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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:
Repetitive patterns to be reusable.
Select after and Input tool
Get not matching records from join
Tell Alteryx to execute some logic if something happens.
Any other condition
Order of execution
Need to tell Alteryx what to run first, what to run next, and so on…
Run this first
Execute this portion after previous finished
Wait until “X” finishes to execute “Y”
Putting all together
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:
Refers to the actual interface of the Tool Container.
Provides the ability to disable a Container (and all tools within) once it runs.
Idea based on actual behavior: When we enable or disable a Tool Container from an interface Tool.
Input and output data to the container’s logic, will allow to pickup and/or save files from a particular container, to be used in later containers or persist data as a partial result from the entire workflow’s logic (for example updating a dimensions table)
Based on actual behavior: Input & Output Data, Cache, Run Command Tools, and some macros like Prepare Attachment.
Order of Execution: Can be Absolute or Relative. In case of Absolute run, we take the containers in order, executing their contents. If Relative, we have the options to configure which container should run before and after, block until previous container finishes or wait until this container finishes prior to execute next container in list.
Based on actual behavior: Block until done, Cache, Find Replace, some interface Designer capabilities (for chained apps for example), macros’ basic behaviors.
Conditional Execution: In order to be able to conditionally execute other containers, conditions must be evaluated. In this case, the idea is to evaluate conditions within the data, interface tools or Error/Warnings occurrence.
Based on actual behavior: Filter tool, some Interface Tools, test Tool, Cache, Select.
Notes: Documentation text that will appear automatically inside the container, with options to place it on top or below the tools, or hide it.
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:
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 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!
There are quite a few instances reported in my ognization that user terminates the intallation process since it takes more than one hour and user tends to believe that the intallation process is somehow "failing". So they terminate the installation and try to install again.
A kind reminding message such as "This will approximatly take one hour, and you can enjoy your coffee break" something like that would definetely help.
I understand why you need to keep bloat away from the product and have tools available to download instead, it means you can iterate and update them outside the usual cadence cycles. But please, for the love of everything holy, make it easier to find them and download them.
Let me give you an example of downloading the Google Sheets Input Tool:
1. I type in the amazing search and find a help article on it, so far so good:
2. I am pointed to the Gallery:
3. I click but where do I look? I need to revert to the tiny search in the top left. This isn't obvious for new users
4. but the search doesn't come top, how some of these search results get in above what I need I have no idea. I get to page 4 before I see something that looks like what I need before I realise it is a third party tool having installed it. I come back, can't find the tool and so give up. If it's there somewhere then it needs to be more obvious.
5. I google - I finally find (third item) something that's more useful but only because I know what I'm looking for
6. I run the workflow, then run it again as per the instructions. At this point I'm losing the will to live tbh.
7. Finally something that looks useful, I bang the huge download button twice and wonder why it didn't work.
9. I read the text and realise I need to click the link - finally I have the installer.
That was a five minute job. It was painful. And I'm a seasoned Alteryx user. If I was a new user, I'd have given up at step 2 or 3.
But what was the thing I downloaded in Step 8? A set of release notes and links....why aren't these simply added to the help article I found in Step 1/2? It would surely be easier for you, and would be a whole lot easier for users. Why do we need this painful process?
Please please please make it easier for me to install new tools.
Idea: Build a version of Designer that runs on ARM devices without requiring an emulator.
Windows 10 on ARM is becoming an increasingly popular option for new devices. Also, with Apple's move toward ARM, virtualized instances of Windows on Mac will either need to be the ARM version or will have much better performance over an emulated version of x64 Windows 10.
Emulated software is considerably slower than native binaries, so to maintain Alteryx's fast performance, an ARM version of Designer would be the best way forward for those looking to move to ARM platforms.
I understand the difficulties of making Alteryx Designer and Alteryx Server available for Linux but there are so many organizations and possibilities for development and scaling on Linux environments. It would be incredibly helpful if Alteryx was available on Linux. Please strongly consider.
I review a lot of alteryx workflows as part of my job. When I'm reviewing a canvas, I often want to advance to the incoming or outgoing tool. Please create a keyboard shortcut like control+I or control+O to quickly navigate to the incoming or outgoing tool on the canvas.