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
Many users will probably follow best practice style guides with Alteryx to use comment boxes under tools to describe in detail what is happening with these tools - such as this one shared by @BenMoss.
However a limitation of this is the comment boxes do not move with the tools, so if you have a well documented workflow but then need to add a new tool, you need to adjust all the spacing and re-align the tools, which with a large workflow can be time consuming.
Therefore the improvement would be to have an ability to lock comment boxes to individual tools (similar to a group function in Office).
Having the ability to call-out via ARROWS/SYMBOLS (gold star) would be nice without requiring the user to create images and call them to the canvas. This makes the workflow even more readable.
Watermarks (e.g. DRAFT, AMP, Do NOT AMP, FINAL) would be useful on the canvas as well.
When viewing results of a workflow that has Errors, could we add External error resolution data if the user clicks on the error message? Like browse everywhere it could lookup the error in help and in community posts.
Please add official support for newer versions of Microsoft SQL Server and the related drivers.
According to the data sources article for Microsoft SQL Server (https://help.alteryx.com/current/DataSources/SQLServer.htm), and validation via a support ticket, only the following products have been tested and validated with Alteryx Designer/Server:
Microsoft SQL Server
Validated On: 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2016.
This is one of the most popular data sources, and the lack of support for newer versions (especially a 2+ year old product like Sql Server 2017) is hard to fathom.
ODBC Driver for SQL Server/SQL Server Native Client
Validated on ODBC Driver: 11, 13, 13.1
Validated on SQL Server Native Client: 10,11
When using the output data tool, it would save me and my cluttered organizational skills a lot of effort if the writing workflow was saved as part of the yxdb metadata.
I've often had to search to find a workflow which created the yxdb. I tend to use naming conventions to help me, but it would be easier if the file and or path was easily found.
Often as I am scraping web sites, some clever developer has put an invisible character (ASCII or Unicode) in the data which causes terrible trouble.
I've identified 89 instances of zero-width or non-zero-width glyphs that are not visible and/or Alteryx does not classify as whitespace. There are probably more, but Unicode is big y'all.
Unfortunately, the Trim() string function only removes 4 of these characters (Tab, Newline, Carriage Feed, and Space).
REGEX_REPLACE with the \s option (which is what the Cleanse macro uses) is a little better but still only removes 20. And it removes all instances, not just leading and trailing.
I've attached a workflow which proves this issue.
@apolly: this is what I mentioned at GKO.
And I did see this post (https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Elegantly-remove-all-ASCII-characters-...), but it's too brute force. Especially as Alteryx is localized and more users need those Unicode characters.
In order to make the interface tools more accessable - please could you add explicit documentation to the help-text that explains how the data is returned to the canvas?
For example - the text input tool is documented here: https://help.alteryx.com/2019.3/QuestionTextBox.htm
What is missing from this is whether the multi-line version will provide the data to the canvas as a semi-colon delimited; comma delimited; newline delimited etc?
Would be very valuable if the documentation could explicitly define how the output of checkboxes; multiline textboxes; tree views etc are passed to the action tool.
Dear Alteryx GUI Gang,
I'll create a container and then customize the colours, margins, transparency, border and then want consistency for other containers. It would be nice to have a format painter function (brush) to apply the format of one container to another. This of course could be extended to other tools like comments. There might be a desire to apply this to more tools too, but the comments and containers would be my focus as they are almost always custom configured.
The select tool does a great job at flagging up when something has changed from its original state. However why does this not happen with the checkboxes to keep or remove a field? It would be much faster and easier to read if we could have the same color conditional formatting as the rest.
At the moment containers either expand and overlap other tools, or you have to leave space for them (defeating the original purpose of using them). Is there a way we can have the containers expansion shift the workflow so the others tools shift down / right to account for this expanision?
After hitting "Test" in Workflow Dependencies:
Failed result = Bold red text (and a message)
Success result = Nothing?
