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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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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:

AliasTableau Prod
DescriptionTableau Production Server
UserIDJPhillips
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:

 

AliasTeamSP
DescriptionTeam sharepoint location
UserIDJPhillips
Password*********
URL http://sharepoint.com/myteam
+ 

 

Or perhaps for a team file location:

AliasTeamFiles
DescriptionRoot 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

Who needs a 1073741823 sized string anyways?  No one, or close enough to no one.  But, if you are creating some fancy new properties in the formula tool and just cranking along and then you see that your **bleep** data stream is 9G for nine rows of data you find yourself wondering what the hell is going on.  And then, you walk your way way down the workflow for a while finding slots where the default 1073741823 value got set, changing them to non-insane sized strings, and the your data flow is more like 64kb and your workflow runs in 3 seconds instead of 30 seconds.  

 

Please set the default value for formula tools to a non-insane value that won't be changed by default by 99.99999% of use cases.  Thank you.

 

 

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.

The admin needs to be given more control. The admin (curator) should have equal to and great control than the users of the system.

 

My organization is in the Healthcare industry and we have HIPAA laws to abide by when it comes to data. Not all users should be able to see all data. Developers should not have complete control over the data they publish.

 

Private studio -- admin should be able to control if user can publish to public gallery (compliant issues occur when users can all see and run workflows)

 

Collections

  • admin should be able to create collections so they can manage the collections and what users have access to
  • admin should be able to control if users can create new collections (again, compliance issues)
  • admin should be able to add workflows to collections (so users don't need to manage collections, admin can add the workflows for them)
  • admin should be able to give and remove download of workflow rights

 

Get tips from Tableau as they have admin controls down with their permissions process.

Currently, when one uses the Google BigQuery Output tool, the only options are to create a table, or append data to an existing table.  It would be more useful if there was a process to replace all data in the table rather than appending. Having the option to overwrite an existing table in Google BigQuery would be optimal.

With the release of 2018.3, cache has become an adhoc task. With complex workflow and multiple inputs we need a method to cache and save the cache selection by tool. Once the workflow runs after opening, the cache would be saved at the latest tool downstream.


This way we don't have to create adhoc cache steps and run the workflow 2X before realizing the time saving features of cache.

 

This would work similar to the cache feature in 11.0 but with enhanced functionality...the best of the old cache with the new cache intent.

 

Embed the cache option into tools.

 

Thanks!

I'd like to see Alteryx allow a second install of your license on a second, personal machine.  Tableau allows this and IMO is why there is such a robust online / blog community around that product.

 

For those of us that work at mid-size to large organizations, there are often strict rules governing internal data and use of cloud-based data sources.  If I discover some new trick I'd like the share with my fellow Alteryx analysts outside of my company, I have no clear way to do that the same way I can with Tableau where I can do it at home not using my company's data.

 

Being able to learn new features and test things out on commonly available public data (ever notice that Superstore data set everyone who gets Tableau has?) would accelerate what we're able to do with the community site here and the larger analytics blogging community.

 

 

When commenting an expression (with // or /* <> */), the popup box shouldn't appear as it's essentially free text.

 

Quite irritating when writing a block explanation of logic or something similar.

 

Luke

When saving a workflow to the gallery, the manage assets box is a fixed size. Due to the length of our file paths, the full path name is cut off. This makes it difficult when trying to package macros to select the correct box. I understand you can group assets by tool, however with the more complicated workflows this can still present it's challenges. I'd like to see this box to be re-sizeable.

Manage Assets Box.png

  • General

In user settings you can define a "Logging Directory" and if you do the system will send the Output Log (Results view messages) to a file in that folder.  The name generated is Alteryx_Log_ + an apparent sequential number, example: Alteryx_Log_1519833221_1.

This makes it impossible to identify which flow it is associated with and which instance of execution simply by looking at the name, you have to parse the content to see the flow name and start/end timestamps.  For trouble shooting we want to be able to look at the list of file names and quickly see which file, of possibly hundreds of files, we need to look at to see what went wrong.

 

An independent volume control would be helpful when testing workflows and you keep getting errors it can be annoying and distracting to neighbors if they keep hearing the error PING. You may need to keep your master volume up to be able to hear incoming emails, etc.

  • General

I saw this tool demo'd at an Alteryx User Group meeting a couple weeks ago and thought it was very cool!

 

Requesting SMTP TLS support for the Email tool as it is a requirement for my organization.

 

 

Roughly, in all versions of Alteryx Designer, you can use the Annotations tab and rename a tool.  This is awesome for execution in designer, because you can then easily search for certain tool names, better document your workflow, and see the custom tool name in the Workflow Results.

However, when log files are generated, either via email, the AlteryxGallery settings, or an AlteryxEngineCMD command, each tool is recorded using only its default name of "ToolId Toolnumber", which is not particularly descriptive and makes these log files harder to parse in the case of an error.

