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:
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:
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:
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:
I'm looking forward to hear what you think.
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.
I surprisingly couldn't find this anywhere else as I know it's been discussed in person on many occasions.
Basically the Formula tool needs to be smarter in many ways, but this particular post focuses on the Data Type component.
The formula tool, should not always default to V_String as the data type when entering data or a formula into the formula tool, it should look at the data type and estimate the most likely option.
I know there are times where the logical type might not be consistent in all fields, but the Data Preview and the Function of the formula should be used to determine the most likely option.
E.G. If I type a number or a date directly into the formula tool, then Alteryx should be smart enough to change the data type from the standard V_String to Int, Double or date.
This is an extension to the ideas posted here:
I often need to create a record ID that automatically increments but grouped by a specific field. I currently do it using the Multi-Row Formula tool doing [Field-1:ID]+1 because there is no group by option in the Record ID tool.
Also, sometimes I need to start at 0 but the Multi-Row Formula tool doesn't allow this so I have to use a Formula tool right after to subtract 1.
So adding a group by option to the Record ID tool would allow the user not to use the multi-row formula to do this and to start at any value wanted.
Love the new updates to the Browse tool in 2019.2! However, if you choose the option Open results in new window, which I do often so I can see my whole dataset, the search/filter/sort functionality goes away. Would be great if that new functionality also worked in the new window. Thanks!
Can't wait for the new base maps!
In-app screens, lot of space is wasted because components/tools can just be stacked one below the other.
It would great if we could also insert them horizontally.
Tags : screen, app, macro, layout, tools, UI
Here is the issue I have, when you are using a Join tool and you have multiple columns that you are joining on (to the point that they don't all show in the
Configuration window), i have a tendency to use the mouse scroll wheel to move down to see additional columns i am joining on. The mouse scroll controls different things depending on where your cursor is. If your cursor is over the Left or Right columns then the scroll button will change the Fields you are using to join on. I have messed up more workflows then i care to mention due to this. I do not think it is appropriate for the scroll wheel to effect and change the fields in the configuration window and it should only be used to scroll up and down in the configuration window.
This idea is to suggest we add additional comparison capability to the Designer Join tool to more closely mirror what is possible in SQL. Usually, teams work around this limitation by adding tools after the Join tool (or using SQL queries at the start of a workflow), but it would be great to do this in the Join Tool itself.
The current Join Tool in Alteryx only allows for exact field comparisons, but not for more flexible joins, such as the example below
LOAD * FROM Table A
LEFT Join Table B
And A.Country <> B.Country
AND A.Lastname LIKE (B.Lastname)
OR A.Nationality = B.Nationality
I've drawn a mock-up of what I think could be enhancements to the existing tool. In simple terms, I think there are these options for improvement:
1. When joining on specific fields, allow the user to specify operators for how the fields should join, e.g. Field A=Field B and Field C !Contains Field D (almost like the Filter Tool does this). This could be enabled by permitting operators in the menu between the 2 fields, as illustrated below
2. Have the option to say that if either field matches, you'd like to join (i.e. option to choose if this is an AND or OR join condition). A new field would need to be made to the left of the field selection, as illustrated below
3. Perhaps there could be the option to write the expression as you would a formula for the Error message tool (but in a positive context), e.g. Field A != Field B
4. How about enabling the Left Join/Right Join/Full Outer Join options from within the Join tool? E.g. if you select the Venn Diagram buttons, you will return your selection? If you don't want to compromise existing capability, you can automatically add a pre-configured Union tool (with the correct left/right/join inputs) after the Join tool based on the user's selection?
Alteryx is unlike many BI tools in the sense that it joins NULL. It is difficult to think of another platform that has this behaviour. Either people know about this and work around it or they don't and their joins are a ticking time bomb. Please add a check box to the Join and Join Multiple tools to allow or prevent joining NULL. This will serve to remove the need for workarounds as well as educate users about this default behaviour.
I don't know if this has been implemented or talked about, but it would be a pretty nice QoL change to add a select all button when appending fields to record via the find and replace tool.
For example, I have a dataset where I will end up with 1000+ fields needed to be appended. Going through and clicking 1000 times is not ideal. If this is already a feature or has a hotkey, please let me know.
In cases where more than one field is being used in a join, the "Join (Tool ID) String fields can only be joined to other string fields" error message could be improved by indicating which field has a mismatch.
For example, if I'm joining Fields A, B, C, D... to fields Z, Y, X, W... in Join tool 24, and for some reason Field Z gets changed from String to Double, it'd be nice to see a message like:
"Join (24) (Field 1) String Fields can only be joined to other String fields"
"Join (24) String Fields can only be joined to other String fields (A)"
So that I know I need to go to a select tool and change the type of either A or Z.
Otherwise I look at the Join tool output and try to figure out which pair no longer has matching types, which can take a minute when dealing with a multiple-point join.
Dear Users, Fans, Compatriots, and Fellow Alteryx Nerds:
One of my favourite parts of using Alteryx is that in all the in-memory tools, there is a quick-and-dirty count in each of your tools' output nodes. You know, you use these all the time and when you switch back into SQL, you get frustrated with having to run the query two or three times just to see the count in each of your join outputs.
One thing I'm missing as an INDB user is that I have to employ a manual workaround to see what is happening. INDB tools are a bit black-box in that we don't see the counts.
