python, SQL and other text-heavy inputs. 

 

I don't need a full-fledged text editor in Alteryx, but I would love some quality of life features like parentheses matching.

I would like to be able to draw a box around some tools, them maybe right mouse click to add them to a container

  • Category Interface

I think we would all benefit from having IntelliSense within Alteryx. Just think about how much quicker writing formulas wold be or any time you need to reference your data within the various tools.

 

The sum function is probably the one I use most in the summarize tool. It is a silly thing, but it would be nice for "Sum" to be in the single-click list, rather than in the "Numeric" category...

 

MoveSum.jpg

We have Alteryx running in AWS which seems to be a common setup.Our AWS instances are set-up with IAM roles which has been one of the security measures applied in order to finally allow our enterprise company to allow some development in the cloud. IT will not allow the sharing of Access keys to connect to S3.

  • Would like to use the AWS S3 Tools from the connectors palette as the AWS CLI has limited ability to handle/report exceptions or issues with any detail. At the moment, we are limited on what goes into production as we are using CLI for what we can.
  • Ideally, an option would be to add to the S3 Tools allowing the user to select IAM Roles rather than Key Access. Refer the screen attached.
  • Category Interface

It would be great if we could set the default size of the window presented to the user upon running an Analytic App. Better yet, the option to also have it be dynamically sized (auto-size to the number of input fields required).

I'd like to hold CTRL, click on a tool and drag it to somewhere else on the canvas to copy it. 

 

This is functionality common in other software (e.g. Tableau, MS Office). 

 

Currently I have to either:

right click > Copy, right click > Paste, or

Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V. 

 

 

  • Category Interface

Hi,

 

The current way to label or annotate a tool is that we need to double click the tool to bring up configuration window, then click on the annotation icon, then click on the annotation textbox.

 

My suggestion is when a tool is selected, simply press the Enter/Return key, then start typing the annotation right there (inline editing). Save a couple of clicks.

 

Thanks.

  • Category Interface

Hi,

I'm not finding it anywhere as a current option, but my company uses branded PowerPoint slides using our logo, these slides are in 16.:9 (widescreen) for slide size, but Alteryx won't output to that size even if I choose custom for page size & have Widescreen selected as an option. Could there be an Advanced Options button added that would allow users more output choices, like choosing the 16:9 ratio size output? Without it, I'm having to output the largest map I can create (13 x 9.75 in Report Map tool) and then stretch/shrink to get it to fit the 16:9 slide...for every single map/slide (currently making 40 maps at once).

 

Is there a work around to accomplish my goal currently? And if not, could the option be added to the Render tool? Thank you!

Hi!

 

For a improved presentation of the GUI elements (Inteface Tools), may be to use for an Analytic App.

 

It would be great if it were possible to position the Interface Tools also side by side, instead of one above the other.

 

combineCanvasTools.JPG

 

Best regards

Mathias

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...

 

Hello, 

 

Please can we have some drawing tools, so we can add another dimension to our workflows.  I would like to draw arrows and lines across my workflow, so I can show the different stages of the workflow. I could use containers as an alternative, but feel lines would be better.

 

Also, is their a grid-line option, and a space equally (to spread tools evenly across work page), and an auto straighten!

 

Also, when you FIND, it would be nice if the Find box is allowed to stay on screen, whilst you work on the tool that has just been found; and if the founded tool can be highlighted more clearly so it can be seen. 

 

Also, a timer, so we can see how long the workflow runs for.

 

That's it for now. 

Thanks

  • Category Interface

I would like to suggest 2 small changes to make working with Interface tools easier:

1) Let a user change the name of Question Constants from the workflow tab. For example, I would love the ability to change the names of my list boxes below. Currently, I can click in the name box and write new names in, but it doesn't stick.

 

 Capture.PNG

 

2) Let the user add the value on the Interface tools under the Annotation tab. Currently, I drop an interface tool on, change the name on the annotation tab, and then have to go the the workflow tab to setup a value. It would be easier if the value box was also on the annotation tab:

Untitled.png

  • Category Interface

I'd like to be able to disable a tool container but not minimize it so I can still see what's in there. Maybe disabled containers could be grayed out the way the output tools are when you disable them. We would still need to retain current features in case people like it that way, but it would be nice to choose.

It would be great if the "fields from connected tool" option pulled fresh data at runtime when used in the gallery and pulling data from non-interface tools. The external source option doesn't have many settings (i.e. I can just point to one file), whereas the possibilities would be endless if I could use the full suite of tools to create a data set, at runtime, to pass to the list box/dropdown.

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