Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Featured Ideas

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...

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.

 

 

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

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.

 

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

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. 

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 

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. 

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.

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

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! 

While almost all interface tools allow for default values, the listbox / manually set values does not.  The idea would be for a property on each line that when displayed to the user would have one or any values checked upon entry.  The configuration might look like Name:Value:Default.  I.e.

Alabama:01:Yes

Alaska:02:No

Arkansas:03:No


I would use this to pre-populate the listbox with entries from a database that would essentially allow the user to edit his previous entry.  In this example, the user previously selected Alabama and the results were stored in a database.  When editing the record using an analytics app, I would want the user to see what he chose and the other options available.

 

daviskb_0-1595938483048.png

 

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.

Lately I've used the 'Add Prefix to Field Names' option in the Select tool. It works great, however when you click the button to add a prefix, the new window pops up and the focus is on the checkbox. I think when this box pops up, the focus should be in the text box so the user can start typing right after they click the button. This is the same case for the Add Suffix option, too.

 

Annotation 2020-05-05 072010.png

 

Annotation 2020-05-05 072034.png

The email tool, such a great tool!  And such a minefield.  Both of the problems below could and maybe should be remedied on the SMTP side, but that's applying a pretty broad brush for a budding Alteryx community at a big company.  Read on!

 

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

What I said the first time I ran the email tool without testing it first.

 

1. Can I get a thumbs up if you ever connected a datasource directly to an email tool thinking "this is how I attach my data to the email" and instead sent hundreds... or millions of emails?  Oops.  Alteryx, what if you put an expected limit as is done with the append tool.  "Warn or Error if sending more than "n" emails."  (super cool if it could detect more than "n" emails to the same address, but not holding my breath).

ephij_1-1588630915039.png

 

2. make spoofing harder, super useful but... well my company frowns on this kind of thing.

ephij_0-1588630793894.png

 

 

 

 

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

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

My friend @jdunkerley79 posted a terse idea:  https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/FieldName-constant-in-Generate-Rows-Tools-an...  it is inactive, but I want to extend his thoughts.

 

Rephrasing his idea as mine:  The tool defaults the expressions to use [RowCount].  If you should either "Update Existing Field" or change the "Create New Field" the default expressions MUST be updated manually.  Please update the expressions to make use of the new field.

 

Well, that doesn't always work!  Often it will.  But if you change the TYPE to date, it certainly won't.  In fact, I see many questions about joining from within a DATE  RANGE and the technique to build date rows from the range requires the use of DateTimeAdd().  Wouldn't it be nice (like your sample workflows) to modify the default expression based on the change of data type?  I think so.

 

If we were thinking easy.  Suppose you could have a RANGE function (dates or numerics) where you simply selected the from, to fields and gave the user the option to select the units.  Now the tool auto-configures itself to create all of the "days" between the from and to dates or "1.0" and it creates all unit values between the two numeric amounts.

 

These would be "Alteryx" worthy enhancements in my opinion.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Can we have an option to save a workflow in a prior version for backward compatibility? I think Tableau offers this functionality.

Example:

If I have 2019.4.8 and a colleague has 2019.1.x, I cannot share my workflows because my colleague will receive a notice that the workflow was built in a newer version. I want to be able to save my workflow in 2019.1.x and send to my colleague.

 

This is predicated on the workflow not containing any tools/features not present in the older version. In that case, give me a warning about the specific tools/features that are not backward compatible. Thank you.

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