Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Taking inspiration how you work with Jupyter notebooks and use the notebook to show your workings,  wouldn't it be great if you could document your workflows directly on the canvas more in a notebook style.

I think this essentially can be summarised down into two features:

1) Markdown functionality in the comment tool

2) Ability to import results from IRG and  / or browse tool directly into the canvas.

 

I have mocked up a version of what this could look like in the screenshot below.

cgoodman3_0-1637103136947.png

 

Overall I think it would improve the experience of documenting workflows as you can show your workings in-line while building the workflow. Plus it solves the debate around team vertical vs team horizontal as you build using both! 

 

When using an OUTPUT tool, you can currently only output to one (1) format.  My idea is to allow for a checkbox to create a YXDB file format when you output to another format.  In many instances a copy of the CSV data in YXDB file format is needed.  Creating another output requires another tool with nearly identical information.  This is my backup copy to what I sent the customer is an example.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Currently if I drag a tool onto the canvas and it has multiple input anchors, Alteryx will try to connect to the first input anchor from the output of the nearest tool I am hovering near.

However the improvement I would like to see is where there are specific tools which are required to go into each input that it 'intelligently' connects to the correct input, for example on the gif below I have a PDF input and PDF template tool (pre-computer vision), and when I bring the image to text tool in, it will try and connect the output of the template tool into the D input anchor, when the correct input is the T anchor. What this leads to is me having to delete a connection and then re-wiring which slows down the development time.

 

Tool connections.gif

Here's a reason to get excited about amp!   Create a runtime setting that gets Alteryx working even faster. 

when you configure a file input you see 100 records.  Imagine the delight that after you run your workflows all input tools are automatically cached.  You run so much faster. 

now think of the absolute delight that even before you run the workflows that a configured input tool causes a background read off the input data.  Whether it is a new workflow or an opened existing flow that reading can start ahead of the time button. 

what do you think 🤔?

Very often, I used a container to make notes about certain parts of the workflow. Some of the comments that I created are pretty long. Could the user have the possibility to have at least rows for the title of the container?

 

Emil_Kos_0-1627035618539.png

I have created a screen to show what I have in mind. Potentially users could have the ability to turn this option on or inside the container?

Emil_Kos_1-1627035835238.png

 

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:

  • Design Patterns
    • Repetitive patterns to be reusable.
    • Select after and Input tool
    • Drop Nulls
    • Get not matching records from join
  • Conditional execution
    • Tell Alteryx to execute some logic if something happens.
    • Record count
    • Errors
    • 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”
  • Orchestration
    • 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:

OnCanvas.png

 

 

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:

 

ToolcontainerConfig_Comment.png

 

 
  1. Refers to the actual interface of the Tool Container.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

Alteryx Choreographer.png

 

I'm looking forward to hear what you think.

Best

Often (like, a surprising amount of the time), we will be on a working session with a customer and I'll notice they will break a data stream connection in order to prevent downstream tools from running.  Of course, I always coach them to add a tool container to the downstream tools, then disable it but they continue to choose not to.  

 

I'd love to see a feature where we can right-click on a data stream, then select "disable downstream tools", which then auto adds (and disables) a tool container. 

 

Gif of current behavior I too often see below, thank you!

BreakConnection.gif

 

Many users will probably follow best practice style guides with Alteryx to use comment boxes under tools to describe in detail what is happening with these tools - such as this one shared by @BenMoss.

 

However a limitation of this is the comment boxes do not move with the tools, so if you have a well documented workflow but then need to add a new tool, you need to adjust all the spacing and re-align the tools, which with a large workflow can be time consuming. 

 

Alteryx Community Idea.gif

 

Therefore the improvement would be to have an ability to lock comment boxes to individual tools (similar to a group function in Office).

 

After I type something into the filter box, I should be able hit enter and then it just applies my change (ie enter hits the apply button). It used to be this way, but it's not working as of 2021.2. This feels like a very tiny move in the wrong direction. Currently enter does nothing. It looks like if I hit tab twice and then enter, it finds the apply button. I shouldn't have to hit tab twice. 

patrick_digan_0-1624451832000.png

 

cc: @Hollingsworth @A11yKyle 

 

I want to jump to expression #3 of formula (3), when I see following error message. Now I can jump to formula (3), but only expression #1 is opened, not #3. If I have 30 expressions, it is hard to find #20 in 30s.

 

2021-06-30_10h43_32.png

Hi 

 

The wording of the tool tip displayed in results window cells with long strings is misleading.  The current wording is "This cell has truncated characters".   

danilang_0-1616587137476.png

 

 

New users tend to infer that this means that the data value has been truncated somewhere upstream.  See here, here and here.   Changing this message to something like "Only a portion of long strings is displayed" will help reduce the confusion immensely.

 

Dan  

When configuring a FILTER tool, the results of your formula are uncertain until you RUN/PLAY the workflow.  Compare that experience with the configuration of a FORMULA tool where you see a "Data Preview" of the first record results.

 

capture.png

 

TRUE or FALSE could readily be added to the Filter Tool and save the execution time for the workflow.  

 

When you get to HTML tool versions, you could check many rows of data and potentially give back counts of TRUE and FALSE results as well.

 

I'll put this on my x-mas list and see if Santa has me on the naughty or nice list.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Instead of using the arrows, I think it would be nice to be able to drag and drop the questions to rearrange them in the Interface Designer. This would go more hand in hand with the drag and drop experience of Alteryx.

