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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Hey Designer Gurus + @NicoleJ ,


Here's a picture of my canvas (running):




I'd like to be able to see COUNTS and PERCENT completion as the workflow is running.  In my case, the numbers are BIG and  they are prioritized as BACK compared with the lines.  In the case of % complete, they  obfuscate (fancy term for block) the progress of the tool.


Currently, if I want to watch the water boil, paint dry or the workflow crawl/walk/run I must change the workflow before saving it to maximize the distance between the tools.  I'd like to be able to see both the COUNTS and % complete without the added effort.  My idea is to have someone at Alteryx figure out an enhancement to this without engaging the likes of @Hollingsworth who'll devise some evil keyboard shortcut.





Hi everyone! I have been trying to find a way to do this without creating a new idea, but I have decided to make it an official 'Idea' to see if there is anyone else that might appreciate a feature like this (or has found there own way to do it!)


Do your workflows look like this...


cable mgmt idea (before).png


but you wish they could look like this?


cable mgmt idea (after).png


Well... they can with your help!


Okay, I might be crazy...but its worth a shot.


While I understand this is an extremely niche issue, in my experience, it can become very difficult to trace the data through unmanaged lines in large workflows. I think it will be great to cable manage canvas lines so workflows are easier to follow. Heck, while I am already at it, I think it we should all start calling these canvas lines cables... They don't carry electricity, but they sure do carry data!


Here is an example I created in Alteryx using select tools and containers:

alteryx cable mgmt idea.png



If the tables in the config window has lots of rows, it is quite complicated to find those of interest. 


Please add a filter or search option (e.g. by the field name) to display only the relevant rows.


It would also be helpful to select or deselect multiple selected rows with one click.


Find an example from the "Select-Tool":




I am working with complex workflows which use multiple files as input, located on network drives. Input tools are Input Data, Directory, Wildcard Input, Wildcard XLSX Input (from CReW macros).


Regularly, I experience very slow Designer when working on the workflows, and slow progress when running the tools mentioned above, especially when working from home. Switching off Auto Configure did not really help because I the column list sometimes does not converge even after pressing F5 multiple times, and when actively working on workflows, I have to press F5 all the time...


In order to speed up both working on workflows and running the workflows, I would like to propose a function "Cache all File Inputs" which loads and caches all file inputs at once. To achieve this state, I now have Cache and Run workflow once per every file input.

Similar to the setting that you have in many individual tools  (join, append, select, et al) where you can go to options and choose to "forget missing fields" it would be nice where you could go to options for the entire flow and "forget missing fields".


This would remove the headache that you have with large flows where you make a change(s) then have to go back through each and every tool to "forget" within that tool. Yes you could still do it individually, but if you chose, you could also do it universally for the entire flow all at once to all the 'missing fields'. 

When working on a complex, branching workflow I sometimes go down paths that do not give the correct result, but I want to keep them as they are helpful for determining the correct path.  I do not want these branches to run as they slow down the workflow or may produce errors/warnings that muddy debugging the workflow.  These paths can be several tools long and are not easily put in a container and disabled.  Similar to the Cache and Run Workflow feature that prevents upstream tools from refreshing i am suggesting a Disable all Downstream Tools feature.  In the workflow below the tools in the container could be all disabled by a right click on the first sample tool in the container.




Similar to this idea, I think it would be really helpful to be able to search for fields in the dropdowns when using the Sort tool. Having to scroll through all of the possible field names can be a chore if you have 50+




Currently it's not possible to "switch off" interface tools in the same was as we can with the other tools. This limits the functionality especially within chained apps. If we could switch these tools off it would be much easier for us to tailor the experience by allowing selections to be activated by logic, rather than simply the data therein.


Please Alteryx Gods. I beseech thee!


*lights candles*

Ability to color the connector lines to symbolize a path or data. This would help when you have multiple sources into a Join to determine that a path is still the same set of data when you have multiple paths created.

I can be picky about how my workflows are laid out.  Oftentimes, the connector between tools has a "mind of its own" as to what direction it goes and how it crosses other objects.  I'd like to see the ability to control the connector lines with "elbows" that can be positioned in custom locations and directions, like an MS Visio diagram. Alternatively, add a simple "pin" tool could be added to the canvas and it's only function is to take in and send out a connector line by defining the input and output location.  The input and output locations could be defined angularly/radial in degrees, for example.  Image attached below of existing workflow with a "troublesome" connector and the concept of "elbows" and "pins" added as an alternate control mechanism.  Both would be great!  :)

The Edit menu allows you to see what your next undo/redo actions are. This is super helpful, however sometimes I decide to scrap an idea I was starting on and need to perform multiple undo's in a row. It would be great if we could see a list of actions like in the debug undo/redo stack menu then select how many steps we'd like to undo/redo.


For example, using the below actions, if I want to undo the Change Summarize Properties and also the Modify Summarize, currently I have to do that in two steps. I'd like to be able to click the Modify Summarize and have the workflow undo all commands up to and including that one.



...and now for probably the most trivial request in a long time, but also one of the most annoying things (for me anyway)..........

When viewing a browse window, it's so darn awesome to be able to sort and search.  However, it would be even awesomeer (yes, I just made up a word) if when you actually conducted a sort or search, you could make your selection (for sorts) or type in your criteria (for searches) and simply press the "Enter" button on the keyboard and  have it do the same thing that selecting "Apply" with the mouse does.  This is common Windows functionality and I think should be easy to implement.

