Alteryx Designer Ideas

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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:

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Tab-from-Select-Column-to-Enter-Expression-H...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Formula-tool-data-type-should-be-prominent/i...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Alteryx-11-formula-tool-default-data-type/id...

Referencing the previous idea: Inputs/Output should have the option to read/write a compressed file (ZIP or GZIP)

 

This idea has been implemented for inputting .zip files. However, we still need to use the run command workaround for outputs. It's very common for many users to want to output their .csv, .xlsx, .pdf to a .zip. The functionality would also need to extend to Gallery.

 

See the following links for people that are looking for this type of functionality:

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Server-Discussions/Download-Multiple-Outputs-from-the-Galle...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Output-files-to-ZIP/td-p/163502

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Zip-files/td-p/151456

 

Feel free to merge this idea with the previous one for continuity.

I love this tool,  but think it would be improved by including an option to create a column per delimiting character.  This could be added in the number of columns selector box.  In the case where 1 row has more delimiters than another, null columns can be created.  Without this option you have to Regex count the delimiters, select the max and then embed the Text to columns tools in a macro and then pass the max columns as a param.  Would be nice to resolve all this in the main tool.

 

Thanks, nick

The "Manage Data Connections" tool is fantastic to save credentials alongside the connection without having to worry when you save the workflow that you've embedded a password. 

 

Imagine if - there were a similar utility to handle credentials/environment variables. 

 

  • I could create an entry, give it a description, a username, and an encrypted password stored in my options, then refer to that for configurations/values throughout my workflows. 
    • Tableau credentials in the publish to tableau macro
    • Sharepoint Credentials in the sharepoint list connector
  • When my password changes I only have to change it in one place
  • If I handoff the workflow to another user I don't have to worry about scanning the xml to make sure I'm not passing them my password
  • When a user opens my workflow that doesn't have a corresponding entry in their credentials manager they would be prompted using my description to add it.
  • Entries could be exported and shared as well (with passwords scrubbed)

Example Entry Tableau:

Alias Tableau Prod
Description Tableau Production Server
UserID JPhillips
Password *********
+  

Then when configuring a tool you could put in something like [Tableau Prod].[Password] and it would read in the value.

 

Or maybe for Sharepoint:

 

Alias TeamSP
Description Team sharepoint location
UserID JPhillips
Password *********
URL  http://sharepoint.com/myteam
+  

 

Or perhaps for a team file location:

Alias TeamFiles
Description Root directory for team files
Path \\server.net\myteam\filesgohere
+  

 

Any of these values could be referenced in tool configurations, formulas, macro inputs by specifying the Alias and field.

1-3-2019 12-43-52 PM.png

It would be useful to be able to select a single container (containing a data input) or multiple containers using Shift, and run those and only those.

 

When building a new element to a larger workflow, I often enter a new Input in a new container, the ability to run just that container without having to turn off all my other containers would be really useful in speeding up the start of joining things together.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks,

 

Doug 

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.

The following idea might not be as valuable as some of @SeanAdams posts, but it would save this user precious fractions of time.   When I leave the canvas with my mouse (point A) to go up to the pallet I select and drag the tool down to the canvas.  Sometimes I do right-click and go through the menus to add the next tool, but generally I go through that labor only when I'm inserting in-stream the tool.  So here is my idea:

 

Double-Click your NEXT tool and it "Alteryx-ly" appears on your canvas in proximity to the hi-lighted (last) tool.  Better yet, connect it!  Now I can move from the pallet to the configuration panel directly without having to move my mouse down to the canvas and then over to the configuration panel.

 

Hopefully, my friend @Hollingsworth will find this time-saving idea worthy of a star.  Speed demons like @NicoleJohnson and @BenMoss might not need this turbo boost, but at my age it is worth the ask.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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. 

cheers,

 

 mark

When I use the Comment Tool its difficult to select the tools inside it, but when I use the Container Tool the Container Text doesn't support Font Sizes, and doesn't support multiple lines of text so I end up moving the Comment into the Container, but still have problems selecting a group of tools.

 

So a combined Comment and Container Tools would be wonderful!

 

Bonus: If the Comment Tool could support Multiple Font Sizes.

 

Combined Tools.png

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

It would be wonderful for Alteryx to be able to connect to and query OData feeds natively, rather than using a 3rd-party driver or custom macro.   

 

OData querying is supported by quite a few familiar products, including Excel and PowerBISSIS/SSRS, FME SafeTableau, and many others. And the protocol is used to publish feeds from Microsoft Dynamics and Sharepoint, as well as many of the 10,000 publically available government datasets with API's (esp. those hosted by Socrata)   

 

I didn't see it as in the Idea section, but questions and workarounds have been discussed in the community a few times (11/15, 3/18, 4/18), and suggestions seem to be just to buy the $400-600 ODBC driver from CDATA (or ZappySys), or I could use a VBA script in Excel trigger a refresh, or create my own Alteryx connector macro (great series btw, though most was beyond my understanding!) 