 

Having the custom names show in these log files would go a long way towards improving log readability for enterprise systems, and would be an amazing feature add/fix.  For users who prefer that the default format be shown, this could be considered as a request to ADD renames in addition to the existing format.  EG "Input Data 1" that I have renamed to "Load business Excel File" could be shown in the log as:

 

00:00:0.003 - ToolId 1 - Load business Excel File: 1 record was read from File Finished in 00:00:0.004

In the Select tool, it would be very helpful, particularly with tables with lots of columns, to show the number of columns showing and the number of columns selected.  This would help accounting for all columns when having to split up a table's columns for different kinds of operations before joining them back together again.

  • General

When my workflow is done running, this box pops up:

Capture.PNG

Previous to 2018.4, the space bar would select ok and the box would go away. Now the space bar selects the checkbox.

 

Please change it back so that the space bar selects ok.

Maybe it was a lack of planning, but I've had a need to rename a variable within a workflow and would like to (outside of the XML view) be able to rename the variable so that downstream tools don't have to be reconfigured (e.g. formula, join, union).  

All the items in the 'View' menu have useful shortcuts. For instance, I'm always using Ctrl+Alt+D for the interface designer.

 

It would be nice to be able to quickly check workflow dependencies; at the moment there are far too many clicks to get there given the amount they are accessed (by myself and my colleagues at least...)

 

Quite often the window is only required briefly to check whether absolute/relative paths are used and to see inputs/outputs. It would really improve speed and ease of use if the window could be brought up with a couple of key strokes.

 

What are your thoughts?

One of the larger challenges that my organization's users have when moving from creating workflows in Designer to uploading them to the Gallery is dependencies and pathing.  Given the fact that the server does not mount drives (e.g. G:\), but requires UNC pathing, this creates an additional step and hurdle for new users.  Furthermore, understanding the difference between packaging an asset with a workflow and pathing live also introduces yet another consideration to check for.  While Alteryx provides the ability to set each of these, I think that there is an opportunity from a UI perspective to better consolidate and expose dependency/asset management.  

 

I only recently discovered the Workflow Dependencies window after using the product for two years, and probably should have known it was there, but I feel like tucking that dialog into Advanced Options is kind of a strange place to put it.  In that menu, you have both User/System connection management, as well as Workflow-specific encryption and dependency management.  Maybe I’m alone here, but I only think of hitting User Settings and Advanced Options when I am setting environment settings, not working on a workflow. 

In order to effectively manage assets when creating a gallery workflow, I currently have to:

    1. Ensure that all of my Inputs are UNC pathed or go into the Dependency Manager to switch them all
    2. Uncheck any “live” file connections by clicking on the input and unchecking it in the Assets properties window.  Even getting this property to show up is a bit of a pain point by telling my users they have to go to Edit User Settings-->Advanced-->Display Asset Management in Properties Window.  Note that unchecking an input from the Edit button in the Workflow Dependencies window does not uncheck the asset (which seems like a bug to me).
    3. I can check on my assets when I go to save a workflow to the gallery, but that only saves it to the gallery copy, not the source workflow.  In order to switch UNC pathing or asset inclusion in the original workflow, I have to go back to steps A and B.

Ultimately, I feel like a better user experience would be to consolidate each of these into a Workflow Dependencies & Assets dialog box that is comprehensive and consistent.  This dialog box could be accessed either from an intuitive menu in Designer or from the Save As menu when uploading to Gallery, and the user would have the option to save the settings back to the source workflow.  Furthermore, a validation step could be added to let the user know before uploading to the gallery that they have non-UNC paths and they could have the option to switch it prior to upload.

 

When showing a workflow to colleagues on my desktop or in a presentation setting, it would be really useful to be able to maximise the workflow into fullscreen.

 

This is currently possible by hiding everything via the View menu (see below) but a one button toggle, say F11, would be nice.

 

Capture.PNG

I utilize the Workflow Events quite a bit, but the standard options fall short in a few critical cases.

 

For example: I use the events to send me an email after the workflow runs with errors.

Usually that is all I need.  But, I have run into a few situations where the workflow didn't run at all - thus, no email was sent.

 

One such instance was on our server.  While still initializing (before it even hit tool #1) the job hung.  It sat like that for over a day before I noticed that there were no jobs running through a particular worker at all and saw this one sitting there. 

A second such instance was recently when I changed Persistence Options and accidentally deleted the source for a scheduled job.  The workflow marked itself complete in the scheduler and gave an error message of "Corrupt: Internal Error in PersistenceContainer......"

I realize that these are unexpected events and application errors (which I've worked with support on); but it would add great value to have that fallback mechanism to let us know the error happened.

 

Understandably, it would probably take a lot of work to engineer a schedule monitor that would catch this - but I think it would be worthwhile.

One option to do this: have an Event to email or run a command if a workflow hasn't started within a certain grace period after its scheduled time.

 

 

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