The idea is to have a Run option, where the workflow runs everything up to the selected tool (Like the Cache functionality does).

You select the tool, hit Run Up and the workflows executes everything "before" the selected tool.


That'll make developing much easier, specially when dealing with big workflows and constant changing data.



I like to annotate my workflows when finished, and it can be a bit of a pain to add more and more comment tools by searching for them, or going through the current right-click menu:


What would be nice is the option to right click anywhere on the canvas, and have the option of 'add comment', similar to how we have the option for 'add container' when selecting tools on the canvas.



Adding a up and down arrow on each column would make it easier and quicker to sort columns then the drop down menu or sort tool



When I'm organizing my workflow, sometimes I want to move a whole tool container on the canvas. Currently, the only way to do this is to first find the header then select and drag this. When the ends of the container is off screen, it can be hard to know how much I wanted to move my container to get it where I wanted relative to the other tools around it. I feel like it would be nice to be able to select anywhere on the tool container and drag it around (possibly holding right click and dragging so that current tool selection capabilities aren't hindered).



In the (simplified) images below, you'll see that I want my tool container to vertically align just above the browse tool:




I can't currently see the top of the tool container to move it, though, so I must first navigate to that part of the workflow to select the header.



Today, I am able to take an excel file from a folder and drag it onto the canvas, which automatically creates an Input Data tool.

I would like to be able to drag an excel file right from outlook to do the same! 

Hi UX interested parties,




Here are some ideas for you to consider:


1.  These lines are BORING and UNINFORMATIVE.  I'd like to understand (pic = 1,000 words) more when looking at a workflow.  

  • A line could communicate:
    • Qty of Records
    • Size of Data
    • Is the data SORTED
      • What sort order
    • Quality of Data 

If you look at lines A, B, C in the picture above.  Nothing is communicated.  Weight of line, color of line, type of line, beginning line marker/ending line marker, these are all potential ways that we could see a picture of the data without having to get into browse everywhere to see the information.  If we hover over the data connection, even more information could appear (e.g. # of records, size of file) without having to toggle the configuration parameters.


2.  Wouldn't it be nice to not have to RUN a workflow to know last SAVED metadata (run) of  a workflow?  I'd like to open a "saved" workflow and know what to expect when I run the workflow.  Heck, how long does it take the beast to run is something that we've never seen unless we run it.


3.  I'd like to set the metadata to display SORT keys, order.  Sort1 Asc, Sort 2 Desc ....   This sort information is very helpful for the engine and I'll likely post about that thought.  As a preview, when a JOIN tool has sorted data and one of the anchors is at EOF, then why do we need to keep reading from the other anchor?  There won't be another matched record (J) anchor.  In my example above, we don't ask for the L/R outputs, so why worry about the rest of the join?


4.  Have you ever seen a map (online) that didn't display watermark information?  I think that the canvas experience should allow for a default logo (like mine above, but transparent) in the lower right corner of the canvas that is visible at all times.  Having the workflow name at the top in a tab is nice, but having it display as a watermark is handy.


5.  Once the workflow has RUN, all anchors are the same color.  How about providing GREY/White or something else on EMPTY anchors instead of the same color?  This might help newbies find issues in JOIN configuration too.


6.  If the tool has ERRORs you put a RED exclamation mark.  I despise warnings, but how about a puke colored question mark?  With conversion errors, the lines could be marked to let you know the relative quantity of conversion errors (system messages have a limit)


Just a few top of mind things to consider ....





Note: This idea doesn't strictly fit into any given category as it involves enabling support for something that affects numerous aspects of Alteryx's already existing spatial features.


I live in Australia. As do a large number of your users. Like me, many of those users use Alteryx to process spatial data. There is only one problem; we live on a roving continent. Every year our continent shifts ever so slightly but over time that shift becomes significant. For this reason we have our own continental system of spatial coordinate projections. It's called the Geocentric Datum of Australia or GDA.


Since 2000, the official Australian geodetic datum has been GDA94.  However, according to the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM), because the coordinates of features on our maps, such as roads, buildings and property boundaries (and so on), are all based on GDA94, they do not change over time. This is why they have since adopted a new datum: GDA2020. This has now become the standard for mapping in Australia, bringing Australia’s national coordinates into line with global satellite positioning systems.


A more detailed explanation of this can be found on the ICSM's website: What is changing and why? | Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (


Of course Alteryx supports the more global WGS84 standard, which like GDA94 is a fixed datum. But there is up to a 1.8 metre discrepancy between GDA94 (and WGS84) and GDA2020. For spatial analysis projects that don't require metre accuracy that's not a problem. But imagine you are building a bridge, plotting the lanes of a road or programming a GPS enabled tractor. That 1.8 metre discrepancy between the real world coordinates and the projection is enough to cause problems. 


And it is. Which is why we request that Alteryx include support for GDA2020 in its existing selection of spatial projections.


This will enable spatial datasets configured in GDA2020 to not require conversion and thus risk corruption or error. This includes providing the ability to configure GDA2020 as the spatial projection in the input tool and all spatial tools.


Doing so would go a long way to supporting your ever growing Australian user base and maintaining Alteryx's position as a trusted software for processing spatial data.

I set up my canvas how I want it, but I will sometimes undock or auto-hide the canvas windows (Results, Configuration, etc.).  My suggestion is to add a Locked Dock as a selection that will allow for resizing, but not undocking.


dock and lock.png


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