 

Additionally, when a lot of interface tools are on the canvas, Designer really slows down if you need to rearrange the order of the tools in the Interface Designer. I would like to see if there is any way that this can be sped up.

 

 

Thanks!

@RithiS ,

 

I'm a fan of using DETOUR tools in Alteryx.  I often place "test" code into a standard workflow and opt to use it or not based upon a detour.  The challenge is that adding a detour and detour end invariably leads to having to re-route connectors (default of adding tools is to connect to the left).  Here's a picture:

 

capture.png

 

What I'd like to do is SELECT the tool or tools that I want to connect around (in this case, just the formula tool).  I'd like to right-click and DETOUR.  The detour and detour end would be added (putting the selected tools in the path of the RIGHT option.  This would greatly speed up the tool configuration process.

 

If you want to go for extra credit, you could modify the GUI to express which direction a detour is travelling in a standard workflow (e.g. make connections wireless or dashed when not selected).

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

@Claje @Hollingsworth @SeanAdams 

Hi all,

 

When debugging an error, we need to verify tool by tool in a sequence to better understand what is really going on.

 

Sometimes the tools are miles away from each other. Imagine a gigantic workflow with a lot of connections going back and forth and wireless connections everywhere to help the workflow organization. Here is an example with more than 1300 tools: 

fmvizcaino_0-1615923127842.png

 

My idea is to have a shortcut showing all the previous/next tools and by selecting the previous/next one you go directly to them.

Something like this: 

 

fmvizcaino_2-1615924201119.png

 

What do you guys think about that?

 

Best,

Fernando Vizcaino

 

 

 

Hi,

 

It would be great if users have the option to display the number of records that go in and out of the different tools in your canvas. This allows users to very quickly see how many records are in their datasets, and especially quickly analyze the results of specific actions such as joins, filters etc. without the need to open each individual tool. Especially when performing joins this can be very useful to quickly see how many of your rows have been successfully joined. I think this will give users a feeling that they have more control over their data and a better understanding of what is happening in Alteryx. Also if you quickly want to review a complex workflow (especially when it is not your own) this could be a huge timesaver. Simply run the workflow and follow the numbers to see what is happening and identify tools that might cause issues.

 

Love to hear what you think!

 

Schermafbeelding 2021-04-08 om 10.50.36.png

 

 

 

Hello Team,

 

Currently, in the select tool, we have to scroll up or down to check or see the list of the fields. In case, if the user wanted to change the data type, they can scroll into the list. Like, I am working on the mid-size data, and sometimes data contain 300+ fields, if I need to change anything in the data type I have to search by scrolling up or down. 

 

The idea here is, If you provide a search bar under Field, it will be a great help to all, in case if anyone needs to go for some specific field, the user just types the name in the search bar and make changes quickly. The select tool is important and we used much time while working on the flow. 

 

Thank you,

Mayank

 

 

Olá, não sei se classifiquei a ideia na caixa correta, mas eu gostaria de ver uma ferramenta, provavelmente na aba "Transformar", e que traria o subtotal e total de um conjunto de linhas, sem ter que construir um fluxo somente para isso. Acredito que com uma ferramenta, apenas, o problema possa ser resolvido, como no exemplo anexo, o que é bem fácil de fazer no Excel, por exemplo.

When building API calls within Alteryx there are a few common steps required

1) Build out the URI for the API call (base URL plus any query parameters)

2) Deal with authentication, such as basic authentication requires taking a key and secret, base 64 encoding and passing this into the tool

3) parsing the results out and processing these downstream

 

For this idea I am specifically focusing on step 3 (but it would be great to have common authentication methods in-built within the download tool (step 2)!).

 

There are common steps required to parse out the results, such as using Filter (to check for a 200 response), JSON parse, text to columns and then cross tab to get the results into a readable format. These will all be common steps anyone who has worked with APIs will be familiar with:

cgoodman3_2-1616585073736.png

 

This is all fine for a regular user to quickly add in and configure these tools. However there is no validation here for the JSON result being as expected, which when embedding an API into a batch macro or analytic app means it can easily fail.

One example of a failure which I've recently come across is where the output JSON doesn't have all fields (name:value pairs) depending the json response. For example using the UK Companies House API, when looking at the ceased to act field at this endpoint - https://developer-specs.company-information.service.gov.uk/companies-house-public-data-api/resources... the ceased to act field only appears in the results if a person has actually ceased to act. This is important if you have downstream tools such as a formula to create a field [Active] where you have:

IF ISNull([ceased_to_act]) THEN "Active" ELSE "Ceased to Act" ENDIF

However without modification the macro / app will error if any results are returned where there is not this field.

 

A workaround is to add in the Crew Ensure Fields or union on a list of fields, to ensure that the Cease to Act field is present in the output for all API calls. But looking at some other tools it would be good if an expected Schema could be built in to the download tool to do this automatically.

 

For example in Power Automate this is achieved as follows:

 

cgoodman3_1-1616584699689.png

 

I am a big advocate of not making things unnecessarily complicated. Therefore I would categorise this as an ease of use feature to improve the experience of working with APIs within Alteryx and make APIs (as load of integrations are API based) accessible to as many users as possible.

 

 

 

 

When you enter a search term in the results window, it would be great if it highlighted that term in the data results window. Otherwise, it still takes work to find where your search term is located in each row.

patrick_digan_0-1622545119811.png

 

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