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A common problem with the R tool is that it outputs "False Errors" like the following: "The R.exe exit code (4294967295) indicted an error"
I call this a false error because data passes out of the R script the same as if there were no error. As such, this error can generally be ignored. In my use case, however, my R tool is embedded within an iterative macro, and the error causes the iterator to stop running.
I was able to create a workaround by moving the R tool to a separate workflow and calling it from the CReW runner macro within my iterator, effectively suppressing the error message, but this solution is a bit clumsy, requires unnecessary read/writes, and uses nonstandard macros.
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 nice if you could see messages generated by SQL server in through the Alteryx tools that are communicating with the server.
2 examples to illustrate: I was reading in a table, Alteryx gave me no errors, just a message that a certain number of records was read in (about 5M). Since I don't know the exact number of records in the table, just that there are approximately 5M, I thought everything was ok until somebody else pointed out that revenue past a certain date was missing. Turns out that reading in the data was interrupted by an error sql was throwing on a calculated field. Fixed the calculated field and was able to read in all records. It would have been nice if Alteryx had mentioned the error instead of reading in a partial table....
The other example was an output tool that was giving me this error: "An unknown error occured in II_PushRecord". This was caused by a fatal truncation error in SQL. The problem was solved by putting a select tool ahead of my output tool and forcing the field to match. I could have solved that a lot faster if Alteryx had giving me the error from SQL instead of the cryptic PushRecord one.
I understand that this might be challenging, not sure how the SQL drivers behave in regards to reporting error messages. One workaround for the first error would be to count all rows in a table before reading it in, then reading it in and giving a message similar to the one you get from a Calgary tool (5,968 records out of 4,684,784 where read in). Maybe as an option because it might slow things down a bit?
When outputting to files in avro format, it would be nice to have Alteryx either throw an error/warning or automatically add a prefix when field names do not conform to the Apache Avro specifications. For example, if I were to try to output an .avro file with a field named "2018 actions", Alteryx could throw a warning/error to remind me to rename the field, or Alteryx could change the field name for me to something like "X2018_Actions".