Maybe we could get bold green letting us know that the test completed successfully.
I love using containers, but depending on how I am moving around the workflows or trackpad (when traveling) I find it hard to navigate quickly getting a container on the canvas between either add a container from the tool palette or having to highlight the tools and right-click for menu navigation to add the container. This ranks up there with the hotkeys for aligning the tools which make for quick work of making the workflow look organized and presentable.
It is just a bit of annoyance, really. I'd like to see the option of inputting a hexcode of color and/or a screen color picker in the color dialog. At the moment, you have to change R, G, B separately or play around with the cursor to find the right color.
The color dialog is relevant for the documentation purposes but also reporting tools and I'm sure it would make life easier to some people, especially when branding colours are important.
It would be useful to have the WorkflowName captured as one of the default Engine constants. The WorkflowDirectory is included so why not the WorkflowName as well?
I often have to use configuration files to pass in values to workflows meaning the workflow name needs to be manually entered into the workflow, either as a text input or User Constant, which feels like an unnecessary step as Alteryx must know the name of the workflow once it has been saved.
// This is my new formula MAX([Price] * [Quantity],0) // This was my old formula // [Price] * [Quantity]
Imagine being able to SELECT your text block (could be many lines) and right-clicking to see an option to Comment or Un-Comment those configuration statements. I thought that you'd like it too.
When you drag a comment box into a workflow it should sit underneath all other data tools by default.
Currently, the order of tools is set by the order of placement (that is, tools placed in the workflow first are placed below subsequently placed tools).
We are using Alteryx designer to bulk upload to Snowflake database. We also use Alteryx Connect to pick up metadata from Snowflake. It would be awesome if the designer can add table and field description and snowflake loader can pick up the description automatically.
As of now, the metadata loader doesnt pick up metadata content in real time. This feature will motivate our analysts to document which will improve Connect adoption in our department.
When searching for Alteryx help on Google the search results rarely return the current version of the Help documentation from the Alteryx website. Instead, what often happens is that an old version of the Help documentation is returned.
For example, a search for 'Run Commend Tool Alteryx' returns links for the 2018.3 and 11.3 instances of the help page:
These relate to prior versions of Alteryx and a better result would be to link to the /current/ version of the page (the URL for which never changes).
The problem above can be replicated for almost any tool or variant of search terms.
Since Google is such a crucial resource for troubleshooting, there is a risk that (a) users will inadvertently access out of date documentation and (b) users will be confused by the presence of multiple search results.
By adding a 'robots.txt' file to web pages for prior versions of the tool these results can be suppressed from Google search results.
This should result in the /current/ documentation pages rising in search results and being more prominent when users search for help on Alteryx using Google.
To get simple information from a workflow, such as the name, run start date/time and run end date/time is far more complex than it should be. Ideally the log, in separate line items distinctly labelled, would have the workflow path & name, the start date/time, and end date/time and potentially the run time to save having to do a calculation. Also having an overall module status would be of use, i.e. if there was an Error in the run the overall status is Error, if there was a warning the overall status is Warning otherwise Success.
Parsing out the workflow name and start date/time is challenge enough, but then trying to parse out the run time, convert that to a time and add it to the start date/time to get the end date/time makes retrieving basic monitoring information far more complex than it should be.
It would be extremely useful to quickly find which of my many workflows feed other workflows or reports.
A quick and easy way to do this would be to export the dependencies of a list of workflows in a spreadsheet format. That way users could create their own mapping by linking outputs of one workflow, to inputs of another.
Looking at the simple example below, the Customers workflow would feed the Market workflow.
|Customers||SQL Table 1||Input|
|Customers||SQL Table 2||Input|
|Customers||Excel File 1||Input|
|Customers||Excel File 2||Input|
|Customers||Excel File 3||Output|
|Market||Excel File 3||Input|
|Market||SQL Table 3||Output|
It would be CRAZY AWESOME if we could get a report like this for all scheduled workflows in the scheduler.