I've been using this workaround for a little over a year now and I haven't found it to be incredibly taxing on my resources, so I'm wondering if Alteryx may be able to look into doing this on the back end to make the INDB experience that much closer to the in-memory experience. I just want those numbers above; I don't need to know the byte count, just the record count.
Now, I imagine this is not implemented already for a Very Good Reason. But, enough is enough! Let's shoot for the moon and make this tool all that much better!! Anyone with me?
Have you ever used a Join tool with several (or many) Join fields, looked at the the L and R outputs and wondered, why didn't these records join? When there are many columns in your data, this can be a hard question to answer. It would be very handy if Alteryx could somehow report the Field(s) that each record failed to join on (perhaps as an optional added field to the L and R outputs).
I think it would be nice to be able to more easily reorder fields that you're joining by in the Join tool.
For example, I have already joined by CASS_Address and CASS_City. After I did this, I realized I wanted to go back and join on Name, too, and I want that to be first. How the tool is configured now, if I want Name to be first, I must redo all of the drop downs. I would like to be able to add Name to the next set of open drop downs then use some arrow buttons to be able to move them up in the order (similar to the Summarize tool).
I am using Union Tool to effectively append two datasets that share about 30 columns, but the field names are slightly different so I had to manually configure fields. The primary dataset has 300+ columns and none of these can be dropped... The process of clicking the arrows to align the fields is driving me nuts lol
Can we have the 'drag and order' feature in Append Fields Tool? That would be much appreciated!
The US Address/Company Name/Zip Code Fuzzy Match template options are great. If there isn't already, it would be great if there was a UK version of these too!
Sometimes I find myself having to union too many tools together and get bothered with the drag-and-drop repetition. It'd be nice to be able to select multiple tools and have a "Union All" in the right-click menu that creates a union tool that is connected to the output of all the selected tools.
It's kind of like a smarter "Insert After"
I'd say that 95.437% of the Joins I do are straight Inner Joins.
So each of those times I have to remember to go down to the Select part of the Join tool and deselect all the fields I joined on the Right Side since they'll be duplicates.
I'd like a checkbox like below (defaulted to CHECKED) to deselect all the joined fields from the right hand side. In the rare cases where there's a need I could uncheck it.
I think it would be incredibly helpful for Alteryx to include a "Fuzzy Join" operator, similar to what is described in this article: http://www.decisivedata.net/blog/alteryx-fuzzy-join-workflow/
Virtually every client/project I work on, there is a nead to clean up data. Most of the time, that involved standardizing to some existing list of data. However, as we all know, data from differnet systems or being manually collected will not match perfectly in all cases. This is most often when I tend to use the Fuzzy Match tool.
However, I have to use a lot of weird steps to effectively create a "Fuzzy Join", which is something I've done using database functions in the past. I think it would be great if a new tool were created that would do the following:
This seems like a very common thing (I've created a macro for this anyway) that could be made to be simpler for everyday use.
Today, any Alteryx tool with "Select" functionality has an option for "Dynamic or Unknown Fields" which, when checked, allows any new fields to pass through that tool. This is a great function for most of the tools as you can allow workflow updates to pass through the tool without issue.
However, in the Join tool, there are some use cases where there is NEVER a reason to pass new fields from one side or the other into the tool, but you might still want new fields from a primary process. Examples being something like a lookup/cross-reference to do an inclusive join, where adding new fields to the lookup might inadvertently pass these downstream. Having the option to only allow unknown fields from one side through would greatly enhance this output.
We build some pretty robust maps with multiple connections and it would be great to copy the map tool and paste it with all of the connections when we want to tweak the map slightly but keep our original map. It is a regular occurrence for us to have a very detailed map grouping by trade area name and then may want to have an overview map with all of the same connections but slightly different layout. Tracking down the connections, reconnecting them and naming them accordingly takes a substantial amount of time even in the most organized of workflows. This function would be a huge time-saver. It would also be of value with joins and unions - anywhere you have multiple streams coming in.
When bringing data together it is often needed to assign a source to the data. Generally this happens when you union data and need to know things later about the data for context. It would save time to generate a source field that is assigned based upon the input connections of the union tool. Perhaps when unioning data you can assign a name to each input stream?
Back in the days of Visual Basic 6, and Delphi 3 - the development environment for software coding started introducing the idea of Optimization hints - specifically looking at things like variables you'd declared but never used.
All of the Alteryx tips guides say "as early as possible use a Select tool to remove fields that are not used in the workflow" - it would be very useful if the Alteryx system did a reverse walk through the workflow (from outputs back to inputs) and suggested fields that were not used anywhere or components that could / should be removed because they don't go anywhere.
By adding a reverse-walk to a workflow (sort of like an A-B-Tree prune on a game-tree) - Alteryx could spot many of these kinds of issues - and by observing the workflow in action over a few iterations, it could identify the remainder.
When the append tool detects no records in the source, it throws a warning. I would like to have the ability to supress this warning. In general, all tools should have similar warning/error controls.
I've come to realize that the JOIN tool is case-sensitive by design but it would be helpful if you could turn that behavior on/off (via checkbox?) within the JOIN tool. For those of us that work predominantly in database environments that are not case-sensitive, this default behavior has caused me problems many times. Having to force the case to either upper or lower upstream of the JOIN on both flows in order to ensure a successful join is an extra step that would not be necessary if you could disable case-sensitive with a checkbox.