   

While not opposed paying, kludging, or learning to program, they're just one more thing to build/buy, install, maintain, and break at the most inconvenient time 🙂

 

Thanks,
Chadd

 

OData Overview:

OData (Open Data Protocol) is an ISO/IEC approvedOASIS standard that defines a set of best practices for building and consuming RESTful APIs. OData helps you focus on your business logic while building RESTful APIs without having to worry about the various approaches to define request and response headers, status codes, HTTP methods, URL conventions, media types, payload formats, query options, etc. OData also provides guidance for tracking changes, defining functions/actions for reusable procedures, and sending asynchronous/batch requests.  OData RESTful APIs are easy to consume. The OData metadata, a machine-readable description of the data model of the APIs, enables the creation of powerful generic client proxies and tools.

More info at at http://odata.org

Hi GUI Gang

 

At the moment, I have a lovely formatted XLS with corporate branding, logos, filled cells, borders etc.  The data from the Alteryx output needs to start in cell B6.  I have tried the output tools to this named range, but Alteryx destroys all the Excel formatted cells in the data block.

 

As a workaround on the forums, many Alteryx users pump out to a hidden "Output" tab, and then code =OutputA1 in the formatted sheet.  This looks messy to the users who then go hunting for the hidden tab.  Personally I end up pumping the workflow out to a temporary CSV file.  Then opening that in Excel, selecting all, and then pasting values in the pretty Excel file.

 

This is fine for one file, but I need to split the output report block by a country field and do this 100s of time for each month end.

 

Please can we have a output tool that does the same as my workaround.  Outputs directly from a workflow to a range in Excel that doesnt destroy the workbook's formatting.

 

Jay

The only thing I have ever found that Excel can do that Alteryx can't is creating a pivot table that allows the user to drill up and down levels of aggregation by collapsing or expanding levels in the data hierarchy. (like this). 

 

Can you add an interactive table to the new interactive charting tool that can provide this level of functionality? It's embarrassing to have to tell Excel users they can't do this in Alteyrx, and likely leads many of them to stick to Excel--and miss out on all the other great things Alteryx can do.

 

Thank you! 

There is an extensive need from customers to be able to create emails but not send them (right away at least). This would be an enhancement to the email tool to allow for checking a box to say "Save in Draft" and if that box was checked the send email functionality would not be called but the email would be created. 

Alteryx Server was recently updated to allow TLS-mediated connections to the MongoDB persistence layer. This allowed us to switch off of the embedded MongoDB to a highly-available MongoDB Atlas cluster. To our surprise after the switch, when we went to edit our workflows that make use of the persistence layer's data (Server Usage Report, etc.) to hit the new Atlas cluster, we found that the MongoDB Input tool does not support TLS connections. This absolutely needs to be changed. Based on organizational constraints, Atlas is our only option for a HA persistence layer. We absolutely have to have TLS support for the MongoDB Input tool. There is no other way for us to natively query our server persistence layer in Designer. Please bring the MongoDB Input tool into alignment with the MongoDB connections that are supported by Alteryx Server.

 

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. 

I constantly find my using pre and post SQL Commands in the Output tool to run SQL when I don't actually have any data to output.

 

One example is when I load data into S3 and want to load it into Redshift. I have SQL code to run but no data to Output - I end up running a dummy row into a temp table.

 

So can we have an SQL tool that simply acts the same as a Pre-SQL command without the associated data output. Once the command is run we should be able to continue the workflow, so the tool should have an option input and output, like the Run Command tool.

 

 

I like the new cache option in 2018.3, but I would like it to function a little bit different. Let's say you cache at a certain point and then continue to build after that. If I reach another checkpoint and want to cache, it currently re-runs the entire workflow (ie it ignores my cache upstream and just goes back to the beginning of the workflow); instead, I would rather have it utilize the upstream cache. Personally, caching is usually an iterative effort during development where I keep caching along the way. The current functionality of the cache is not conducive to this. Thanks!

  • Feature Request

Sometimes formulas get pretty long. There are cases of deeply nested conditionals, concatenation of long strings, cases where multiple casts and parses are used, etc. where formulas get pretty large and unwieldy. The current system of wrapping lines and managing the size of the properties pane can be a hassle, especially if you are trying to use any sort of whitespace formatting to make the formulas more readable.

 

My solution is this is pretty simple, add a pop-out window for formulas. It could be a context menu option from right-clicking the formula box itself, a button on the bar at the top of each formula, or any number of other things.

 

A really good example of this is MS Access. You can right-click any text box that takes an expression and open it in the expression editor pop-up window. The current system is more like excel where you're stuck with whatever box size you're given.

With the 2019.3 release the summarize tool now includes prefixes for grouped fields. While a nice addition, in application it makes using this data downstream (like joining to other tables) more involved because of needing to remove this prefix. 

 

It would be nice to have this as an option (a checkbox to add/remove prefixes maybe) or just revert back to pre-2019.3 behavior...thanks!

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